Sooty Mold #851301

Asked September 26, 2023, 2:24 PM EDT

hello! We recently removed several crepe myrtle trees that had aphid infestations and were covered in sooty mold. Unfortunately, that infestation left many of our plants under/near the canopy also covered in sooty mold. We are looking for a recommendation for best cleaning off the sooty mold and saving as many of the plants as we can. I've attached two pictures. Thank you!

Wake County North Carolina

Expert Response

If your shrubs are deciduous, you can wait for the leaves to fall off and then dispose of the leaves.  If your shrubs are evergreen, sometimes the sooty mold will harden and flake off over time.  Be sure to dispose of any leaves that fall since insects and disease can overwinter in plant debris.  Watch for aphids next spring and treat them as soon as you see them.

You can also use a soap and water mixture to spray on the leaves and then wash it off.  Here is some information on sooty mold and using soap and water to wash it off.

The Plant Doctor - Sooty Mold | Mississippi State University Extension Service (

Thank you for contacting Ask Extension.  If you have additional questions, please contact us.

Cheryl Suffern Replied September 26, 2023, 3:59 PM EDT

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