The term “powdery mildew” actually refers to an entire group of fungi, each one attacking different types of plants.
It usually starts with a few round white or grayish spots that you can rub off with your finger. They spread and join until the entire top leaf surface is covered, then it moves on o the underneath, stems, flowers, and fruit.
What is Powdery Mildew?
There are many different species of the fungal disease powdery mildew, and each species attacks a variety of different plants.
When the fungus begins to take over one of you plants, the mildew that forms is made up of many spores. These spores carry the infection to other plants through the wind.
Powdery mildew can slow down the growth of your plant. In some cases, if the infections is severe enough, powdery mildew can kill your plants.
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- Plants infected with powdery mildew look as if they have been dusted with flour.
- Powdery mildew usually starts off as circular, powdery white spots, which can appear on leaves, stems, and sometimes fruit.
- Powdery mildew usually covers the upper part of the leaves and affects the older leaves first; the leaves turn yellow and dry out.
- The fungus might cause some leaves to twist, break, or become distorted.
- Rubbing the infected leaves together can help partially remove the disease from your plants.
- Remove all the infected plant parts and destroy them. Remember, do not compost any infected plant, as the disease can still be spread by the wind.
- Spray infected plants with fungicides. Effective fungicides for powdery mildew treatments or cures include sulfur, lime-sulfur, neem oil, and potassium bicarbonate.
- Choose plants that are resistant or tolerant to powdery mildew.
- Powdery mildew thrives in hot and humid weather, so avoid overhead watering to reduce humidity. Also selectively prune overcrowded areas to increase air circulation; this also helps reduce humidity for your plants.
- Spray your plants with fungicides according to their directions. If you don’t want to use fungicides, try spraying your plants with a solution of 1 tsp of baking soda in 1 quart of water. Remember to spray your plants thoroughly.