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Sooty Mold


Sooty Mold is a fungus. It appears on the upper surface of leaves as black speckles. This fungus grows on honeydew, a sticky secretion left by Aphids, Leaf Mealy Bugs, Scale and Whiteflies. Though Sooty Mold itself is relatively benign, its presence should alert you to the imminent destruction which any honeydew-secreting pest brings with it.

Distinguishing Symptoms

If your African Violet has this symptom, it probably has Sooty Mold. Moreover, it indicates the dangerous presence of a honeydew-secreting pest.


With a soft cloth, use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol to gently remove the Sooty Mold from the leaves. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Next, determine which honeydew-secreting pest has been visiting your Violet. The culprit is most likely either Aphids, Leaf Mealy Bugs, Scale and Whiteflies. Once you have identified the pest, treat accordingly.


Always isolate new plants until you can positively determine that they are not infested with honeydew-secreting insects.

Thoroughly wash hands before handling your plants.

Before repotting, pasteurize soil and disinfect pots with a 10 percent bleach solution, i.e., 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Always isolate new African Violets until you can determine that they are not infested.

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