Leafspot Part 2

Last month I talked to you about fungal leafspot, now we’re onto the harder of the two, bacterial leafspot.

Bacterial leafspot is surprisingly common on broadleaf evergreens, especially those watered with overhead irrigation. When considering controls, identifying the presence of a bacterial issue rather than fungal issue is key. Bacterial leafspots generally manifest as sunken water-soaked lesions. They often will not have a bull’s eye pattern but will “follow the veins”, compartmentalizing themselves into clearly outlined blocks ringed by major veins on the leaf. This sort of pattern is a clear indicator of bacterial infections, bacteria do not have the same mechanisms as fungus to overcome the physical barriers in plant’s tissues.

Unfortunately, bacterial control is limited to just preventative sprays. An important factor is that few fungicides affect bacteria so a miss identification can waste both your chemical and labor. Your best chemical control is to spray early and often with a metal based bacteriacide -such as copper-. If you do use overhead irrigation it may also be worth considering drip irrigation or changing watering times to keep the foliage dryer instead.

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