Sooty mold is a type of plant mold. It is a type of mold that grows in the honeydew or secretion of many common plant pests, such as aphids or scale. The pests cover the leaves of your plant in honeydew and the sooty mold spore lands on the honeydew and begins to reproduce.
- Black or dark brown, superficial fungal growth on the aerial parts of plants, particularly the upper leaf surfaces
- The amount of growth can vary from a fine soot-like or powdery deposit, to a thick sheet of growth that may crack or peel away from the leaf surface during dry conditions
- The growth can sometimes be washed away, leaving a healthy-looking leaf surface beneath
- Sap-sucking pests such as aphids, scale insects, mealybugs or whiteflies can often be found on the plant, above the point where the sooty mould is growing
- In some cases these insects may occur on plants that overhang those affected with sooty mould
- Ants may also be seen in association with the sap-sucking pests
- Leaves, stems, fruit, etc. where the sooty moulds are growing are contaminated with sticky honeydew
How to prevent:
It isn’t really possible to preventively treat against sooty mold, and when it appears it is immediately recognizable.
There are a few things to do that can reduce the likeliness that this disease would appear.
- Ensure your plant has sufficient nutrients and is well watered. A plant weakened by poor soil or lack of water is a vulnerable plant.
- Increase the diversity of plants and flowers in your garden, it is the best way to protect them naturally from their predators.
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