How to get rid of infestation? on Holly bush

Asked June 16, 2015, 11:34 AM EDT

Sudden onset of Black leaves and branches on Holly bush that is 3 feetx 4 feet tall, about 12 year old. Predominant sun with no pesticides or fertilizer applied. 90% of one plant ha been affected and another one that is perpendicular in placement to #1 has about 20% on bottom.(which was not evident yesterday) In taking pictures, there is a sticky substance I felt touching the leaves. My question is, how to I stop what is happening, and treat what is here. I have read some things on line about washing leaves and bush with soap and water and applying a horticultural oil. What should I do and in what order? Thank you in advance

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

The sticky material is the "honey dew " of an insect called cottony camellia scale, it becomes unsightly when it turns black. Control the insect with insecticidal soap at this time of year. The black material will eventually dissipate with weathering.