The Q&A Archives: Black Spots on Holly Leaves

Question: What are black spots appearing on holly leaves (variety unknown)? What is the suggested treatment against this?

Answer: Hollies are susceptible to several fungal diseases, all of which can result in black spots on the leaves. Holly leaf spots seldom cause significant damage to the health of infected plants. Maintain plant vitality with proper fertilization, irrigation during dry periods, mulching, and attention to soil pH levels is the best way to minimize these diseases. Prune plants to promote, sunlight penetration, air circulation and rapid drying of foliage. Also, minimize leaf wetness by irrigating before midday so the leaves dry rapidly in the afternoon. Removal of infected fallen leaves reduces the amount of the inoculum present for new infections. Holly leaf spot diseases are usually more severe after wet springs, but they rarely warrant fungicide controls. Fungicide sprays protect the new green shoots and leaves. Begin sprays as the buds swell and reapply 2-3 more times at label intervals to maintain protection during vulnerable periods.

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