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Elaeagnus Pungens Disease


By Melrose

United Kingdom Gb

I have a well established hedge of Eleagnus Pungens which is the last two years has been attacked by some sort of bug/disease. There is a miniscule white dust/mite on the leaves and they are quite sticky. Clouds of this comes off if a branch is shaken. The leaves develop a stickly black type o mould and the hedges seems to be dying from the inside out. I have sprayed with various things, fed it and watered, none of which is the norm for Elaeagnus, but nothing has worked and it's dropping leaves so fast - they turn yellow and drop - that I think I'm am going to lose it completely. Any help would be gratefully received.



Spider mites are small, 8 legged, spider-like creatures which thrive in hot, dry conditions (like heated houses). Spider mites feed with piercing mouth parts, which cause plants to appear yellow and stippled. Leaf drop and plant death can occur with heavy infestations. Spider mites can multiply quickly, as a female can lay up to 200 eggs in a life span of 30 days. They also produce a web which can cover infested leaves and flowers.
Prevention and Control: Keep weeds down and remove infested plants. Dry air seems to worsen the problem, so make sure plants are regularly watered,

Most rusts are host specific and overwinter on leaves, stems and spent flower debris. Rust often appears as small, bright orange, yellow, or brown pustules on the underside of leaves. If touched, it will leave a colored spot of spores on the finger. Caused by fungi and spread by splashing water or rain, rust is worse when weather is moist.

Prevention and Control: Plant resistant varieties and provide maximum air circulation. Clean up all debris, especially around plants that have had a problem. Do not water from overhead and water only during the day so that plants will have enough time to dry before night. Apply a fungicide labeled for rust on your plant.

Fungi : Leaf Spots

Leaf spots are caused by fungi or bacteria. Brown or black spots and patches may be either ragged or circular, with a water soaked or yellow-edged appearance. Insects, rain, dirty garden tools, or even people can help its spread.

Prevention and Control: Remove infected leaves when the plant is dry. Leaves that collect around the base of the plant should be raked up and disposed of. Avoid overhead irrigation if possible; water should be directed at soil level. For fungal leaf spots, use a recommended fungicide according to label directions.

11 Jul, 2008


Thanks for that Ken. It isn't spider mite - I fact I can't actually see any insect. The leaves first have a fine layer that looks like white dust. When one rubs it off the leaf it is sticky. Masses of this stuff drop around the bottom of the hedge onto the gravel drive and it is completely black. It's more on the inside, in the dark/shade which is why the hedge seems to be dying from the inside out, all the leaves are dropping from there. At first glance, looking at the outside, the hedge looks healthy and is growing okay apparently.

Lucy Melrose

11 Jul, 2008


My healthy Eleagnus maculata suddenly developed gold leaves on one side and they began to drop off. I have cut back all the affected branches drastically right to the trunk and am hoping that the other side will survive. I gave the shrub (nearly a tree in size) a good feed of blood, fish and bone round its base, having attempted to clear up as many as I could of the fallen leaves.I didn't see any white dust, though. Maybe you could cut off the affected bits? Is that possible?

11 Jul, 2008


what was the outcome of your attempt listed above. I have the same issues. My almost tree sized
Eleagnus just started to lose leaves. I am trying to find out what the problem is and how can I save these hedges. I have numerous Eleagnus around the house, but only two of them are affected.

15 Sep, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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