Q: My Otto Luyken laurel shrubs have numerous small holes in the leaves. The guy at the nursery said the disease is called “shot hole” but wasn’t sure how to control it. Do you know?
A: Shothole is a common bacterial disease on ‘Otto Luyken’, ‘Zabal’ and ‘Schip’ laurel plants. The diseases’s name is descriptive of the symptoms: it looks like someone shot the shrub with a shotgun! Wet leaves seem to make the disease worse, so make sure not to water your plants from overhead. If your shrubs are very close together or near a wall that prevents leaf drying, prune them to enhance air flow.
The fungicide/bactericide Mancozeb or products containing fixed copper are effective against shothole if you choose to spray a pesticide.
Mancozeb is almost impossible to find at garden centers but may be available at Cooper Seeds (toll-free 877-463-6697) in Lawrenceville.
If you can’t find Mancozeb, look for Kop-R-Spray or Kocide instead.
Make sure to read the label and follow the directions completely.