Powdery Mildew


Powdery mildew fungi seem to be everywhere. They overwinter in plant debris and begin producing spores in the spring. These spores are carried to your plants by wind, insects and splashing water. Conditions that encourage the growth and spread of powdery mildew include: Dampness or high humidity (Not common during rainy seasons or in extreme heat), crowded plantings and poor air circulation.

 

Powdery Mildew is one of the easier diseases to spot, as its symptoms are quite distinctive. Infected plants display white powder-like spots on the leaves and stems. The lower leaves are the most affected, but the mildew can appear on any part of the plant that shows above the ground. As the disease progresses, the spots get larger and thicker as massive numbers of spores form, and the mildew spreads up and down the length of the plant.  Infected leaves shrivel and die. Conditions favoring infection include a dense plant canopy, low intensity light, high nitrogen fertilization, and high relative humidity (although infection can occur at relative humidity of less than 50%). Optimum temperatures for disease development are 68-80° F; infection can occur between 50-90° F.   Under favorable conditions, Powdery mildew develops rapidly; the time between infection and symptom expression can be as short as 3 days and many spores are produced. 

 

If powdery mildew occurs, fungicides like Organocide can be used to stop it.  Organocide is 100% organic and OMRI Listed.  Safe to use around people pets and environment.  Spray on leaves, stems and shoots of the plant, making sure the entire plant is covered.

 

Prevention

 

- Plant in full sunlight in a well drained area.  Watering plants in the morning allows time for water to dry throughout the day, discouraging disease.

 

- Do not crowd plants, air flow discourages mildew growth.

 

- Prune infected plants to get rid of infected parts and increase airflow. If the infestations are severe, remove and destroy the plants that are infected.

 

- Treat plants with organic fungicide before the disease occurs, or as soon as possible in the early stages.