Growing a Peach fruit tree in your garden gives you the luxury of enjoying homegrown peaches.
But if you do not maintain a good care schedule for your peach tree, it can fall prey to diseases or issues like red spots on the leaves.
Initially, these spots might only disfigure the leaves, but it is important to note that they can impact the fruit production of your peach tree.
This article discusses everything about red spots on peach trees in detail.
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What causes red spots on peach tree leaves?
Red spots on a peach tree are caused by overwatering combined with poor drainage. But red spots can also be caused by chemical toxicity or lack of nitrogen. peach trees are also vulnerable to rust and leaf curl that can cause red spots on the leaves before they start falling from the tree.
Top Reasons for Red Spots on peach tree Leaves
This is the leading cause behind red spots on peach tree leaves.
Overwatering can also kill the root system of the peach tree and reduce the lifespan of this fruit tree.
Overwatering can be easily be avoided by regulating the irrigation system according to the water requirements of the peach tree.
But, don’t forget to monitor the amount of water distributed by the irrigation system as this is important as well.
A mature peach tree requires several gallons of water every day in the growing months of July and August. I would highly recommend adjusting the irrigation system to maintain a steady supply of moisture for a healthy peach tree.
Proper watering will not only maintain the leaf color but also plays an important role in fruit production because Peach fruit contains 87% water.
Potted peach trees need more water than those growing in garden soil, and this means they have high chances of overwatering.
Make sure you water the potting soil only when the soil dries.
Generally, in summer, a potted peach tree needs to be watered every day. But in winter, this frequency reduces to every five days.
The frequency can vary depending on the temperature in your region, rainfall, crop size, and the age of your peach tree.
Improper drainage can also lead to overwatering.
It could also be due to poorly draining soil or container. Always use well-draining soil to avoid trapping unnecessary water in the soil.
Xanthomonas campestris pv.Pruni is a bacteria that causes red spots on peach tree leaves and even infects the fruit.
This disease is also known as the bacterial shot hole, and it’s a common issue for old peach trees.
The reddish-purple leaf spots caused by this bacteria have a white center.
This bacteria can overwinter, and once the temperature reaches 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius), it starts multiplying.
As the infection spreads, the red spots on the leaves will turn into holes which further destroy the appearance of the leaves. The infected leaves can also turn yellow before falling.
If left untreated, the infection can spread throughout the tree and cause early defoliation, which impacts the fruit size and leads to winter damage.
This bacteria spreads via rain splashing and pests. High humidity and wet conditions also contribute to the rapid multiplication of this bacteria.
It’s difficult to treat bacterial leaf spots, but you can use bactericides to suppress the infection on the leaves.
Try to grow Peach varieties that have resistance against bacterial spots.
Some of the resistant varieties are Carolina Gold, Ambergem, Cardinal, Southern Pearl, Challenger, and White County.
Peach Leaf Curl
This leaf curl can infect everything you see on a peach tree; the leaves, fruit, and flowers.
Caused by the Taphrina deformans fungus, the initial stage of infection starts with the leaves thickening before curling. The leaves will also change color — red then yellow.
Infected leaves will finally start shedding if the fungus is not treated timely.
This leaf curling and spotting can weaken the whole fruit tree and even affect the quality of the fruit.
Just like bacterial leaf spots, Peach leaf curl is also difficult to treat.
But, you can save your peach tree if you apply fungicides before the buds break. You should also spray the tree with horticulture oil to kill the fungus or any pests hiding.
This is caused by Tranzschelia discolor, a fungus that spread through air pores.
peach trees growing in wet, warm regions are more vulnerable to rust because the fungus grows in warm conditions.
The water sitting on the leaves after rainfall or watering can also contribute to the growth of rust.
Leaves of an infected peach tree will develop lesions that are yellow on the upper portion of the leaves and red or brown near the tip of the leaves.
Avoid leaving water on the foliage for too long. Improve the airflow around the tree by spacing the trees properly and pruning them regularly.
You can also take the help of fungicides to destroy the fungus and infected spores. Make sure you use a sulfur-based fungicide.
Nitrogen deficiency is always associated with pale green leaves, but it can vary from one plant to another.
If your peach tree leaves have red spots and the tree starts shedding the leaves, it’s suffering from a lack of nitrogen.
Nitrogen deficiency can also be caused by root rot because infected roots cannot absorb the nutrients from the soil even if they are available.
But, before you decide to add nutrients to the soil, I highly suggest checking the plant for root rot first.
Once you are sure that your peach tree is not suffering from root rot, fertilize your peach tree with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
Test the soil regularly to make sure your fruit trees are not suffering from any nutrient deficiency, especially in the growing months.
Chemical toxicity caused by copper can also lead to necrotic or red spots on a peach tree. The foliage can also develop holes.
Avoid using harmful chemicals for fruit trees. If necessary, apply the chemicals only at the beginning of the season to prevent toxicity.
Frequently Asked Questions about red spots on peach tree leaves
How to avoid red spots caused by bacterial spots?
The best solution is to grow bacterial spot-resistant varieties, especially if you are a home gardener. The bacteria spreads fast in trees with poor nutrition, so make sure your peach tree is well fed. Nematodes can play a role in the spread of bacterial infection; therefore, treat them as soon as possible if found near your peach tree.
How to differentiate between red spots caused by peach rust and peach curl?
If the leaves have developed yellow and red spots at the same time, it’s Peach rust. If the leaves show red spots that later turn yellow, it’s Peach curl.
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.