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Past Articles Library | Plant Diseases & Control | 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.




Can affect any plant or tree.




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.



  • 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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Check Light Availability

Most shrubs can grow in both sun and shade to varying degrees.

Many flowering shrubs, however, tend to need some sun to flower.

Be sure to double check the amount of light you have available to the shrubs you are planning to plant so you are happy with the outcome.

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