Crepe Myrtles - Knowledgebase Question

wylie, Te
Question by shadowryder
February 27, 2011
I have black patches on my crepe myrtles. On some of those patches there are white spots. How do I treat this?
BTW, it would be nice to be able to attach pictures. they're worth a 1000 words.

Answer from NGA
February 27, 2011


I agree, a picture is worth a thousand words. We are unable to accept photo attachments through this site but if you can post your pictures on a public website such as Flickr or Shutterfly and send us the link in a new question we can access the pictures and diagnose the problem. With that said, crepe myrtles are susceptible to aphids. When aphids feed they excrete a sticky substance called honeydew. This substance is high in sugar and as it ages it turns black (and is called sooty mold). The sooty mold is on the surface of leaves and branches directly beneath the insect population so you may only see it on part of the tree. It can be scraped off with your fingernail. If this is what you are seeing, you'll need to control the aphids. Insecticidal soap sprays are effective or you can simply hose the leaves off with a strong stream of water anytime you see aphids feeding on the leaves and flowers.

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