Get The Cure For Powdery Mildew

Get The Cure For Powdery Mildew

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By: Heather Rhoades

Powdery mildew is a fungus that plagues almost all gardeners. No matter what conditions you live in or how well you tend your garden, chances are you will come across powdery mildew at some point in time. Finding a cure for powdery mildew is something that all gardeners look for eventually.

How to Treat Powdery Mildew

The first step in how to treat powdery mildew is to remove the conditions in which powdery mildew flourishes.

  1. Try to buy resistant plants – Some plants and varieties are more susceptible to powdery mildew than others. Look for varieties that are resistant to powdery mildew fungus.
  2. Plant susceptible plants in full sun – Full sun will help keep powdery mildew fungus off plants that are prone to the mildew.
  3. Water from below – Use drip lines or hoses to water your plants. Watering from above with sprinklers can encourage powdery mildew to grow.
  4. Increase air circulation – Try removing some of the vegetation on the plant to increase air flow around the plant. This will help keep powdery mildew at bay.
  5. Buy only high quality plants – Unhealthy plants are more susceptible to powdery mildew. Buy only healthy plants.

Powdery Mildew Remedies

Because powder mildew is so widespread, powdery mildew remedies are common garden remedies sold in the garden centers. The following is a list of fungicides that can treat powdery mildew:

  • Triadimefon
  • Triforine
  • Thiophanate-methyl
  • Propiconazole
  • Sulfur
  • Potassium bicarbonate

The above list will treat powdery mildew, but not all are acceptable for plants you plant to eat. For example, Triforine should only be used on ornamental plants as it is not healthy for consumption. Check to make sure your treatment is a powdery mildew non toxic fungicide if you plan to use it on an edible plant.

Combine Both Environment and Chemicals for a Powdery Mildew Cure

For a complete powdery mildew cure, combine addressing the conditions that cause powdery mildew and use the chemicals that are a cure for powdery mildew. This will take the powdery mildew out of your garden and keep it out for good.

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Read more about Plant Diseases

Powdery Mildew: What It is and How to Treat It

If powdery mildew is impacting your crops, your harvest will taste less appetizing, and your plants might even start to weaken and die.

Powdery mildew may not kill your plants outright, but it can sure wreak havoc. Knowing how to spot the fungus that causes powdery mildew and how to get rid of it will help you win the battle against it in your garden.

Gardening is a relaxing and peaceful hobby most of the time, but it's not without its battles. The first one that you may think of is the one against weeds, but pests and diseases can be just as frustrating. Powdery mildew can be a very annoying problem to deal with, but knowing how to identify and treat this fungus will help you keep it under control in your garden.

Identifying Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a pretty descriptive term. It appears as a gray or white powdery blotch or spot on the buds, leaves, and stems of plants. It may seem superficial. You may think at first glance that your plants have cobwebs or baby powder on them. Often, this fungus affects the parts of the plant that are shaded or that lack sufficient airflow (usually among the lower branches or on the branches toward the center of the plant). Not having a large enough space between your plants can also contribute to the formation of powdery mildew. Typically, this condition happens outside in places with cooler temperatures and a lot of humidity, but it can still occur in dry, warm climates, too.

If you don't catch the infection right away, your plants' leaves can prematurely turn yellow and fall off early in the growing season. You may notice that some leaves become purple or red in the areas around the infection. Black balls may form in the infected areas later in the growing season, too.

Powdery mildew itself won’t usually kill your plants, but it will stress them and make them weaker. This is because photosynthesis can be impacted if the leaf’s surface is densely covered with the fungi. In addition, it can stop your buds from opening or maturing on their plants. You may even find that your fruit and vegetable crops are affected, as this issue can make them taste less flavorful than they normally would.

Plants Affected by Powdery Mildew

There's a huge variety of powdery mildew fungi around, and they can actually impact thousands of different plant species. However, specific fungi will often attack specific plants rather than all of the ones in their immediate vicinity. Still, you'll find that there are a few plants out there that are susceptible to several species of this fungus.

Some examples of plants that can be impacted by powdery mildew include roses, maple, oak, crabapples, ash, lilacs, rhododendron, hawthorn, catalpa, cucumbers, squash, grapes, and phlox.

Preventing Powdery Mildew

The best way to avoid powdery mildew is to plant cultivars that are resistant to it. Avoid placing them in the shade, and give each plant plenty of growing room when it comes to spacing. Of course, sometimes powdery mildew just happens in the garden, and the only thing you can do is treat it and move on.

Powdery Mildew Treatment

This may be painful for many gardeners, but when it comes to powdery mildew, the best thing to do is to remove and destroy the infected plant parts. Depending on how severe the infection is, you may have to remove an entire plant to help keep the rest of your garden healthy. You’ll also want to thin out the growth by pruning your plants to promote better air circulation. Water the ground rather than spraying your garden, as the fungus thrives on the dampness of plant leaves, and avoid working any more fertilizer into your soil until you’ve gotten rid of the problem.

