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By Maddy

West Sussex, United Kingdom Gb

Hi there
just to let you know that we've had such warm weather here in the South East that most of my unripe figs have ripened. Spring shrubs are trying to flower and people tell me some birds are nesting. All a bit worrying if we have a severe winter.
Latest problem: I regularly have a problem with a black substance on both my bay tree and my camelia. It looks just like black soot and is quite sticky. I think it is Sooty Mould.

Outide it's not too bad to treat as I can start by hosing, but I still have to spend time wiping every leaf. I normally only have to do this once a year.

However, I now have it on most of the leaves of a huge fiscus that I have in the conservatory (when I bought it it was about 12 inches high and it's now pushing the ceiling.) I can't take it out to spray it and it would be very messy indoors.
I'm prepared to patiently wipe each leaf, but I did this a few weeks ago and it's come back. What is the best thing to hopefully get rid of the problem.

Many thanks



The commonest cause of sooty mould on Camellias is scale infestation - suggest you check the backs of the leaves, all stems and branches on both the Camellia and the Bay for signs of scale insects, though you may find no evidence now at this time of year. Also check your indoor Ficus for scale too. The other cause of sooty mould is aphid infestation - both the scale and the aphids produce honeydew, which encourages sooty mould formation.

21 Nov, 2011


I was about to say the same !! scale insect, you get a sticky substance and it turns sooty, I regulaly have a problem with my lemon tree when I bring it inside the conservatory for the winter, try spraying with Bug Clear and then after a week or so put on your rubber gloves and use kitchen roll soaked in washing up liquid, its messy but you have to keep doing it or the blighters will just end up making the plant look so unsightly you will bin it!!

22 Nov, 2011

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