Mold on shrubs - Knowledgebase Question

W. Hempstead, Ne
Question by garden0305
March 29, 2010
My rhodes have black mold all over the leaves and bark. My gardener sprays 2-3 times a year. Now what?

Answer from NGA
March 29, 2010


I think the mold deserves some careful inspection. If your rhodies have insects such as scale or mealybugs feeding on the undersides of the leaves the black you see is probably sooty mold. This can usually be scraped off the leaves or washed off with soapy water. When sucking insects feed on the fluids of the plant they exude a sticky substance called honeydew which can weather and turn black. So the first step is to identify the insects responsible for the sooty mold. Once you've found them and identified them you can use an insecticide that targets that particular insect. If you or your gardener cannot identify the insect pests, collect a few in a plastic baggie at take them into your local extension office or well staffed nursery for help. Then ask them to recommend a good control strategy.

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