How are Indian hawthorns (Rhaphiolepis) looking in your residential and commercial landscapes?
The weather conditions the past couple years across many areas of the South have been rough on these popular plants.
Indian hawthorns are suffering from Entomosporium leaf spot. This is a tough fungus to control. Rainfall and cloudy days in the spring cause fungal buildup. Sanitation (removal of old leaf litter, adding new mulch) is needed in many cases. Spray plants and the area under the plants with mancozeb or another contact fungicide and then follow up in a month or so with a systemic fungicide. It is especially important to “clean up” Indian hawthorn beds during the winter and protect the new foliage growth in the spring from fungal infection.
Also, limit pruning on Indian hawthorn – they do not respond well to frequently pruning. Occasional, light top pruning is okay. Full sun is needed and it is good to allow for air circulation between plants. Fertilize in spring after flowering is complete.
‘Eleanor Tabor’ is a variety with more resistance to leaf spot and it has pale to medium pink flowers. When properly maintained ‘Snow” (aka ‘Snow White’) and ‘Clara’ are the least susceptible white varieties.