4 Common Culprits of Shrub Disease and How to Identify Them

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Shrub Disease

Shrubbery is one of the most important parts of your landscape, providing structure, adding visual interest, and maybe even creating privacy between you and your neighbors. Just like trees, shrubs can fall victim to pests and shrub diseases that can sicken or even kill them. Fortunately, many of these can be prevented if you know what to look for and how to treat it. 

Check out these tips from our lawn care experts to help you identify common shrub diseases, or call us at 770-923-0387 for a free estimate and landscape analysis

Types of Shrub Disease

Fungus

One of the most common afflictions Atlanta shrubs face is a fungus, Powdery Mildew Fungus. This shrub disease leaves a white, powdery substance all over the foliage of the affected plant, and can ultimately kill the plant if left unchecked. 

To prevent or treat this shrub disease, you’ll need to remove any parts of the shrub that were infected, thin the shrub to allow for better air flow, and apply a fungicide to kill any spores left behind. Make sure that you’re watering your plants from underneath, rather than dousing them from above, and hold off on fertilizing until the plants have recovered. 

Bacteria

One of the most common shrub maladies is called Fire Blight, a bacterial disease that causes the twigs, shoots, and stems of the plant to shrivel and turn black. If you notice this happening to your shrubs, it’s important to prune the affected areas right away, being sure to clean your pruning tools between cuts. If it’s an active growing season, don’t bother pruning; just remove the whole plant so you don’t risk it infecting the surrounding shrubs. 

Virus

If you’ve noticed the foliage on your shrubs turning mottled colors that are out of the norm, you may have a case of Rose Mosaic Disease on your hands. The disease can also cause stunted growth. 

If you suspect that a plant has this virus, remove it from your landscape immediately so it can’t infect the other shrubs. 

Nematodes

Also known as roundworms, these pests can infect a shrub and cause its undergrowth to die. If you notice dead sections or pieces of your plant falling off, it’s likely that nematodes are present. While harder to see, they also attack the root system of the plant, resulting in stunted, uneven growth. The best course of action in this case is also to remove the infected plant before it can spread.

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