The Q&A Archives: Black Spot on Indian Hawthorn

Question: I am loosing all of my Indian Hawthorn shrubs to a black spotted fungus. All of their leaves are falling off. What do you recommend I do? I have recently been spraying a mixture of liquid suds and water. Before that I was using a fungus spray and it did not seem to help.

Answer: Fungal diseases are nasty and can kill shrubs if it defoliates shrubs several years in a row. Fortunately, you can control it enough to keep your shrubs not just alive, but attractive as well. This season, remove all the infected leaves from the plant and rake up any that have fallen. This is the main source of spores that reinfect new leaves. If there are any wild plants at the perimeter of your yard that are affected, rake up their fallen leaves, too. Spray your hawthorns with Soap Sheild, a new organic fungicidal soap/copper spray from Gardens Alive (; ph# 812/537-8650). Follow the spray schedule recommened on the label to keep plants from being reinfected. Next spring, apply Silka Ben (from Gardener's Supply Co. -; ph# 800/863-1700). It forms a protective layer on plant surfaces that keep drifting spores from "sprouting" there. Keep the leaves raked and an organic mulch on the soil (bark, compost, etc.) to combat any spores that remain on the soil surface. Hope this does the trick!

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