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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

Click here

Question: Using a hose-end sprayer, I've sprayed aphid-infested crape myrtles with a combination of fish emulsion, compost tea, molasses, and seaweed. I was told the fish emulsion would kill the aphids and help dissipate the black soot and the other 3 components would feed the plants. The aphids are gone, but the plants look bad; they're still blackened, no new growth, a large portion of the leaves are not green. Other large crape myrtles nearby in the same lawn and watering area look very healthy. Any suggestions to help these others back to recovery?

Answer: The damage that aphids do to the leaves on a crape myrtle is not reversible. Those leaves will remain deformed until they are
eventually shed. Normally the tree will grow through the problem with new growth that is not affected. I cannot attest to the efficacy of the material you used to treat the problem. The black sooty substance (mold growing on the excretion of the aphids as shown on the bottom right foliage in the image) will sometimes wash off the leaves and sometimes will remain until the tree sheds those leaves. Your tree should be fine
next year. Give it an early spring application of fertilizer (that used on the lawn should be fine) and watch for the aphids. Treat them as soon
as you see them with a pesticide that is labeled for killing them. The small colonies seen on the bottoms (green surface with no black sooty mold) are eggs of beneficial insects which will feed on the aphids. The white pieces of material are aphid skins. Aphids can be seen as the small, translucent individuals---the most apparent are the aphids near the stem with black sooty mold on the center, left side of the image--you can see their heads and legs.