black leaves - Knowledgebase Question

Winter Springs, Fl
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Question by sp3939
September 26, 2010
Have a crape myrtle tree and the leaves are turning black. What can I do. Thanks

Answer from NGA
September 26, 2010
It sounds like sooty mold, which is not a disease but the results of insect feeding. When aphids or other sucking insects feed they excrete a sitcky substance called honeydew. The sugar content of this excrement is just high enough to encourage fungal growth which is the black that you see on the stems, leaves, bark and flowers. If you eliminate the insects, the sooty mold will weather away. Insecticidal soap sprays are effective against aphids. Good luck with your crape myrtle!

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