Shot Hole Disease

shot hole

Are you seeing small holes in your laurels that look like someone took a BB gun and went wild?  Not to worry.  This is a very common disease that occurs with laurels and a variety of other plants native to your landscape here in Richmond.  At Virginia Green, we see Shot Hole all the time and are always doing our best to educate our customers so that appropriate steps are taken to help contain the disease.

Shot Hole disease typically begins to appear in the spring as the weather is beginning to change.  As we start to experience warmer, more humid weather, the fungus will begin to develop on the leaves and soon you will notice small red or purple colored dots on individual leaves.  These spots will continue to grow until the infected area browns out and fall out of the leaf leaving a tiny hole about the size of a pen tip.

Thanks to our mild and wet winter, the fungus spreads through splashing water and continues to propagate in the humid temperatures.  It is very common for infected plants to lose their leaves as the holes continue to spread over the leaf and the whole leaf can eventually fall off.  This will leave you with a less desirable looking plant generally through spring and summer.

shot hole fungus

Shot Hole Disease can be very unsightly as the leaves will continue to develop holes and brown.  Sometimes, the leaves will have a rough edge rather than the smooth edge laurels are known for.  The most important thing to remember is to clean up under the plant as it continues to drop leaves.  As with all plants within your landscape, keeping the ground floor clear of excess debris and fallen material will allow for more airflow and an overall neater appearance.  There is nothing worse than a well-manicured bed with a healthy landscape being cluttered with unnecessary debris and fallen leaf material.

Shot Hole Disease is one of those more common issues we come across with at Virginia Green and we want to make sure that with the ever-changing weather patterns and reactions within your lawn and landscape that we are here to answer questions and address any concerns.  If you begin to notice Shot Hole Disease in your laurels, just give us a call.