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How To Control Powdery Mildewpowdery mildew

As a lawn owner, you work hard to maintain a healthy turf and garden, but there are some cases when your hard work still isn’t enough to prevent some irritating issues, when may not necessarily be your fault. For instance, you may notice white or gray powdery spots appearing on your turf or even your garden plants, flowers and even fruit. There’s no special name for this problem, it just is what it is: powdery mildew.

Powdery mildew is among the most prevalent and easily recognizable lawn diseases. Virtually every type of plant life is susceptible to coming down with powdery mildew. From trees to shrubs and flower gardens, no plant is immune to getting those unsightly white splotches. While this type of disease is not fatal to the plant life you are going, it is aesthetically displeasing.

There are a number of different species of powdery mildew fungi and they have a limited host range. For instance, fungi which grows on your lilacs won’t affect or spread to your other plants because powdery mildew is host specific. Powdery mildews thrive under conditions where there is low soil moisture combined with dry foliage, high humidity, low light and poor air circulation.

If your plants have been affected by powdery mildew, there is a way to remove it. Solutions Pest and Lawn has all you need to wipe out this fungus with our high quality fungicides and easy to follow how-to advice.

Browse our powdery mildew control products below. If you have any questions or concerns, send them our way via email, phone, or online live chat and we will be happy to assist you.


How To Get Rid Of Powdery Mildew: 3 Step Solution

Removing powdery mildew from your plants doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right products at your disposal and the correct approach, you can restore your plants and wipe out the fungus that plagues them. However, getting rid of powdery mildew isn’t just a matter of simply spraying your affected plants and calling it a day. Below we have laid out 3 basic steps you can follow which not only eliminates powder mildew, but makes sure it stays gone.


Step 1: Every good fungus and disease control program starts with a careful inspection and identification of the disease. Once this is carried out, you can then move forward with purchasing the right fungicides to tackle the issue. While you may be quick to write your lawns fungus off as powdery mildew and skip to the next step, it may result in some problems and ineffective results. You may accidently misdiagnose or miss out on any other disease by rushing the process.


If you are unsure of your lawn disease, shoot us an email with a photo of the affected plants to identification@solutionsstores.com and we will properly ID your issue and present you with control recommendations


Step 2: Once the disease is properly ID’d, you can move on to treating the problem. We have a number of different fungicides which can effectively treat and remove powdery mildew(our recommendations are found below), the preference of what fungicide you choose is up to you. The most important factor when treating this lawn fungus is to act quickly and spray early. Spray the affected areas immediately with your fungicide of choice. Mix your selected fungicide in a sprayer with water and spray liberally. For continuous protection, most fungicides will need repeat applications every 7 to 14 days.


Step 3: Finally, after the powdery mildew has vanished from your yard plants, prevention measures must be put into place so that those ugly white splotches don’t return. This can be done by providing better air circulation by not crowding plants, minimizing shade and making sure not to over fertilize. Being smart with your lawn care maintenance and consistent will result in a healthy, disease and fungus free lawn and garden.


Learn More About Powdery Mildew


Powdery mildew is a mildew that forms on plants when a specific fungus spores land on the plant and the fungus is allowed to thrive under its desired conditions. It will decrease the health of the plant and will result in lower yields and mildew smell on the plant.


Powdery mildew is a notoriously widespread lawn problem that can occur almost anywhere in the country. Thankfully the fungus of powdery mildew is host specific, meaning that if one type of plant has been affected by powdery mildew, a different type of plant on the landscape is usually not threatened by the fungus spreading.


Powdery mildew can be the bane of a gardener or homeowner's existence, especially after putting in all the work into your garden and expecting good results when all of a sudden out comes plants affected by powdery mildew.


While the plants infected by powdery mildew can look unsightly and can be weakened by an infection, the fungal disease is not usually fatal for the plant.


Powdery mildew on plants is primarily an aesthetic issue, but for vegetables and fruits you intend to eat, it’d be important to implement a control and prevention plan to keep powdery mildew away.


