Damping off can be caused by species of Pythium, Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia or Fusarium. A laboratory diagnosis is required to determine the exact cause of damping off of seedlings and cuttings.
Symptoms of seedlings affected by damping-off generally rot at ground level and topple over. In this photo, note the stem canker at ground level.
To prevent damping off diseases, start with soilless growing media and avoid contaminating media with soiled hands, tools, or containers. Promptly remove diseased plants, avoid splashing water when irrigating and keep hose ends off the floor.