How to Kill Black Mold on Citrus Trees

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Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose

  • Garden sprayer nozzle

  • Water

  • Tea tree oil

  • Grapefruit seed oil

  • Apple cider vinegar

  • Hydrogen peroxide: 30 to 35 percent solution

Tip

Prune your tree after treating if it is in shade or has an excess of foliage. This will help prevent the mold from returning.

Black, or sooty, mold on citrus trees is the result of insects attacking the branches and leaves. As the insects feed on the tree, leavings drop onto the leaves below them and begin secreting a waxy coating as they dry. Black mold also occurs in trees with excess foliage, especially trees in shade. While this mold is not inherently harmful to the tree, mold thickly coating the leaves prevents sun absorption and can cause the plant to sicken. If the tree does not die from lack of sun, it will produce inferior fruit, or no fruit at all. Additionally, mold on the fruit can trap moisture on the peel, causing fungi that will eat away at the fruit. A number of sprays will eliminate sooty mold on your tree. Organic solutions are the best for getting rid of mold. These have no noxious chemicals that may damage fruit or the tree itself.

Step 1

Mix only one of the following: 2 tbsp. of tea tree oil to 2 cups of water, 20 drops of grapefruit seed oil to 2 cups of water, 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to 2 cups of water, or 2 tsp. of hydrogen peroxide to 3 cups of water.

Step 2

Fill a garden sprayer with the chosen mixture. A garden sprayer is a nozzle for your garden hose with a plastic bottle attached to its underside. As you spray, the bottle's contents mix with the water. Turn the nozzle to its widest spraying range to coat the foliage evenly.

Step 3

Spray mixture up into the branches, dampening all the foliage you can reach. Redirect the spray over the top of the tree so the mixture dampens the upper foliage as well.

Step 4

Allow the foliage to soak under the mixture for about two hours. Spray the tree thoroughly twice more. Allow the tree to soak overnight.

Step 5

Rinse the tree thoroughly with water. Most of the mold should come off as the tree is being rinsed. Any of these mixtures will also repel or kill the pests causing the mold.

references & resources

Megan Shoop

Megan Shoop has Bachelor of Arts in English literature and is proficient in both AP and MLA styles. As an editor of her college newspaper for one year, she assisted with copy editing, proofreading and layout design. She also wrote art and movie reviews and articles about campus events.