What is Powdery Mildew?
Powdery mildew is one of the most common and recognizable plant diseases. It’s at its worst when the weather is warm and dry, and affects just about any plant: cereals and grasses, vegetables, flowers, weeds, shrubs, fruit trees, and broad-leaved shade and forest trees. There are many plants that have become resistant to powdery mildew, but for those that aren’t, it can really be a pain.
What Does Powdery Mildew Look Like?
There are many types of powdery mildew fungi, and they all have similar affects on plants. Patches of white to grayish, talcum powder-like growth characterize powdery mildews. Tiny spherical fruiting structures (first white, then yellow-brown and finally black) can show up alone or in a group. These are the overwintering bodies of the fungus. The disease is most commonly observed on the upper side of the leaves, but it also infects the undersides of leaves, young stems, buds, flowers and young fruit. Infected leaves will most likely become distorted, turn yellow with small patches of green, and fall prematurely. Infected buds more than likely won’t open at all.
How Does Powdery Mildew Affect Plants?
Many factors will determine just how serious a case of powdery mildew is: variety of the host plant, age and condition of the plant and weather conditions during the growing season. Powdery mildews are the most severe in warm, dry weather because, unlike most fungi, it needs a wet leaf surface for the infection to begin. However, the humidity of the air must be high for spore germination. This means that the disease is pretty common in crowded plantings where the air circulation isn’t too great and it’s damp, and shady. The risk of infection escalates as relative humidity rises to 90 percent, but it won’t happen when leaf surfaces are wet, such as when it rains. Young, succulent growth is usually more susceptible than older plant tissues. Powdery mildew can seriously harm flowering crops such as squash, pumpkins, cyclamen and reiger begonia, but it isn’t as harmful to other plants such as lilac and oak.
Making yourself familiar with powdery mildew and how it affects your plants is the first step in getting rid of it or just completely avoiding it in the first place. By using Pure 3-Way or Kapow on your indoor plants, you are able to tackle the powdery mildew and take it down without harming your plant. The natural ingredients in these fungicides protect your plants and the rest of the environment as well – so you don’t have to worry about your children or pets being harmed! Pure 3-Way and Kapow incorporate lemon grass oil, which is an excellent natural anti-fungal. It’s difficult to get rid of powdery mildew, but these products will help you prevent it in the first place.