English ivy is a woody vine, also known as a climber, that is native to the eastern, midwest and western parts of the United States, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. The vine is used both in container gardening and for ground cover. The plant is susceptible to both bacterial leaf spot and fungal leaf spot as well as leaf scab.
Bacterial Leaf Spot
Bacterial leaf spot is the most common English ivy disease, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service. The ivy is susceptible when it is planted in a shaded, wet area. Bacteria enters through a stolon on the plant, spreading quickly throughout and then moving from plant to plant through the soil and in plant debris. To treat bacterial leaf spot, a multi-pronged strategy must be used, consisting of: controlling pests, cultivating disease-free plants, eliminating practices such as overhead watering, removing and destroying all diseased plants immediately and adhering to regular maintenance program that includes fertilizer application.
Fungal Leaf Spot
Fungal leaf spot is caused by a fungus that germinates in water droplets on the leaves, spreading to the rest of the plant, according to the University of Florida. Treatment consists of ensuring the leaves are as dry as possible and to water only the roots of the plant. Other good practices include removing diseased plants as soon as possible and controlling pests that may spread the disease. Use of fungicide is also recommended.
Leaf scab presents as dry, raised spots on the leaf, often combining into one large spot. Caused by a different fungus than fungal leaf spot, leaf scab can be controlled by removing diseased leaves, targeted watering of the roots, thinning the ivy to reduce overgrowth, avoiding any standing water on the leaves and the use of fungicide on a regular schedule, according to the University of Illinois Extension.