Escallonia Leaf Spot

Gardening is a constant battle against natural predators: black spot on Roses, slugs on Hostas, aphids on Lupins etc. But I can’t think of any plant we avoid because of this. Forewarned is, indeed, forearmed…
This battle, though, is not static and new enemies emerge all the time. Around four years ago, a new fungal disease was spotted on Escallonias – Escallonia Leaf Spot. Fortunately, the disease is controllable…
When: Like many other fungal diseases, Escallonia Leaf Spot strikes when the weather is both warm and wet.
Symptoms: Black/purple spots that commonly develop grey/white centres. Left unchecked, foliage turns yellow and drops.
Prevention: Keep a watchful eye as you do for the rest of the plants in your garden – the sooner any disease is spotted, the easier it is to knock it back. Also, fungal diseases are more effective against weakened plants. Fortunately, Escallonias are both reliable and hardy but make sure you keep them watered in times of drought and feed regularly. A slow release proprietary feed is the easiest effective method if you have an Escallonia hedge.
It is likely that the fungus survives on fallen leaf debris so keep the base of Escallonias and nearby plants clear.
Treatment: In the unlikely event you find Escallonia Leaf Spot, remove all affected leaves and cut back hard. Burn or bag the debris – do not compost. There is no specific fungicide to counter Escallonia Leaf Spot but any brand containing tebuconazole or triticonazole may help to prevent re-infection when applied regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.