Finally, you'll have to use a fungicide. You can find a wide variety of these at your local garden center or DIY store. Make sure that the one you choose works on the variety of plant you’ll be spraying. Some of the ingredients that you should be on the look out for include neem oil, copper, potassium bicarbonate, and sulfur.

Not sure that you want to purchase a fungicide? Make your own using baking soda or milk! The baking soda recipe is easy, and you probably have all the ingredients for it in your kitchen right now. You’ll just need to mix a tablespoon of baking soda and a half-teaspoon of liquid dish soap into a gallon of water. Apply this mixture to your plants right away, as it doesn't store well. However, you’ll want to avoid applying it in full sun, as it can burn the leaves of your plants. The milk recipe does especially well for squash and cucumbers. It’s one part milk to two parts water, sprayed on every two weeks. Of course, both solutions work well for prevention of powdery mildew.

No matter what fungicide you choose to apply, you’ll want to make sure that you follow the directions carefully. They'll not only tell you how to correctly to apply it, but they'll also tell you how long you’ll need to wait after using it before harvesting your crops. In addition, you’ll want to find out how often you need to apply the fungicide you're using to ensure that your crops have continuous protection against powdery mildew.

No one wants to deal with a pesky fungus that looks so innocuous at first, but knowing about powdery mildew is the best way to tackle it if it ever pops up in your garden.

About Shannon McKee

About Shannon McKee

Shannon McKee is an urban gardener that has been gardening seriously for over ten years now. Much to her husband’s chagrin, every year it seems like her once little patch of the backyard gets bigger and bigger. She’s always looking for ways to get the most out of her garden without spending a fortune. She focuses mostly on vegetables, but a few flowers and fruits pop up in her yard here or there. There’s nothing better in her mind than heading out to the garden and making a healthy snack to enjoy during the day. As a stay at home mom who works from home, she de-stresses by getting her hands dirty.

Plants Affected by Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew thrives in humid conditions with moderate temperatures.   Several different species of fungi in the order Erysiphales can cause the disease, though the symptoms are similar. In any region with humid summers, powdery mildew almost always makes an appearance. While it can affect any plants, there are certain species more susceptible to heavy infection, including:

  • Apple
  • Begonia
  • California poppy
  • Dahlia
  • Delphinium
  • Hollyhock
  • Hydrangea
  • Lilacs
  • Monarda
  • Oak
  • Phlox
  • Roses
  • Strawberries
  • Zinnia
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Powdery Mildew Plant Impact

The way this disease affects a plant will depend on the plant type. Trees will often lose leaves and foliage and may lose fruits and buds, but will rarely be killed by this blight. Garden plants and annuals, however, can be devastated by an infestation of powdery mildew.

It will destroy leaves, foliage, fruits, and often new shoots and stems. For a tree, this can mean a setback for the year, but for less robust and long-lived plants, it can mean disaster.

5. Use a baking soda solution, milk solution, or sulfur spray to prevent and treat powdery mildew.

Choose one (or more) of the following methods. Continue treatment while warm, humid conditions remain to prevent further infections.

  • Treat with baking sodasolution to remaining leaves every 7 days. Use 1 teaspoon baking soda per quart of water in a spray bottle. Apply as a preventative or to stop early outbreaks.
  • Treat powdery mildew with a milk solution every 7-10 days. The protein in milk may create an antiseptic effect when exposed to sunlight. Use a 40% milk to 60% water solution. Spray on leaves of affected and nearby plants, lightly coating all surfaces while the sun is shining for best effect.
  • Spraying sulfur is an effective preventative treatment for powdery mildew. Follow package directions and spray plants every 7-14 days to treat or prevent an outbreak.

Soil Solarization to Kill Pathogens

The University of Massachusetts Amherst notes that some powdery mildew spores may be killed at temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to avoid using chemical controls, soil solarization is a process that creates high temperatures in the soil and may kill off spores living on dead plant material as well as other pathogens.

Soil solarization is best practiced during the warmest and sunniest time of the year. Prepare the soil in your garden by removing any debris or rocks and breaking up large clods of dirt. Smooth the surface and irrigate the soil. Cover the soil with clear plastic before it has a chance to dry. Make sure to avoid air pockets between the plastic and soil and secure the edges of the plastic, advises the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program.

Leave the plastic in place for four to six weeks. During this time, the heat of the sun will warm the soil, and the plastic will hold in the heat. This process can heat the soil up to 90 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit at a depth of 18 inches. The top layers of soil will be even hotter. You can plant right away after removing the plastic.


