In plants, the activation of immunity is often inversely correlated with growth. Mechanisms that plant growth in the context of pathogen challenge and immunity are unclear. Investigating Arabidopsis infection with the powdery mildew fungus, we find that the Arabidopsis atypical E2F DEL1, a transcriptional repressor known to promote cell proliferation, represses accumulation of the hormone salicylic acid (SA), an established regulator of plant immunity. DEL1 deficient plants are more resistant to pathogens and slightly smaller than wild type. The resistance and size phenotypes of DEL1 deficient plants are due to the induction of SA and activation of immunity in the absence of pathogen challenge. Moreover, Enhanced Disease Susceptibility 5 (EDS5), a SA transporter required for elevated SA and immunity, is a direct repressed target of DEL1. Together, these findings indicate that DEL1 control of SA levels contributes to regulating the balance between growth and immunity in developing leaves.