Replacing foundation plants where there was a problem with black spot fungus

Asked April 3, 2017, 1:41 PM EDT

I finally gave up the fight to save my red tipped photinias from black spot fungus. We have dug up all the roots and disposed of the debris. We are thinking of planting Cherry Laurels in there place. Is there anything to worry about in the soil? Is there a better plant you would recommend or what to look for when purchasing the cherry laurels. we get good sun in this location. Thanks, Bill

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Yes, as you have found, photinia leaf spot is a huge problem here.
You could plant cherry laurels there. They are heavily used in the green industry, but they actually can have disease and pest problems as well if they are not happy.
You don't need to worry about your soil, but we would suggest adding compost or Leaf-Gro to the area before planting.
Other possible choices include several types of hollies, Pieris andromeda, dwarf arborvitae or even dwarf cryptomeria. If there are several you need, it is suggested that you mix similar statured varieties in groupings, not only for more interest, but to avoid the problem of one pest or disease taking out your whole planting again.
Go to a good garden center and look at what appeals to you. Be sure to read the tages for their cultural needs like sun, water, etc., and their final mature size.