Photinia leaf spot cure and treatment – Photinias are enormous shrubs that thrive in the eastern United States, where they are known as “the East Coast.” They did so well, in fact, that they quickly became one of the most popular hedge plants in the southern United States. Unfortunately, illness quickly followed the misuse and close planting of red-tipped photinia, resulting in continuous, annual assaults by the photinia fungus (also known as photinia leaf spot) on the plants.
The crimson tips of new growth that have made these shrubs so beloved are especially prone to the ravages of photinia bush diseases, and photinia leaf spot has been responsible for the demise of countless shrubs throughout the course of history.
Symptoms of Photinia Leaf Spot and the Disease It Causes
Entomosporium mespili, the fungus that produces photinia leaf spot, is the most common of the photinia bush diseases and also the most dangerous. This fungus, like other plant fungi, thrives in the chilly, wet climate of the autumn and spring. It affects the most sensitive new growth, which is what gives the shrub its name, red-tipped photinia, and from there, the illness spreads throughout the whole plant.
The photinia fungus will not kill the plant immediately or even during the first season, but it will return year after year until the repeated leaf drop and depletion of nutrients that follows weakens the plant to the brink of death, at which time the plant will die.
The first indicators of photinia leaf spot are nearly imperceptible at first. Tiny, round, red spots emerge on the surfaces of leaves, and since the leaves of the new growth they attack are the same color as the leaves of the older growth, the deeper red spots are easier to overlook.
Over the course of a few days, the spots grow in size and finally transform into dark, purple rings surrounded by gray, decaying tissue. The photinia fungus is known to transfer from new growth to old growth because the fresh leaves make it simpler for the spores to take root on the old growth.
The disease’s circular patterns continue to expand and combine until enormous, unattractive “sores” cover the wilting leaves of the red-tipped photinia after the fungus has taken possession of the plant. The formation of spores may be noticed in the black blotches within the circular damage, which indicate the presence of spores. At this time, there is little that can be done to prevent the illness from progressing to its terminal stage.
Recognizing the Life Cycles of Diseases of the Photinia Bush
A distinct pattern or cycle characterizes the progression of red-tipped photinia disease, and it is critical to understand this pattern or cycle in order to effectively treat and eradicate the infection.
The fungus spores spend the winter in fallen, diseased leaves or in late-emerging new growth, depending on where they have been found. They are released into the air in late winter or early spring, when they settle on any photinia shrub that happens to be in the vicinity.
Due to the fact that spores cannot travel that far, it is common for diseases like this to spread from the bottom to the top of an afflicted plant. This difficulty in traveling long distances is also one of the reasons why photinia leaf spot may infect a shrub in one region of the yard while leaving another area of the yard unaffected by the disease.
As spring weather brings more rain, the spores continue to spread by water splashing from one leaf to the next, eventually infecting the whole plant.
Preventing and Treating the Disease: Common Photinia Bush Disease
It seems that there is nothing that can be done to prevent the red-tip photinia illness. Yes, but it is more a question of prevention than of curing.
In the first instance, rake up all of the fallen leaves, and if the shrub has already been infected, remove all of the afflicted leaves and branches from the shrub. Cover the area beneath and around the bushes with fresh mulch to ensure that any leaf fragments or photinia fungus spores that remain are protected from the elements.
It is not necessary to continually prune threatened plants in order to foster the development of new, red growth. Trimming and shearing should be limited to the dormant winter months, and all cuttings should be disposed of.
Consider replacing bushes that are dead or dying with alternatives. If the susceptible shrubs are spaced further apart in a mixed hedge, the hedge will be more resistant to photinia bush diseases in the future. Keep in mind that the spores do not travel very far.
Instead of establishing the usual wall of bushes, space additional plants out over time. Increasing light and circulation around the shrub will improve its overall appearance while decreasing the circumstances under which it grows.
Chemical therapies are offered for a variety of problems. Chlorothalonil, propiconazole, and myclobutanil are the active components to search for in fungicides that are now on the market. Be mindful, however, that treatment must begin as soon as possible and must be repeated every 7–14 days during the late winter and spring, as well as again in the autumn when the temperature becomes cooler.
But with perseverance and excellent garden housekeeping methods, the red-tip photinia disease may be controlled and eradicated from your garden.