Pest of the Month: Leaf Spot on Ornamental Plants

If you're seeing brown or black spots on the leaves of your plant or the blades of your grass, you have an infection. Symptoms of bacterial leaf spot may include black-edged lesions, brown spots with yellow halos, or just light and dark areas on the foliage.

What is Leaf Spot Disease?
The main symptom of leaf spot disease is spots on foliage. The spots will vary in size and color depending on the plant affected, the specific organism involved, and the stage of development. Spots are most often brownish, but may be tan or black. There are many leaf spot diseases that occur on a wide range of native and ornamental trees and shrubs. This disease can spread like wildfire from leaf to leaf, or even plant to plant. This can occur due to a variety of environmental factors, and unfortunately, is a frequent plant-killer.

What causes leaf spot disease?
Although leaf spots can be caused by air pollutants, insects and bacteria, most...

Pest of the Month: Asian Cycad (Sago Palm) Scale

When hearing the word “scale,” someone might think of scales on reptiles. It is not that far off for comparison. Cycad scales grow under a wax covering resembling reptilian scales.

There are many species of plant-scale insects. Asian cycad is one of the most common scale insects that infect the Sago Palms by feeding on the bottom of the fronds. These insects are flat and oval and are commonly tan, white, or brown. Scale insects are tiny, as tiny as a pinhead.

Over time Cycad scale will cover the entire plant stems, trunks, and foliage.
The eggs hatch under these scales and become larva or crawlers.

How does the scale cause damage?
Scale insects, specifically the crawlers, suck sap from the Sago Palm. As the crawlers feed on the sap of the plant,  it excretes a sticky substance called honeydew.
This honeydew attracts ants,...

Why does my Crape Myrtle tree have black mold on the leaves?

One of the most common plants in Gainesville landscapes are the Crape Myrtle tree or dwarf shrub, known for their beautiful summer colors. Their pink, white, red, and purple flowers brighten north Florida landscapes throughout the late spring, summer, and early fall. However, they are also known for getting a black sooty mold covering the leaves that may leave you wondering, "why does my crape myrtle have mold?"

The black covering isn't a mold, fungus, or disease  - it's actualy the symptom of a Gainesville landscape pest-  the crape myrtle aphid.

To control these Gainesville lawn pests (Crape Myrtle Aphids), we recommend one of three ways. However none of these will remove the sooty mold - just the pest causing the sooty mold. The black discoloration will go away as it drops it's leaves and regenerates growth in the spring.

1 - If it's late enough in fall and the...