leaf damage - Knowledgebase Question

weeki wachee, Fl
Avatar for rjomartin
Question by rjomartin
October 14, 2010
my grape myrtle's leaf are black and curled with white white flecks (white flies?)can this shrub be salvaged and if so, how? thanks rose

Answer from NGA
October 14, 2010
The black coating on the leaves is called sooty mold and it is a result of insects such as aphids and white flies feeding on the fluids within the tissues of the leaves and stems. The curling is also a result of these insect pests feeding on the leaves. To control both problems you must control the insects. White flies are difficult to control because they fly away as soon as they are disturbed. But, you can try two things: first, prune off all the curled leaves; then spray with insecticidal soap to control the insect pests. You'll have best success if you spray in the early morning or at dusk, when the whiteflies are at rest. Repeat sprays will be necessary. Best wishes with your project!

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