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How to Cure Black Spots on a Red Tip Photinia

By Kimberly Johnson

The Red Tip photinia is an evergreen bush that is a close relative of the rose and gets its name from the red coloring of the tips of the stems. The bush is often used as a hedge or privacy screen and can reach between 10 and 15 feet tall. Because it is related to the rose, it is also susceptible to black spot disease, which exhibits itself as a black mottled coloring on the leaves.

Rake up any mulch, dead leaves and other material underneath the photinia bush, since it is most likely infected with the black spot fungus. Place all of the material into a trash bag to dispose of it so as not to spread the infection to other areas of the yard. Clean the rake with rubbing alcohol.

Replace the mulch with a thin layer of pea gravel, which will assist with drainage and protect the roots from the hot summer sun and cold winter temperatures.

Locate any stems of the bush that are heavily covered in black spots and prune them off at the main vertical stem or at the ground using hand pruners. Soak a rag in rubbing alcohol and wipe the blades of the pruners in between each cut to disinfect them. Dispose of all clippings in the trash.

Spray all remaining stems and leaves of the Red Tip photinia with a fungicide spay designed for black spot. Saturate all surfaces of the plant until they are wet.

Repeat the application of the fungicide at least once per week, or until no more black spots are detected. If your area is experiencing a rainy period, continue spraying until the weather becomes drier.


Things You Will Need

  • Rake
  • Trash bag
  • Pea gravel
  • Hand pruners
  • Rag
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Fungicide spray


  • If your Red Tip photinia bushes are located near roses, begin spraying the roses with the fungicide as a preventative treatment against the black spot fungus.


  • Follow all safety precautions listed on the fungicide container.

About the Author


Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.