Wilt, a group of plant diseases that cause leaves to shrivel. Wilt is caused by drought, by excessive transpiration (evaporation of moisture from plant cells) on hot days, by damage to roots and stems, and by bacteria and fungi that block the moisture-carrying tissues in plants. Wilt stunts plants, and may kill them.
Bacterial and fungus wilts are serious diseases of many cultivated plants. Infected plants should be pulled out and burned. Some protection against wilt diseases can be gained by using insecticides to destroy insects that transmit certain types of wilt to plants. The use of wilt-resistant plant varieties gives the best insurance against damage from these diseases.