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John Fulton

John Fulton
Former County Extension Director

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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
hosta diseases

Leaf Spots on Hosta

Posted by John Fulton -

The Plant Clinic is reporting seeing several hosta samples with leaf spots caused by various fungi. Anthracnose is one of the main culprits. It is related to, but different, than the anthracnose which affects sycamore and other trees. It is favored by the type of weather we have been experiencing.

Irregular dead spots form, and these can tatter out with rains and wind to look like something has been eating on the leaves, however this isn't the case with anthracnose. There are actually several fungi which cause similar problems, including Botrytis, Fusarium, and Alternaria.

The best offense is a good defense. This means don't create conditions favorable to the development of the disease. Allow for good air circulation by spacing plants adequately, water in the morning to allow for drying during the day, and try to water the soil rather than the foliage. Use of fungicides can protect good leaves, but won't cure infections already present. Products with copper, sulfur, and many of the commercial fungicides are effective in controlling new infections when applied every 10 to 14 days.

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