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Past Articles Library | Plant Diseases & Control | Sooty Mold



 

SOOTY MOLD

The good news about Sooty Mold, a fungus, is that it usually doesn't harm the plants, but it does indicate a serious infestation of piercing-sucking insects like aphid, scale, or mealybug.

 

 

PLANTS MOST AFFECTED

Can affect any plant or tree.

 

 

DAMAGE

Leaves and other plant parts, even tree trunks, show a dark gray or black sooty layer over their surfaces. Sooty mold can be easily wiped off to show healthy tissue below. Sometimes the fungus forms a papery black layer that can be peeled away from the leaf surface. The mold grows on the sugars in the sticky honeydew that is excreted by piercing-sucking insects like aphid, mealybug, whitefly and scale. Fortunately, the mold does not get into the plant's tissues, but it can however, if severe enough to the point where the entire leaf surface is covered, block light to the leaf which can produce poor, stunted growth, or even collapse of the plant. Sooty mold spreads very quickly in warm, moist conditions.

 
 

MEANS OF CONTROL

  • Rinse any sticky leaves with water to wash off honeydew before the mold can grow.

  • If any aphid, mealybug, whitefly, or scale or other sucking insects are seen, employ immediate measures to control populations before they get out of hand.

  • Spray with anti-fungal like Neem oil.



 







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Gardening-tip:



Stressed Plants

When a plant gets stressed either from lack of water, not enough nutrients, or being choked by weeds, they actually emit a different kind of chemical.

That chemical alerts bugs that here is an easy target.

One of the best ways to prevent an attack from insects to begin with, is to keep your plants as healthy, and as weed free as possible.


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