What Is Sooty Mold? 4 Easy Steps How To Treat Sooty Mold

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
10 min read

Do you have to know how to deal with sooty mold because you’ve been dealing with so many molds recently? Do not be alarmed, because we will discuss how you can securely and appropriately cope with it in this article!

This type of mold is mostly prevalent in the environment outside of your house. In addition to leaves, sooty molds can be found on outdoor furniture, fences, stones, and just about anything else you’ve left outside in the open air and exposed to the elements.

You can tell right away if your backyard is infected with sooty mold by looking at these molds. Sooty molds, like the black soot you see in a chimney or on a car’s exhaust tube, cause harm like bugs and are black.

What Is Sooty Mold?

Several distinct types of fungi feed on the honeydew secretions left behind by insects on plants and other surfaces, causing the growth of sooty mold.

3 Efficient Steps On How To Treat Sooty Mold With Ease - Krostrade

The fungi produce soot-colored mycelial threads as they develop. Depending on the species, these might be little, blotchy spots or larger, black masses that cover vast parts of the leaves or stems, or even the fruit or vegetable crops in some circumstances.

Sooty mold-causing fungus can be extremely complicated. Some fungus can thrive on a wide variety of insects’ honeydew, while others are confined to a small number of plants or insects’ secretions.

Scoias, Cladosporium, Fumago, and Capnodium are some of the most common fungi that generate sooty mold.

Fungi develop spores that can travel through the air or water to infect other plants. This method can be used to transfer small portions of the mycelia from the plant.

The sticky features of most of these fungi aid in their adhesion to the substrate they are invading.

The condition may not be caused by an insect infestation, but rather by the sugars produced and released by the plants.

Trichomes, the specialized hairs on the leaves of plants like hibiscus and black walnut, can emit sugary exudates that promote fungal development.

Damage to Plants

Sooty mold is not an illness; rather, it is a growth on the plant tissue’s outer surface. The host plant is not eaten by the fungi.

Although this is primarily a cosmetic issue, plants can nonetheless be harmed by it.

It’s possible for the fungal growth to become so broad and dark that it prevents the leaves from receiving any sunlight.

Photosynthetic capabilities may be hindered if the leaves are unable to produce appropriate levels of chlorophyll.

As a result, the leaves may wilt, die, and eventually fall off the plants. Sometimes, the plant is wiped out entirely.

As a result, the leaves may wilt, die, and eventually fall off the plants. Sometimes, the plant is wiped out entirely.

Production of Honeydew by Insects

To put it another way, the leaves may wilt and die as a result. As a result, in some circumstances the plant will die outright.

Honeydew can drip from the leaves and coat anything underneath, including other plants, fruit, cars, yard furniture, and pavements, allowing the fungi to colonize these items as well.

Honeydew-producing insects include:

  • Aphids
  • Leafhoppers
  • Mealybugs
  • Psyllids
  • Scales That Are Easy to Handle
  • Whiteflies

The honeydew produced by spotted lanternflies (SLF) can cause significant sooty mold infestations in places inhabited with these insects.

How to Fight Sooty Mold Fungus - Gardening Channel

Symptoms of Sooty Plant Mold Growth

In terms of appearance, sooty mold is exactly what its name suggests it is. There will be black soot all over the twigs, branches, and leaves of your plant. There are a lot of people who think that ashes have been spilled or that the plant has been set on fire when they first encounter this mold.

Most plants infected by this mold development will also be infested by some kind of bug. Some plants, such as gardenias and roses, are more vulnerable to the establishment of this plant mold because they are more susceptible to pest issues.

Treatment Of Sooty Molds

While ordinary mold may be treated with bleach and water, sooty mold demands a different approach than what we’re used to seeing. To get rid of these smoky molds, follow these methods.

Step #1. Identify and eradicate the insects causing the mold

Sooty mold is a sign that something is wrong, and you need to figure out what it is. When insects expel honeydew, a sugary liquid, it produces sooty molds on plant leaves and outdoor furniture.

