The Q&A Archives: White Spots on Leaves

Question: I have a perennial garden located in the sunniest part of my yard. Last year I noticed small white spots on the leaves of my Hollyhocks which later spread to most of my other plants. I removed the Hollyhocks, weeds, and cleaned up the dead leaves. Can you offer any advice?<br> <br><br>

Answer: Sounds like a real invasion of a fungal disease in your yard! It's hard to know which one because you didn't describe it in detail, but treatment and prevention is similar for most. Fungal spores can travel on wind and water droplets as well as being transported by people and animals brushing up against infected plants. You've done the right thing by cleaning up garden debris and pruning to improve air circulation. There's a new neem-based (low-impact, organic) fungicide called Sheild-All(sold by Gardens Alive, 5100 Schenley Pl., Lawrenceburg, IN 47025; ph# 812/537-8650) to apply at the first sign of infection. Used properly, it prevents the spread of both downy and powdery mildews, etc. Be sure to read and follow the label directions, and make sure that the plants you intend to spray are listed on the label. Better luck next year!

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