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Paul Anderson

Rhs website lists loads on different plants on leaf spot, firstly hellebores and so on, but is leaf spot just leaf spot....are the symptoms the same and does it do exactly the same to all the plants??

BobTheGardener

Leaf spot is just a description of a symptom.  Lots of different diseases cause spots on the leaves of many plants.  Many of the diseases which do this are fungal but it's not one particular fungus that causes all leaf spot.

Leaf spot can have different causes. It's often due to a fungus, and the fungus may be specific for particular plants. Other causes include physical damage such as scorching through water droplets, or possibly a nutrient deficiency. Some plant galls also look like leaf spots, caused by insect larvae.

Whatever the cause, the plant can recover from leaf spot.

Paul Anderson

I am studying pests and diseases at the moment and this one just caught me off guard, thanks bob and landgirl I will actually write this in my study notes and will now get my RHS encyclopedia out and start reading more. thanks

Yes Paul,

Leaf spot can be superficial blemishes or be more serious.  Leaf spot, for example, on hellebores can be hugely debilitating if it continues for couple of years.  Removing old leaves inthe autumn and a clean mulch minimises helleborus leaf spot plus removal during the growing season of leaves showing signs of it.  

Its important to recognise and identify leaf spots as they occur on different plants in order to protect them. Last year a friend lost her dwarf rhododendron because of leaf "spotting" that really was a form of phytophthora.  

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