crown rot and southern blight Sclerotium Rolfsii
Crown Rot is the result of a diseased or stressed plant under attack by a host of organisms leading to the mushie condition we call crown rot.
Southern Blight or Sclerotium Rolfsii is a group of related soil borne organisms which are a bit more specific leading to something similar to crown rot. Southern Blight ususally appears in summer when temperatures reach high 80's or above. It also seems to appear after rains and high temperatures. Treatment is 10% household bleach or 1% by volume as a drench of the plant and soil. Since it is soil borne it will move down a slope and reappear next year in the general area so treating the whole area is proper.