Most gardeners will have to cope with powdery mildew sooner or later. Some plants, such as lilacs, roses, and grapes, are more prone to the fungal infection. Luckily, it is rarely fatal if caught early and treated. Powdery mildew in your garden might look unsightly but it is treatable.
What is Powdery Mildew?
Powdery mildew is a fungal infection that thrives in dry and warm weather. Your plant will show signs of splotchy white or gray that appears powdery. The spots usually develop on the leaves and stems of the plant but can also cover blooms and fruit in severe cases. The fungal infection can also take hold of the underside of the foliage. Interestingly, powdery mildew might all look the same but there are several powdery mildew fungi and they are mostly host-specific. The fungi that infect your lilacs will not spread to your grapes or roses.
What Does Powdery Mildew Do to a Plant?
A plant that is covered in powdery mildew will start to feel stressed and may weaken which makes it susceptible to insect attack and other diseases. The powdery mildew also effectively leeches the nutrients from the plant which causes the foliage to yellow and wither. If the entire surface of the leaf is covered with powdery mildew, then the fungus will hinder the plant’s ability to photosynthesize sunlight. Without successful photosynthesis, a plant cannot produce enough sugars which will have a dramatic impact on how fruit and vegetables taste. Buds that are attacked by powdery mildew will also not open into flowers or the blossoms will have a deformed appearance.
What Causes Powdery Mildew?
As mentioned, periods of dry, warm weather lead to powdery mildew. The fungi are everywhere. The spores overwinter in yard debris such as leaves. In the spring, the fungi produce an abundance of spores. The wind, water, and insects spread the spores. When the climatic conditions are right, the mildew starts to spread.
Overcrowding plants leads to poor air circulation between plants which causes the foliage to remain moist. The conditions are ideal for powdery mildew to take over and spread. Soon, you will start to notice the telltale spotting on the plant that indicates a powdery mold infection.
Controlling Powdery Mildew
Remove the infected portions of the plant and destroy them to reduce the spread of the fungus. Humboldts Flower Shield will not only kill soft-bodied insects such as mites and their eggs but also control powdery mildew on your plants. Weekly applications control powdery mildew without harming the environment or your plant. The formula is a natural insecticide and fungal treatment that is ideal for all your garden plants.
Ideally, you should always strive to prevent powdery mildew on your garden plants by improving air circulation by pruning and thinning. Also, do not overfertilize too much because powdery mildew loves new succulent growth. Try to never water your plants from above because such a practice can easily spread the fungal spores. Instead, use a soaker hose or some other irrigation method.
Please contact Humboldts to learn more about Flower Shield and how it can eliminate powdery mildew from your garden.