Now will we discuss about the best powdery mildew treatment ways. Some of them are organic, and some are not. We have included both chemical fungicides and bicarbonate solutions.

Rose powdery mildew treatment:

It is very easy to treat rose powdery mildew. You should go for both cultural and biological or chemical control. We recommend you to use organic fungicides to treat powdery mildew on roses. The most effective fungicides are baking soda, potassium bicarbonate or milk fungicides.

  • Remove and dispose of all the infected plants.
  • Remove and destroy all the partially infected leaves.
  • Be very careful about the already dropped leaves as well.
  • You should also remove the infected buds, fruit and steams.
  • Clean and disinfect all the plant clippers used for cutting the plants portions.
  • Use fungicides for once a week for 20-30 days.
  • You should also apply the fungicides regularly in every 2-3 weeks. It will prevent further infection.

Powdery mildew treatment organic:

We all know about the chemical preventative fungicides. But there are some organic powdery mildew treatments as well. It is more preferable than the severe chemical fungicides.

There are a few types of organic fungicides. You can try any of them. But the best way is using the potassium bicarbonate solution:

  • Potassium bicarbonate (3 tablespoons)
  • Vegetable oil (3 tablespoons)
  • Dish soap (1-2 tablespoons)
  • Water ( 1 gallon)

Mix these elements properly to get the bicarbonate solution. Spray it once a week. It will raise the plant pH level to 8.3 and stop the mildew growth.

Another popular way is the use of dilute solutions of hydrogen peroxide:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Water

Mix hydrogen peroxide and water in 1:9 ratios in a pot. Then use it thoroughly on your plants. You should use it once a week until you get rid of powdery mildew completely.

Other organic powdery mildew treatments include:

  • Sulfur
  • Vinegar
  • Mik
  • Baking Soda
  • Copper
  • Neem oil
  • Lime-sulfur
  • Garlic fungicide.

Safety precautions for organic powdery mildew treatment:

  • Keep the garden moisture level accurate
  • Don’t raise the humidity level of the garden
  • Follow the annual pruning schedule

Squash powdery mildew treatment:

Organic fungicides are effective for squash powdery mildew treatment. But the milk fungicide is the best. It not only prevents the spread of mildew spores, but also boosts the immunity of the plants. Other organic options you can apply:

  • Stylet or sulfur oil
  • Copper fungicides
  • Neem oil is also very effective.

You can also apply horticultural oil for severe powdery mildew attack.

Follow the procedure:

  • Get rid of the infected plant portions.
  • Apply any of these fungicides.
  • Apply it in 7-14 days interval.
  • You must apply horticultural oil once in every 10 days.

Cucumber powdery mildew treatment:

There are a few types of treatment procedures for cucumber powdery mildew. Not all are equally effective. The most common type of treatment is using chlorothalonil. You can also use DYI technique and use organic elements as well. All type of organic fungicides is equally effective. But we recommend to use baking soda or fungicide.

You will need:

  • Baking soda (1 tablespoon)
  • Dormant oil (1 teaspoon)
  • Liquid soap or insecticidal (1 teaspoon)
  • Water (1 gallon)

Follow the procedure:

  • Remove the affected plant portions.
  • Mix the elements and prepare the solution.
  • Apply it on the plants in every 10-14 days.
  • Keep applying for 2-3 months for the optimal result.
  • Water the infected plants for 2-3 days before applying the solution.

Note: Follow the same procedures for other organic fungicides.

Peony powdery mildew treatment:

It is usually very hard to treat powdery mildew on peonies. But you are never out of options. Traditional fungicides might help in treating peony powdery mildew. But sometimes in may not work efficiently. Then you will need horticultural oil or neem oil to get rid of it.

You will need:

  • Baking soda
  • Canola or horticultural oil
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Water (1 gallon)

Follow the procedure:

  • Get rid of the infected foliage, fruit and steam as usual.
  • Mix all the elements and prepare you solution.
  • Apply the solution thoroughly on the infected plants.
  • Maintain an interval period of 10-14 days.
  • Keep applying throughput the summer season.

Note: Sunny and hot days are not suitable for applying this solution. You must also test how a plant response before applying it on all plants.

Powdery mildew treatment baking soda:

Baking soda can be a very effective treating element for powdery mildew. But you have to mix it with water, and non-detergent liquid soap. It works as an organic preventative fungicide. Regular spraying can also prevent further infection.

You will need:

  • Baking soda (1 tablespoon)
  • Non-detergent liquid soap (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Water (1 gallon)

Follow the procedure:

  • Remove the infected leaves and other plant portions.
  • Clean and disinfect all the plant clippers used for cutting the plants portions.
  • Mix the elements and make your baking soda fungicide
  • Pour the mixture in a sprayer.
  • Apply it on the plants thoroughly. Be careful about spraying under the leaves, fruits and steams.
  • Depose of the unused solution.

