My leucothoe is recently experiencing some distress. Stems are dying, leafs are getting brown spots along tips and edges. This is happening on o...
Leucothoe - disease #851326
Asked September 26, 2023, 4:59 PM EDT
My leucothoe is recently experiencing some distress. Stems are dying, leafs are getting brown spots along tips and edges. This is happening on old and new growth. Do you recommend a fungicide and what type? Thank you,
Wake CountyNorth Carolina
Fungal diseases, while not common, can occur on leucothoe, especially if the plant is not in ideal conditions. The plant requires good air circulation so that leaves do not remain wet. High heat can stress the plants as can poor drainage. It is best to avoid overhead watering and instead water the soil beneath the plant.
The best approach for you is to remove infected leaves when plants are dry, and remove any dead leaves or debris from around the base of the plant. Prune out any diseased stems or infected areas. This will reduce the overwintering inoculum capable of infecting new growth in spring. Be sure to clean off pruners between cuts so as not to spread and disease inadvertently. Monitor the plant to see if it rebounds this season, or at least that the disease does not spread.
Fungal problems are usually addressed in the spring by using a fungicide as a prevention rather than a cure. You will have to decide if you can manage the leaf spots through cultural methods as recommended above, remove the plant for another species that is more suited to the site, or to try treatment with fungicide. Fungicides labeled for use on ornamentals with leaf spot include products with chlorothalonil, mancozeb, or thianophate. Be sure to follow label directions for dosage and safety precautions.
This work is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.