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How to Identify and Treat Leaf Spot Disease on Your Shrubs

Jack Moore
Feb 13, 2023 9:25:31 AM

As someone who cares about having the best-looking property on the block, shrub problems can be a major source of frustration. One potential shrub problem that homeowners in North Texas sometimes deal with is leaf spots.

If you have “Leaf Spot Disease,” you might be worried about what that could mean for your beloved plants.

Leaf Spot Disease is simply a collective name for a number of diseases that can affect the foliage of trees and shrubs by causing leaf spots. This is a discolored area of the plant’s foliage that typically shows up as a circle or an irregular shape. 

When it’s a disease, most cases of leaf spots are caused by a fungus. However, insect damage can also show up as a “spot.” 

In this article, we’ll dive into more about Leaf Spot Disease and how you can respond.

What Does Leaf Spot Disease Look Like?

As you might have guessed, the telltale sign that you’re dealing with a form of Leaf Spot Disease is seeing spots on your shrub’s foliage. Spots can come in a variety of sizes, colors, and even shapes…all depending upon the plant species and also the type of fungus causing the problem. 

But most often, spots are brown, black, yellow, or reddish. 

Leaf Spot

Sometimes, multiple spots can grow together and start to look like larger blobs or blotches on the plant. 

Unfortunately, plants with leaf spots can be weakened by the disease…and the more disease that you’re dealing with, the greater the struggle. The main reason for this is that the spots reduce foliar space for photosynthesis to occur. 

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Plant energy is also going into the diseased leaves to try and make repairs, which can leave a plant vulnerable to other problems. It’s not uncommon for a diseased plant to start to struggle in other ways (such as being attacked by pests). 

The good news is that many Leaf Spot Diseases only affect a small foliage area. This means that they’ll typically be able to bounce back (which we’ll cover in more detail further down in this article).

However, in more severe cases, a disease can spread and lead to foliage loss or (in worst-case scenarios) plant death.

How to Treat Leaf Spot Disease

If you think that you may be dealing with Leaf Spot Disease, you might be curious about Leaf Spot Disease treatment. When dealing with disease, there is usually more than one possible course of action, often depending upon severity (as well as plant species).

In the case of many Leaf Spot Diseases, the infected and dead areas of foliage can just be removed. This will help to control the disease by removing spores that might reinfect other leaves.

home owner and grassperson team member inspect landscape

One common mistake when dealing with the disease is to leave the fallen foliage on the ground where it can continue to spread and infect the shrub. It’s best to clean it up and dispose of it.

While this is not a “cure,” it can reduce spore activity. With less disease, the shrub might be able to recover just fine on its own.

If it’s a particularly bad case of Leaf Spot Disease, there are some fungicides out there that can stop further spreading. In some extreme cases, homeowners might also consider replacing the shrub.

Sometimes, a shrub is dealing with more than one problem at once. 

landscape crew planting flowers and shrubs

For instance, if a shrub was planted in a location where it already isn’t performing well…and then it gets attacked by a disease…it’s probably always going to be struggling. People often don’t realize how detrimental poor planting (whether it be location or just planting errors) can be to a shrub’s health. 

While shrub problems commonly get chalked up to being disease or pest related, sometimes it really was just a matter of poor planting. This likely left your plant vulnerable to problems it otherwise might have been able to fend off on its own.

In some cases, it makes sense to replace diseased or dying shrubs that were improperly planted with something new. 

This can be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Can Plants Recover from Leaf Spot Disease?

While there are always variations in cases of Leaf Spot Disease, many shrubs can tolerate some leaf spots without serious damage. It’s not uncommon for a shrub to get a few leaf spots but bounce back and make a full recovery.

One way to set your plants up for success and to help them better fight back against disease (like Leaf Spot) is with Plant Health Care.

plant health care technician sprays shrub

As with other shrub problems, the better shape your plant is in before dealing with a problem, the better it will fare. 

At Grassperson, our program includes preventative treatments in an effort to be proactive and prevent a lot of these common shrub and tree problems in the first place. However, we can also implement curative treatments to address specific concerns as they may arise.

Working with Professional Landscape Maintenance in North Texas to Protect Your Plants

We know that the last thing you want to worry about is watching your plants succumb to problems like Leaf Spot Disease.

This is why working with professional landscape maintenance in North Texas is a wise idea. The fact is, many shrub problems can mimic one another and before you can get started on treating them, you have to make a proper diagnosis.

That is something best done by a professional.

What you get in return is peace of mind. 

Instead of having to worry about any of this, you can simply hand those worries over to a landscaping professional who can get your shrubs on a Plant Health Care program that will set them up for success.

They’ll also be watching out for early signs of disease. Even while using Plant Health Care, shrubs can still succumb to some issues. But they will be significantly better situated to deal with them. 

At the end of the day, we understand that you simply want to know that your landscape is in good hands and will continue to perform well. By making the wise investment to work with a pro, you can sit back and relax knowing that you’re in good hands.

Ready to gain confidence that your plants are being protected at your Flower Mound, Highland Village, or Lewisville, TX home? Get a free quote and get ready to have the best property on the block!

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