Camellia: Sooty mold (Black mold)

categories: Camellia Camellia Diseases Ornamentals Shrubs

revision date: 2022-11-30 12:00

Sooty mold on camelia leaf.
Camellia sooty mold (black mold)
Photo by: R.S. Byther


Sooty mold is a fungal growth often found on plants infested with honeydew-producing insects, such as aphids and scales. The fungus does not attack the plant but simply grows on the honeydew. Sooty mold typically causes little damage to plants, though it may become an aesthetic problem. Very heavy mold coverings on leaves can interfere with photosynthesis and cause some plant decline.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Control insect pests which secrete honeydew, including aphids, cottony camellia scale, and brown soft scale.
  • Wash honeydew from plants with a strong stream of water. Choose a time when leaves will dry quickly.
  • Hand-wipe leaves to remove extremely heavy coverings of sooty mold.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • None recommended