Cercospora Leaf Spot . . . bad

sara82lee(8a - SE Va)November 24, 2013

A few months ago I posted some pics of leaves from my sick hydrangea, and everyone was kind enough to help me determine it was leaf spot. I tried taking everyone's advice and clean out the area well, but my hydrangea looked mostly dead for the rest of the summer. Any new green it put out quickly turned brown-black and died. My neighbor has suggested I cut it back to only a few inches high and see if it comes back okay in the spring. I don't know how old the plant is, but it was here long before I moved in six years ago.

After the hydrangea developed the leaf spot, I started noticing the same spots on other plants throughout my yard, the annuals in the hanging baskets on the porch, the mandevilla, two small, new rosebushes, and even my rubber tree and peace lily houseplants that I put in the backyard in the shade for the summer away from everything else. It seemed to affect one plant, but not necessarily the one next to it. Very scattered. Nothing immediately close to the hydrangea was affected though. And only the hydrangea looked like it was close to dead.

How do I keep this from cursing me next year?? And is it a good idea to cut the hydrangea down almost to the ground?

Thanks! I really need help!

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

The spores which cause the leaf spot are your enemy and it sounds like the area where all the affected plants reside is chockful of these spores. This means they are in the leaves, in the stems, in the mulch and so forth. Anything that will make life difficult for the spores will help and based on your comment, a fungicide program may be also required.

I would read the information on the link below and then apply these fungicides as described. I would also replace the mulch with new mulch. When spraying, remember to spray the plant leaves' top and bottom as well as the stems.

As long as you spray the affected and unaffected plants, cutting the plant down to the ground is not going to do much because the plant will grow anew and get infected from leftover spores in the environment.

Consider reviewing just why is the problem so bad. Is the humidity always high in the area of the garden? Or are you maybe watering the soil too much? Etc? High humidity levels are just perfect for the development of the spores so any steps that will reduce the humidity will minimize the problem.

As soon as the plants have gone dormant, throw away all the dried out bloomage and leaves in the trash. Then pick up any plant debris that you find and also throw it in the trash.


Here is a link that might be useful: Diseases of hydrangeas

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 10:24PM
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