Question: My crape myrtles look like they have been varnished. The leaves are shiny and sticky. Is there a spray to stop it? Can I wash it off?

Answer: That’s honeydew that drips from areas of aphid activity. Control the aphids with a general-purpose insecticide and you’ll control the honeydew. Left unchecked, the honeydew will give rise to a fungus known as sooty mold. It will turn the leaves black and cause premature shedding as early as late August and September. You could use a hard stream of soapy water to try to wash the honeydew off the leaves and stems.

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