Monday, December 5, 2011
The fungus is most common in the foggy,humid days of spring and fall clearing up with the advent of warmer weather or the chill of winter.
Some plants are very prone to powdery mildew and it requires spray to help contol the disease on those plants- Squash, Zinnias, Hollyhocks,the older Rose hybrids and Dahlias are some plants that spring to mind.
Plants that are in areas of poor air circulation, the wrong light for the plant or overly humid areas can become so diseased that the plants will never thrive, so choosing the right location for the plants and not overcrowding or overwatering helps also.
With all fungal diseases it is important to remove any diseased leaves from the area below the plants as they fall or hand pinching out diseased leaves to stop the spread of the spores.
Sunset Western Garden book sites this fungus as one that likes dry surfaces so they suggest spraying plants with a jet of water early in the day to remove spores. They also site sprays of baking soda or garlic diluted as helpful non-toxic methods for treatement.
An anti-dessianct of Wilt-pruf or Cloud Cover can aslo help to block the action of the fungus.
As I said this is a common, mildly serious disease which usually clears up on its own so my action is to just remove diseased leaves and make sure I rake up under the diseased plants.