Black mold on my crepe myrtle
Last summer, my newly planted shrub variety crepe myrtle Developed a black mold or fungus which prevented it from Blooming. It was over the entire plant-trunk, branches leaves And buds. I treated it several times with a Bayer product for mold And fungus but it still remains completely black. Should I cut The plant way back this spring to remove all the disease?
Worcester County Maryland
We suspect your crape myrtle had powdery mildew. Do not try to prune it off (though you can prune off any old dried up flower heads.)
Read through this page on powdery mildew: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/powdery-mildew-trees-and-shrubs
If you have a susceptible variety of crape myrtle, this could be a yearly problem, in which case replace it. You can also try spraying at the first hint of powdery mildew but prevent build-up of disease. But consider whether you want to do that when there are plenty of good disease-resistant varieties to be found.