University of Maryland Extension

Fungal Leaf Spots on English Ivy

ivy blotch
Leaf spot on English Ivy.

The symptoms of fungal infection on English ivy include yellow-brown or black spots or blotches on the leaves. The spots may have a yellow ring or dark border around them however usually not as vivid as with bacterial infections. Initial leaf spots will usually be circular and may also infect stems and roots. The spots may also have small black dots in the center of the necrotic area or may also have concentric rings and have a target appearance. Older dried spots may fall out giving a ragged or shot hole appearance. Under cool wet conditions the initial spots may run together and the entire leaf may become blighted and chlorotic, and covered with dark blotches. Infected leaves will usually shrivel, die and drop off causing severe defoliation. Occasionally under cool wet conditions these leaf spotting fungi can cause root and stem rots that will lead to dieback. Root decay fungi such as Pythium and Phytophthora will also cause root rots if the ivy bed is in a poorly drained area. Fungal leaf spots and leaf blights can be caused by the fungi Alternaria, Colletotrichum, and Phyllosticta.

Management: Avoid overhead irrigation and thin plantings to increase air circulation that will promote faster leaf drying. Thinning can be accomplished by selective pruning of infected leaves or by mechanical removal such as with a lawn mower set at the highest setting. Removal of fallen debris and clean up of old leaves etc. will also help reduce the amount of moisture trapped and will promote faster drying of the planting bed. 

Photo Gallery

ivy leaf blotch
Symptoms on ivy.

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