Why do shrubs and trees have black areas?

My friend says his shrubs like hibiscus, privet, as well as orange trees,etc., have black areas on them & look awful. He thinks it is because of white flies. Could that be it? He has tried soap sprays and bug sprays, but still has some...thanks for any help!
Submitted by mailsusanw

Hi,

 

Thanks for writing. Without seeing it, there's no way for me to say for sure. But whiteflies can leave honeydew excretions as they feed. A black fungus called sooty mold often grows on the honeydew. If this is what's causing it, your friend should be able to scrub sooty mold, and honeydew, off the leaves with a soft, wet cloth.

 

---Justin, Senior Garden Editor, BHG.com


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