Five types of fungus can cause ivy leaf spot: Colletotrichum trichellum, Amerosporium, Glomerella, Phyllosticta and Ramularia. Amerosoprium is the most common leaf spot fungus affecting ivy, according to Mississippi State University.
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Leaf spot fungus looks like brown to black splotches on ivy leaves and discolouration of the edges. The spots continue to grow and darken in colour, growing more black, until the leaves fall off.
As individual ivy leaves succumb to leaf spot and fall off, the stems begin to shrivel and turn black. The fungus causes branches to die off and continues to affect new growth as it moves along the stem.
Moist or wet weather can induce the fungus that causes black leaf spot.
The best way to prevent the leaf spot fungus from developing is to keep the ivy leaves dry. To promote dry ivy leaves, water plants in the morning so the moisture will burn off during the day.
The American Ivy Society notes that copper-based fungicides can be used to cure plants affected with black leaf spot. Check with your county extension office for a list of approved fungicides for your area.
In addition to the fungal leaf spots that blacken ivy leaves, bacterial leaf spot can strike ivy plants. The bacterial leaf spot has similar signs, but blotches tend to display yellow or red colours rather than the blackish-brown of fungal leaf spot.
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