Q: What could cause dieback of our English ivy beds? We have lived in this house for about six years and the groundcover has always been healthy until this past summer.
A: English ivy can be affected by fungal or bacterial leaf spot. Both are associated with moisture on the leaves for long periods, like we had during last year’s rainy spring and summer. The only time I see the problem linger for more than a season is when ivy grows near a stream or when it is regularly irrigated. If your beds are kept dry, the leaf spot will probably not reoccur. If it does, a copper-containing fungicide like Kop-R-Spray will keep it under control.