You must eliminate the sources of the mold’s supplies before tackling the mold itself, in order to deal with the issue once and for all. Aphids, whiteflies, and scale are the most common honeydew-producing insects.

The presence of sooty molds will make it easier to pinpoint the source of the problem since molds attract insects, which are more visible. Once you’ve located and identified the pests, head to an agricultural supply store and pick up some insecticide. Then don your personal protective equipment (PPE) and take care of business.

A mold report might help you speak with a specialist if you think you’ll need one.

Step #2. Wash the infection with soap

After dealing with the bugs, you now have to deal with the sooty molds. Compared to the molds you find on bread or in your kitchen sink, these molds are really unusual.

To describe sooty molds, think of solidified flakes of black scale that attach to your plants and furniture. The leaves can’t produce food because of the sooty molds that block the sunshine, which is why it’s an issue for plants.

Doing so quickly can result in dents and dings, so we recommend removing the solidified sooty mold slowly and methodically. Insecticidal soap and detergent with bleach can be used to treat leaves and wooden buildings, respectively.

Soak the affected regions for about 10 minutes in a soap solution to soften mould.

Step #3. Rinse the soap and mold off

After 10 minutes, the soap solution can be washed away. It’s best to use as little force as possible while dealing with molds on fragile leaves, so that you don’t harm your plant along with them.

You can repeat the operation if the mold has not been removed after the first washing. Repeat this process for as long as necessary if the plant is tender, in order to give it ample opportunity to breathe.

It’s easy to repeat the process if you have a complex object or a mature plant to work with.

You may speed up the cleaning process by scrubbing the molds after they’ve been soaked in soapy water for tough constructions like fences and furniture. If you’re using insecticides or bleach, make sure you wear your gloves and respirators.

Outside the house, there are a number of factors that contribute to the growth of mold.

How to Control Sooty Mold

Sooty mold is an unattractive affliction in residential gardens, but it is unlikely to harm well-established plants in the long run.

The sooty mold will usually go away on its own if you eliminate the insects that create honeydew and keep them under control.

There is no need to use fungicides. There is no guarantee that fungicides will eliminate the black covering on the plant or prevent a repeat outbreak, even if they kill the fungi.

1. Control Insects That Produce Honeydew

The spread of sooty mold can be stopped by using good gardening methods to keep pests out.

A variety of plants can be grown to attract beneficial insects that prey on pests, and integrated pest management strategies can be implemented.

Use insecticidal soap, neem oil, or horticultural oils to rid your garden of honeydew-producing insects.

Insects have a harder time infesting healthy plants. Keeping the garden free of weeds and plant debris, as well as providing enough irrigation, is essential to preventing pests from infesting it.

Insecticides may not be necessary to get rid of the problem.

With aphids, whiteflies, and softscale on a tree branch, it’s as simple as blasting a hose at the pests to remove them.

Insecticidal soap, neem oil, and horticultural oils are more options.

Pruning out the infested region may be an option if the insects are only in a small section of the shrub or tree.

SLF infestations are extremely difficult to eradicate, hence this strategy is usually not an option. ”

How to control Sooty Mould | Yates

2. Wash Sooty Mold Off the Plants

You can remove the black covering from your plants with soap and water if the outbreak isn’t too widespread.

Using a water and home detergent solution is recommended by Dr. Alan Henn of Mississippi State University Extension.

Pour one spoonful of liquid household detergent into one gallon of water to accomplish this. You can use the combination to treat the afflicted sections of your plants. When the detergent solution is completely dissolved, apply a forceful stream of water to rinse it away.

In certain cases, you may have to repeat this multiple times over the period of a few weeks, and it may not be possible in remote areas.

What can you use to kill sooty molds?

Sooty molds can be killed by destroying the source of their growth. While such garden insects are helpful to other organisms and practically don’t cause any significant harm to humans, their proliferation around your home and properties causes problems that would have to be dealt with.


Start by eliminating the source of sooty mould. Despite the fact that these garden insects are beneficial to other organisms and don’t pose a substantial threat to people, their overpopulation around your home and property creates issues that must be addressed.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.