[Skip to Content]
University of Illinois Extension

Sooty Mold

Numerous genus and species 


3 (1 = rare 5 = annual)  


3 (1 = very little damage 5 = plants killed)  


These fungi grow mostly on insect honeydew. Therefore they grow on any plant where enough honeydew accumulates. Often more than one fungus may intermingle on the same leaf.   


Sooty mold fungi have black mycelium and grow on insect honeydew. The honeydew is excreted by certain types of scales and aphids. The thickness and black intensity can vary with the individual fungus as well as multiple fungi growing together.  

Life Cycle

As long as there is a sufficient amount of honey dew on the plant material, sooty mold fungi have the ability to grow.  


Control most sooty molds by controlling the insects which produce the honeydew.

Filed under plants: Deciduous Trees & Shrubs, Evergreen Trees & Shrubs, Flowers, Small Fruit, Tree Fruit, Turf, Vegetables

Filed under problems: Fungal Disease

More information is available on Hort Answers.