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English Ivy Fungus

By Tarah Damask ; Updated September 21, 2017
English ivy is susceptible to a variety of fungal infections.

English ivy is susceptible to a variety of attacks by different types of destructive fungi. Fungal infections have the ability to severely damage and even kill your English ivy plants. Familiarize yourself with different pathogens, what to look for and effective control methods for maintenance of vigorous plants in the home landscape.


Proper care of your English ivy provides your home garden with vigorous plants that are more likely than weakened ivy to resist or fight off fungus. Grow this evergreen ivy in areas that offer shade, particularly under tree canopies in environments lacking grass, according to the Clemson University Extension. English ivy prefers moist, organic soil rich in nutrients.


Different types of fungus cause different degrees of damage on English ivy. Anthracnose is a type of fungal infection on English ivy usually caused by the fungus Colletotrichum trichellum though C. gloeosporiodes is a less common culprit, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Anthracnose affects leaves and stems. Rhizoctonia root rot is another problem of English ivy caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani that generally attacks root systems.


Anthracnose fungus problems on English ivy result in leaf spots and cankers on stems that appear as round, dying areas of plant tissue in brown, red or black hues. Small growths referred to as fruiting bodies are also present on leaf surfaces. Damage includes leaf drop and the death of shoots, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Rhizoctonia root rot fungus problems include the display of brittle, brown splotches on roots as well as wilted leaves, stunted growth and dieback of plant parts as the root system decays and dies.

Natural Control

For natural control of fungal infections of English ivy, maintain clean and effective care. Water your plants during morning hours and avoid overhead irrigation to prevent standing water that attracts fungi and promotes germination. Remove and destroy infected plant parts to prevent the spread and re-occurrence of disease. When using containers or pots with potting media, always use fresh media and sanitize your tools and containers before use and before potting another plant, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

Chemical Control

For chemical control of English ivy fungus, apply the appropriate fungicides. For anthracnose, use a fungicide with the active ingredient chlorothalonil or azoxystrobin, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. For Rhizoctonia fungus on English ivy, use a fungicide with the active ingredient thiophanate methyl plus iprodione, according to the Kansas State University Extension.


About the Author


Tarah Damask's writing career began in 2003 and includes experience as a fashion writer/editor for Neiman Marcus, short fiction publications in "North Texas Review," a self-published novel, band biographies, charter school curriculum and articles for various websites. Damask holds a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas.