How to prevent and treat Pachysandra diseases
The most common pachysandra disease, according to the Michigan State University Extension, is Volutella Blight -- commonly called leaf blight -- which causes brown blotches on the leaves and cankers on the stems. The most common problem insect is Euonymus scale, which can completely defoliate your pachysandra, leading to death. Poor management of your pachysandra can also leave your beautiful ground cover with unsightly brown splotches or orange, wilted leaves. But with a few simple steps, you can avoid pachysandra diseases and keep your ground cover healthy and handsome.
Here's how to prevent and treat pachysandra diseases:
- Avoid planting pachysandra in full sunlight and in areas that have running or standing water, which stress the plants and make them more susceptible to disease and pests.
- Clean your garden tools frequently, and always after using them on diseased plants. The Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic at Cornell University recommends swabbing the cutting blades with a solution of 7 parts rubbing alcohol and 3 parts water.
- Thin the plants periodically to encourage good air circulation; this will help the pachysandra get enough sunlight and dry more quickly after it rains.
- Don't use mulches that retain water or let autumn leaves accumulate on the plants because they, too, tend to trap water.
- Watch for signs of diseased plants and quickly remove them.
- Spray on a fungicide two or three times during the growing season, at two-week intervals. The University of Connecticut's Cooperative Extension recommends chlorothalonil (Bravo, Daconil 2787) or mancozeb (Dithane, Penncozeb).
- Control scale insects with an insecticide applied twice during the summer, one month apart. Or try introducing a natural enemy, such predatory mites or lady beetles.
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