New to gardening in Charlotte - need help! Bug, etc

Waxhaw, NC(Zone 7a)

I recently moved to Charlotte from PA and started gardening a few months ago. I chose what I thought were disease and bug resistant plants. At least that is how they were advertised. First, my serviceberry. I bought it 1st week of May, and little by little the leaves developed brown spots, yellowed and fell off. At first I thought it was transplant shock, but after much research, I determined it was rust. By yesterday it had such a severe rust problem that literally every leaf was affected. I cut everything off and now have a bunch of 2-3 foot sticks. I am thinking of returning it, but if they won't take it back, should I spray it now with a fungicide before it leafs out again? I love serviceberry trees - I have always wanted one. Please don't tell me I can't grow one in Charlotte. I am attaching photos. Next - my fig trees, blackberry bush, kokusa mulberry tree, tomatoes, zucchini, cantalopes, etc..... are covered with what I think are some kind of pest or pest debris. At first I thought it was just dirt that splashed and stuck on the plants from the wind and the rain. I don't think so anymore. In addition to the pests, the mulberry leaves are getting blotchy (light and dark green, perhaps headed towards yellow) and some of the leaves are bumpy and look deformed. I am attaching pictures of all this. I really, really need help! I'm so overwhelmed - this all happened in the last month! The trees and plants were birthday gifts from my husband. I am out there every day with my neem/dish detergent/water spray. It rinses the pests off the plants, but they are soon back. I won't even say much about the japanese beetles on my fuyu persimmon. I'm out there with my bucket of soapy water. Any advice/suggestions appreciated. I have more photos, but I could only attach 5. I hope these are good examples.

Thumbnail by Shihtzumama1 Thumbnail by Shihtzumama1 Thumbnail by Shihtzumama1 Thumbnail by Shihtzumama1 Thumbnail by Shihtzumama1
FU, United States(Zone 9b)

Spray your plants with a hard spray from your hose once a week. Then spray them with 'Garden Safe' Insect spray.
If that does not work after a month, then water the soil around your plant with a solution of 'Bayer Advanced Liquid', (only once a month, for only two months in a row). Things should improve.

This message was edited Jul 5, 2014 3:38 AM

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

You have a huge infestation of Aphids, green / white and black flies, these all are foliage suckers as they feed of the underside of the leaf.
I use Kitchen washing-up- soap diluted in warm water, spray this onto the underside of the leaves either early morning or early evening before or after the hot sun.

Good advice about blasting the leave with the hosepipe, this normally shifts these pests but the soap kills them off.

There appears to be a huge increase in aphids this year, my garden has had a really big outbreak and I think it's because we have4 had a longer than usual warm spell, in fact, I've got Tomato seedlings growing in my veg beds, never ever been able to grow outdoor Tomato's, although these seedlings wont produce fruits, they are doing well, we begin to cool down here around August and the seedlings cant grow, make flowers / fruit in that space of time, anyway I diverse.

As you are new to gardening, you will learn to go outdoors and lift up some leaves all the time and this helps you to get to know sooner what the plants are doing, how healthy they are and are they needing water, feed, soil forking to break the crust off the top soil or whatever. but be aware, these aphids breed, suck feed and die all within a few days, so a hundred white flies or other Aphids you find one day, will be a multitude by the end of the week so it's important to be very vigilant at all times early season.

I'm sure with the soap mix you will note a huge decline in the Aphids infestation, you just need to keep the spraying up and don't let these bugs take over again or the plants will weeken and maybe NOT recover.

Hope this helps you out and you get this under control.
Best regards.

Springfield, OR(Zone 8a)

Shihtzumama1, I just wanted to say, you have a good chance of getting this under control if you are vigilant. The infestation you show is NOTHING! compared to what I had in one bed last year. I can't imagine what WeeNel would have called mine if she'd seen pics! So take heart. :~)

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