Plants get sick just as we do. Basically, the same types of organisms act as the pathogens but in differing degrees. In plants, fungi are the causative agent in the vast majority of diseases. Perhaps as much as 90% of all diseases common to plants are caused by these microscopic, spore producing organisms.

Bacteria are responsible for a handful of diseases. The most important to home landscapes is probably fireblight which is a serious disease of members of the Rosaceae Family including ornamental pears (Pyrus), firethorn (Pyracantha) and mountain ash (Sorbus).

Viruses cause a few diseases with the most serious being so-called "yellows" diseases. They also cause growth distortion and leaf mottling in hostas, roses and others.

Here are some topics on common diseases of landscape plants:

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

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