Damage to plants

Asked May 2, 2017, 2:35 PM EDT

Attached are pictures of a ground cover I have. I do not know the name of the plant. The ground cover is about 50 years old. Some of the leaves and stalks are turning brown and there are spots on leaves. What could be causing the damage and how can I control it. I live on an acre lot that is primarily wooded and we have deer that come onto the lot. Thank you,

Baltimore County Maryland

5 Responses

This appears to be a species of leucothoe, a low-growing, suckering shrub. Specifically, we'd say it is Leucothoe axillaris : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leucothoe_axillaris

Though it is not listed as native to Maryland, it is native to this region of the U.S. This is a very desirable plant: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=q850

Leucothoe are prone to many fungal leaf spot diseases. If something has changed in its environment, that may have made it stressed and more susceptible (for instance, overhead watering, or too much sun.) Try to address that, if you can.

You can try spraying with a fungicide in spring just after the new leaves appear.


Thank you for the information. You state that I can try spraying the plant with a fungicide in spring just after the new leaves appear.

Is it too late now to spray it, since the new leaves have been out awhile?

Any suggestion as to brand or type of fungicide to use, which is least dangerous to insects, animals, and the environment?

Can't hurt to spray now. The leaves haven't been out too long. We don't have a specific fungicide recommendation. Generally fungicide toxicity is not a big issue, but don't spray when pollinators are active on flowers.


One final question. Should the fungicide be sprayed on the leaf tops or the underside of the leaves, or both?

I really appreciate all the infomation you have provided me. Thank you.

If you decide to spray, you need to get good coverage of the plant. Spray as thoroughly as you can from the the top and sides of the plant. Spores are not much of an issue from the underside. You do not need to spray the underside.
Be sure to rake all fallen leaves from around the base of the plant.