Plant Pests

Asked May 15, 2017, 10:48 AM EDT

Hello, I live in Rockville, MD and have both a 5 foot persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) tree and a trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) vine. Both seem to afflicted with different pests/diseases. For the persimmon, newer leaves towards the ends of the branches tend to be curled up, and when I unroll them, the underside of the leaves are slightly sticky and covered with small white insects. For the honeysuckle, right before the buds burst open to reveal the flowers, they start turning black, and upon closer examination you can see small white bugs. Not sure if the blackness is caused by the bugs or if it is a combination of both pest and disease. Attached are images, the first of the persimmon and the second of the honeysuckle. I chose both plants because they are native and were thought to have higher than usual resistance to pests and diseases. Any light you could shed on what is going on and how I could take steps to make the situation better in both cases would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much. ~

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Aphids can be common on persimmon and honeysuckle vine. However, the species of aphids are different. Aphids are sucking insects which excrete a honeydew as they feed which creates the growth of a black sooty mold.

The photo of the honeysuckle shows some parasitized aphids which means they are being controlled by beneficial insects. Aphids are more an issue early in the season as the beneficial insects are not active yet. With a return to warmer weather we will start seeing more beneficials at work and they reduce aphid populations naturally.
You can spray the plants with a strong spray of water from your hose but otherwise No control is necessary. Monitor the growth of the plants throughout this growing season.