Even the most well-kept landscape could suffer from some type of disease. They can quickly migrate from surrounding lawns or come from pests or even irrigation issues. Understanding what these diseases look like and what types of plants they attack may help to alert you to an issue. Here are the 5 most common plant diseases in our Piedmont Region in Virginia.

rl-d4Sooty Mold
Sooty Mold collects on leafy plants like camellias but it doesn’t feed directly off the plan. It actually feeds on the leavings of sucking insects that eat the plant. Aphids, for example, excrete sugars called honeydew which collect sooty mold spores. A black coat of mold can restrict the plant’s ability to breathe.



rl-d1Powdery Mildew
This is a fungus that thrives in humid air. There are multiple varieties of powdery mildew and each one favors a particular species of plant. Lilacs that are affected by mildew won’t spread to your peonies. It also won’t kill a plant unless it progresses for many years. The most common causes are dry weather combined with high humidity, and crowding.



Anthracnose is a fungus that commonly affects our native Dogwood trees. Affecting the vascular system on the tree, after a few years entire branches will fall off, bark will peel back and spots will form on the leaves.




Cankar is caused by a fungus or bacterial intrusion. You can usually tell by the oozing lesions on the trunk of the tree or shrub. Eventually the branches will start to die back.




rl-d5Needle Cast
This fungus causes big problems here in Virginia, again because of the humidity. It comes up through the ground and reproduces when water hits it. Spores on the ground explode upwards when hit by rain and the lowest tiers of tree limbs start to die back.



Any ornamental tree is going to require regular care and attention to keep it healthy. Call Reliable Landscaping at 540-842-7685 or email us if you need help identifying or treating a diseased plant.

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