Golden Bamboo - Knowledgebase Question

McKinleyville, CA
Avatar for abquilts
Question by abquilts
August 23, 2010
Hi again, I have a new problem for you. I have a Golden Bamboo in a pot. It's been in the pot for about 4 years. I was watering it yesterday and I noticed that some of the leaves have a dark substance on them. It looks like black smudge. Not on all the plant, but some of the leaves. I know you know what it is, so let me know, too.

I love you guys, and thanks, Alix

Answer from NGA
August 23, 2010
The black substance is probably sooty mold, especially if it is just on the surface of the leaves. Sooty mold is the result of insect feeding. In the case of Golden Bamboo, I suspect mealybugs or scale insects. These pests feed by sucking the fluids out of the plant tissues and as they do they excrete a sugary substance called honeydew. When the honeydew ages and turns black, it's called sooty mold.

You can locate and peel off the insect pests (they're firmly attached) or you can use a systemic insecticide such as Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub Insect Killer. Be sure to apply according to label directions. Double check the label to make sure it is registered for use on golden bamboo.

Good luck with your project~

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