Large Peace Lily has Black Soot on Leaves

We have had this plant many years, repotted it 3/4 years ago. It sits on our roofed and screened south-side patio. Within the last six months it has gotten a black soot-like substance that falls off on the carpet around the base of the pot. We could use your advice to get rid of the soot. Thank you, Ron and Karen

Hi Ron & Karen,

It sounds like your plant has Sooty Mold. Sooty Mold is a form of fungus that grows on the sugary honeydew secreted by Aphids, scales, whitefly, and other insects that suck the sap from plants. Sooty Mold is an unsightly black powder that can quickly coat the leaves of a plant in just a few weeks. The fungus itself doesn’t really harm the plant; it just ruins the plant’s appearance. Sooty Mold can be prevented by getting rid of the insects that secret the honeydew that attracts the Sooty Mold. So the question is, have you seen any insects?

If it were my plants, I would spray the entire plant with the green solutionIf you don't want to use a commercial chemical product to treat plant pest problems try the “Green Solution.” This is a mixture of water, alcohol, biodegradable liquid soap, and mineral oil. Always test any spray on one or two leaves to be sure it won’t damage the plant. Depending upon how severe the infestation is, you can use these ingredients in varying proportions. If there are only a few pests, dip a Q-tip in alcohol and gently swab them off. For a more widespread problem, start by using a spray of warm water mixed with a few tablespoons of biodegradable soap. If that doesn’t cure the problem, make a solution using 8oz. water & 8oz. alcohol, add two tablespoons of biodegradable soap and two tablespoons of mineral oil. Spray all areas of the plant. Use this solution on leathery leafed plants (except palms), never on fuzzy leafed plants like African Violets or Begonias. For palms, omit the alcohol from the Green Solution. Never spray a plant that’s sitting in the sun or one with very dry soil.    . You can read about how to make this in the Glossary of the website. The green solutionIf you don't want to use a commercial chemical product to treat plant pest problems try the “Green Solution.” This is a mixture of water, alcohol, biodegradable liquid soap, and mineral oil. Always test any spray on one or two leaves to be sure it won’t damage the plant. Depending upon how severe the infestation is, you can use these ingredients in varying proportions. If there are only a few pests, dip a Q-tip in alcohol and gently swab them off. For a more widespread problem, start by using a spray of warm water mixed with a few tablespoons of biodegradable soap. If that doesn’t cure the problem, make a solution using 8oz. water & 8oz. alcohol, add two tablespoons of biodegradable soap and two tablespoons of mineral oil. Spray all areas of the plant. Use this solution on leathery leafed plants (except palms), never on fuzzy leafed plants like African Violets or Begonias. For palms, omit the alcohol from the Green Solution. Never spray a plant that’s sitting in the sun or one with very dry soil.     will kill the bugs and also clean off the black mold. Here is what sooty moldSooty Mold is a form of fungus that grows on the sugary honeydew secreted by aphids, scales, the whitefly, and other insects that suck the sap from plants. Sooty Mold is an unsightly black powder that can quickly coat the leaves of a plant in just a few weeks. The fungus itself doesn't really harm the plant; it just ruins the plant's appearance. Sooty Mold can be prevented by getting rid of the insects that secret the honeydew that attracts the Sooty Mold. looks like.

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Let me know what you think.