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Pansies and violas may be attacked by various leaf spot diseases that disfigure the plants. Plants in containers and those in the ground can be equally affected.
Pansy leaf spots
Spots and blotches on the leaves of pansies are caused by the fungal pathogens Ramularia lactea, R. agrestis and Mycocentrospora acerina.
Pansies also suffer from downy mildew caused by the fungus-like (Oomycete) organism Peronospora violae.
Symptoms vary, depending on the disease that is to blame;
There are no fungicides available to gardeners with specific recommendations for the control of pansy leaf spots. However, the fungicides tebuconazole (Bayer Fungus Fighter Concentrate), tebuconazole with trifloxystrobin (Bayer Fungus Fighter Plus), and triticonazole (Scotts Fungus Clear Ultra and Scotts Fungus Clear Ultra Gun) may be used on pansies and will probably give useful control of leaf spot diseases. They will not control downy mildew.
Inclusion of a fungicide product does not indicate a recommendation or endorsement by the RHS. It is a list of products currently available to the home gardener.
Fungicides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining fungicides available to gardeners)
Chemicals: using a sprayerChemicals: using safely and effectivelyChemicals: storing and disposing safely
All of these pathogens produce spores on the leaves that are spread by rain over short distances (leaf spots) or by wind over long distances (downy mildew). Mycocentrospora acerina and Peronospora violae also produce tough resting structures in the dead tissues which can contaminate the soil for several years, and the Ramularia spp. probably also do this.
The Ramularia spp. and Peronospora violae only infect pansies and violets, but Mycocentrospora acerina affects a wide range of plants and also causes storage rot in carrots.
Disposing of diseased materialEscallonia leaf spotsImpatiens downy mildewPansy downy mildewPlants to grow with kids: pansyPrimula leaf spots
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