Note: It may not be suitable for all the plants and burn the foliage sometimes. Water the plants for 2-3 days before you apply this solution.

Remove Infected Portions of Plants:

Wind can spread the spores of these fungal pathogens and infect the other healthy plants. So remove all the infected leaves or foliage, fruits and the steams. You can use plant clippers to removes the infected parts. But wash them properly using alcohol. Never compost the infected portions.


You must maintain interval periods in treating powdery mildew. There are interval periods for all kind of treatment procedures. You must also maintain an interval period for organic fungicides as well. Otherwise, you will end up affecting your plants instead.

  • Apply milk fungicides in every 10-14 days.
  • Apply neem oil, hydrogen peroxide, PM wash and potassium bicarbonate once a week.
  • Apply copper or sulfur fungicides in 7-10 day intervals.

Note: It is better if you maintain PHI or pre-harvest intervals for edible crops.

Let’s know about various types of contact fungicides.

Contact fungicide:

Contact fungicide is preventive or protective fungicide. It has barrier and smothering effect. It does not enter into the plant tissue. It protects only that part of the plant where you spray or apply them. You must apply it on the plant surface before it can penetrate the plant tissue.

The most common type of contact fungicide is potassium bicarbonate. You can find this fungicide in GreenCure as well. It is effective against downy mildew, powdery mildew and other type fungal issues.

Contact materials:

Simply, contact materials are all types of preventive or protectant fungicides. We know about protectant and systemic fungicide. We use contact materials or mostly to control fungal problems.

Contact materials stay on the plant surface. It kills the hyphae and fungal spores upon contact. Thus, it prevents the fungal infection.

Multi-site contact:

Multisite contact fungicide belongs to low resistance risk group. It is also a kind of contact fungicides. But it differs in the combination and application. It is a combination of chlorothalonil and mancozeb.

You can mix it with any fungicide of single or high resistance risk group. It stays on the surface of the plants and act as a shield against powdery mildew. Thus, the mildew spores cannot infect the plants. It also attacks various proteins and enzymes to keep the pathogens guessing

What is the best treatment for powdery mildew?

Organic fungicides are best for powdery mildew treatment. The best organic fungicide is potassium bicarbonate. It is far better than baking soda and kills the powdery mildew rapidly. So the unique advantages of potassium bicarbonate make it the best organic fungicides. Organic fungicides are also preferable to chemical fungicides as well.

What is the best fungicide for powdery mildew?

You will find various types of fungicide for powdery mildew in the market. But the ones with potassium bicarbonate is the best fungicide for powdery mildew. Other elements effective elements are copper, neem oil and sulfur. You can also make milk or baking soda fungicide yourself.

Can plants recover from powdery mildew?

Yes, plants can easily recover from powdery mildew if you take proper steps. Healthy plants can ward off this infection alone. They can also recover alone without any treatment. If you take steps to control powdery mildew timely, plants will recover from it.

How do you get rid of powdery mildew forever?

There is actually no way to get rid of the powdery mildew forever. Potassium bicarbonate fungicide is very effective. The GreenCure fungicide is also considerably effective. It contains potassium bicarbonate and sodium bicarbonate at a time.

What is the life cycle of powdery mildew?

Powdery mildew has a combined life cycle of both asexual and sexual stage. The asexual stage produces conidia and spread this disease using spores. The Chasmothecia generates fruiting bodies in sexual stage.

Should I remove leaves with powdery mildew?

Yes, you should remove the leaves with powdery mildew. Wind can spread the spores of these fungal pathogens and infect the other healthy plants. So remove all the infected leaves or foliage, fruits and the steams.

Does sunlight kill powdery mildew?

Yes, direct sunlight kills the powdery mildew spores. It cannot spread without moderate temperature.

How do I get rid of downy mildew ?

  • Remove all the infected plants right away.
  • Remove all the infected leaves.
  • Take measure to ensure high airflow.
  • Do not water the plants
  • Use preventative fungicides.

The best preventative fungicide for downy mildew is Bonide Copper fungicide. You can also use Chlorothalonil and mancozeb fungicides.

What happens if you eat powdery mildew?

Powdery mildew is not harmful to humans. If you eat powdery mildew, it can cause allergic reactions at most.

Will dish soap kill powdery mildew?

Yes, it will kill powdery mildew if you use it properly. Use dish soap mixing with baking soda, vegetable oil, or water. You can also mix it with a 1:9 water and mik combination.

Watch the video: Clean Light UV for Mold. Powder Mold Remedy. Powdery Mildew Cure Get Rid of PM in Garden


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