I was outside perusing my gardens the other day , and to my utter dismay noticed that I have an issue growing!
Powdery Mildew has made it’s ugly appearance in my flower beds! Now…I at first was convinced that the white residue on the leaves of my plants was nothing more than a run off of dust or paint from the siding of my house. The house is white….and we have had some work done on it recently and I thought maybe, just maybe it was the residue of the white building product that the contractors had used, that was settling on my leaves. Sadly…I was mistaken.
I took some time to spray down the entire side of the house to rid it of any remaining “dust” and sprayed the leaves of the plants…removed many of the affected leaves and waited. I now know it was not a construction dust issue…but instead a mildew issue!
As the name implies, powdery mildew appears as powdery splotches of white or gray, on the leaves and stems of plants. It is most noticeable on the tops of the leaves, but powdery mildew can also affect the lower leaf surface, stems, flowers and buds.
Although this affliction is unattractive, it is rarely fatal to your plants… However it does stress the plant and unless measures to treat it are taken, it will weaken the plant.
Powdery mildew fungi are host specific, which is a good thing. This means that the powdery mildew growing on my Dahlias will not spread to my Hydrangeas…etc. However all powdery mildews enjoy the same conditions, and no plant is safe!
Powdery mildew fungi seem to be everywhere. The spores winter and start to grow from plant debris and then are carried by the wind, insects and splashing waters. The powdery mildew will thrive in Damp areas, crowded plantings and areas with poor air circulation.
If you notice this problem on your plants, you will need to take a few simple measures to attempt to control the problem.
Baking soda is an inexpensive and easy way to control powdery milder on plants. This remedy is most effective as a preventative measure, as it offers minimal benefits after your plants are infected…but in my case, I think it is worth a try. Weekly spraying of vulnerable plants can greatly reduce the appearance of this nuisance in your garden.
This is the baking soda recipe that I found online: simply mix together:
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda
- ½ teaspoon of liquid soap
- 1 gallon of water
Mix only the amount of this remedy that you will want to use as it is not recommended to be stored. It is also possible that this mixture will burn the leaves of your plants, so it may be best to test on a small area first.
I am off to try to test this…and to remove a large part of my beautiful Dahlias from my gardens…in order to protect the rest from infection. There I going to be some bare spots!!! All I can say is that at least it is just about the end of my growing season, and we are expecting frost any time now, so I am not heartbroken and stuck with huge empty spots in my garden for the entire year.
I hope to see you again soon for the weekly Fertilizer Friday Flaunt!
*)*)*) You may not always end up where you thought you were going but you will always end up where you were meant to be
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.
Until Next Time…Happy Gardening.