Interestingly, an effective means of preventing and treating powdery mildew is to spray the foliage of your plants daily with water from the hose. Needless to say, it’s also an extremely effective treatment for plants. Powdery mildew can strike in most climates and conditions, but it thrives in warm climates. To treat powdery mildew with milk, mix 1 part milk to 2-3 parts water. If the infection is particularly strong try applying undiluted milk. Similarly, companion planting, and planting pollinator attracting flowers, can encourage beneficial insects and improve the general health of your garden. While these fungicides are effective, many people dislike using the potentially harmful chemicals. Most forms of this fungus developed from the Eryspihe cichoracearum fungus. Stir the solution, making sure that it is thoroughly mixed. Categories Diseases and Pests Tags . Remove the most heavily infected leaves before spraying. Another effective powdery mildew treatment is acetic acid, which is present in vinegar. Pruning overcrowded areas, or just planting sparsely, will help to increase air circulation. Mix 4 tbsp of vinegar with one gallon of water. Luckily, this affliction is also easily treatable with a few simple remedes. The downside is they are really expensive , especially for the home grower. Several different species of fungi can cause it. For example, the powdery mildew that attacks your peas is different from the strain that targets roses. Photo by Pollinator. Additionally, it’s more likely to spread in humid conditions. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. While fungicides won't cure powdery mildew on leaves, it can help stem the spread of the fungi to other leaves or plants. A simple, chemical-free way of controlling aphid infections is to introduce baby ladybugs to your garden. Before we discuss how to make an effective powdery mildew treatment, we’ll first explore what powdery mildew is, exactly. If, like me, you’ve ever grown your own vegetables, herbs, or flowers, you’ll know the challenge of dealing with powdery mildew. Many ornamental and edible plants can suffer from this affliction, though different fungal strains attack different plants. An alternative method is to mix up a solution of 3 tbsp of potassium bicarbonate, 3 tbsp of vegetable oil, and half a teaspoon of castile soap (like fragrance-free Dr. Bronner’s) into a gallon of water. Although powdery mildew can impact a variety of different kinds of plants, each fungal infection is "host-specific," meaning the breed of fungi infecting that plant is specific to that varietal. Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions; the ones presented are organic. UV clean light can definitely be used in a commercial or licensed produced grow operation. When it comes to diseases that may befall your plants, powdery mildew tops the list as one of the most common culprits. In fact, acetic acid has been used to treat fungal infections in human since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Additionally, the fungal spores are spread on the wind or by visiting pollinators. October 25, 2020 September 24, 2020 by Helga George, PhD. These have an unusually high water content, enabling them to infect under drier conditions than most other fungal pathogens. Mark Turner / The Image Bank / Getty Images. Luckily, powdery mildew is not only easy to prevent, but there are also a number of effective powdery mildew treatments. This saps the plants leaves of nutrition and also prevents photosynthesis. Remove the most heavily infected leaves before spraying. Spray this solution onto the affected plants biweekly. While almost no type of plant is immune--unless they're specifically bred resistant hybrids--certain species are more susceptible than others, including lilacs, flowering crab apple trees, phlox, red bee balm plants, roses, squash, cucumbers, and more. Treating Powdery Mildew While removing and destroying all infected plants is the ideal solution, it's not very practical—understandably, few gardeners are willing to sacrifice their peonies or squash every time there is a powdery mildew outbreak. February 26, 2015 at 7:54 PM. Powdery mildew hates water; the only caveat with this method is to do it early in the day so the foliage completely dries before cooler evening temperatures arrive. Learn how to treat powdery mildew here. Growing vulnerable varieties in light areas, away from too much shade, can help to deter powdery mildew. Needless to say, it’s also an extremely effective treatment for plants. If you notice it on a few leaves, remove them from the plant and do not compost them (which can still allow the spores to spread). Powdery mildew is sometimes confused with the similar downy mildew. Apparently, milk’s fungal-killing potential comes from the way it reacts to the sun, producing free radicals that are toxic to the fungus. This solution is prized for its anti-fungal properties, and is growing in popularity amongst many growers. It’s almost impossible to salvage mature plants, so time is of the essence. If you catch it early enough, this disease is easily treated. To make a fungus-killing solution, crush 6 cloves of garlic and mix with 1 ounce of an organic oil, and one ounce of rubbing alcohol. A 2009 study by the University of Connecticut concluded that milk is just as effective than chemical applications (if not moreso) when it comes to treating powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is a common problem in areas that have high humidity. Elizabeth Jones is a freelance writer and editor from Cardiff, South Wales. UV Clean Light is a new technology to treat plants with UV light as a preventative measure and also in treatment for powdery mildew and botrtis from plants. That being said, it does stress the plant, and severe or repetitive infections can weaken the plant, making it more prone to other diseases and insect damage. As the name implies, powdery mildew presents as dusty splotches of white or gray power on the leaves and stems of infected plants. It can affect almost any type of plant, appearing as a white or gray powder. Add the garlic water and mix thoroughly. Home Grow Troubleshooting Last updated August 14-2020 Published October 21-2019. Additionally, powdery mildew can leech important nutrients from the plant, causing its leaves to wither and yellow. In addition, adopting basic good gardening practices will also help to reduce the chances of powdery mildew—or any other disease—from striking. Luckily, there are less drastic measures you can take to rid your garden of these pesky fungi. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener. Stressed plants (from drought, overwatering, or other poor growing conditions) are an invitation to disease.