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The Impact of Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is the catch all term name for a number of different types of fungi that can affect almost every type of plant, from roses and lawns, to forest trees and vineyards. It is most prevalent in more mediterranean climates like California. All powdery mildew needs to grow are temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees and a relatively high humidity.


In severe cases, damage from powdery mildew can lead to death of host tissue (even entire plants), defoliation, cosmetic damage, reduced yields, and lowered quality. The economic and aesthetic value of ornamental as well as fruit- and vegetable-bearing species are reduced by the unsightly appearance of powdery mildews.


Powdery mildews also can result in losses in yield and quality by allowing plant-feeding organisms to enter fruits through damaged epidermal tissue. For some crops, such as wine grapes and cherries, controlling powdery mildews affects how the crop is grown (including such practices as pruning and managing soil fertility).


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How to Identify Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew can be very easily identifiable. You will see white spots which look like baby powder on the leaves. You may think that someone spilled some white powder or some white paint. If it does not rub off it may be powdery mildew. If left untreated , the powdery mildew will spread over the entire leave and eventually over the entire plant. In really bad cases, it will look like the entire plant has been doused with talcum powder.


Powdery Mildew Life Cycle


Powdery mildew fungi are sac fungi known by the name of ascomycetes from the Erysiphales order. This is a parasitic species of fungi, which means their survival depends on living upon a host to grow and flourish. Most powdery mildew fungi grow on the surface of the plant host. The mycelia and conidia formed on the host plant often have a whitish, dusty appearance, which is how they earned their name.


Knowledge of the life cycle of a powdery mildew fungus can aid greatly in controlling the disease. A complete life cycle includes both asexual and sexual forms of reproduction.


Powdery mildews produce conidia in large amounts during the growing season, typically within 3–7 days after infecting the host under conditions where the fungus can thrive. Powdery mildews can survive winter in the form of dormant mycelium within buds of infected plants.


Current estimates suggest that there are nearly 700 species of powdery mildews, classified in about 15 genera and occurring on 7600 species of Angiosperms. No Gymnosperms are known to be hosts. Many of the scientific names traditionally used to designate powdery mildew have been shown to have been used to designate superficially similar but distinct organisms.


Powdery mildew fungal spores move around via wind and overwinter on plants, and in plant debris. Unlike mildews which you would find in bathrooms or basements, powdery mildew does not need direct contact with water in order to grow. The warm days and cool evenings of late summer are ideal conditions which promote the growth of powdery mildew spores.


How To Protect Your Plants From Powdery Mildew


Like many fungal lawn diseases, it’s better and less labor intensive to protect or prevent a plant from getting powdery mildew in the first place than getting rid of the symptoms once a plant has come down with the disease so the first line of defense is a healthy plant.


Giving your plant a healthy diet of water and compost to help them stay healthy. The second line of defense is to plant varieties that are resistant to powdery mildew. Avoid planting in too much shade and don’t overcrowd your pants as that will really contribute to powdery mildew.


Sometimes resistant varieties do not exist or they don’t fit your needs. For example, grapevines are often affected by powdery mildew. In this case it would be good to conduct a summer pruning. This will help to increase airflow and help prevent the mildew.


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Tips on Using Fungicides To Control Powdery Mildew


Thankfully, there are a variety of effective chemical controls are available for managing powdery mildew fungus. No matter which fungicide option you wish to take, it is recommended to follow label recommendations for the chemicals. Recommendations for fungicide use on some crops include information on disease monitoring systems and predictive models that can reduce fungicide use by ensuring that applications are made when they will be most effective.


The most important concept in using fungicides to eliminate powdery mildew is that only a very small percentage of individuals in a pathogen population may show a resistance to any given fungicide mode of action.


A fundamental strategy in limiting resistance to a fungicide application is to limit the populations of pathogens exposed to a given mode of fungicide action. It also is important to limit the duration and frequency of that exposure, thereby reducing the opportunity for those few individuals with resistance potential to become predominant in the population.


Better Safe Than Sorry: Equip Yourself With Protective Safety Equipment Before Spraying


The following tips may be helpful in ensuring the effectiveness of fungicides against powdery mildews:

  • Use cultural control practices to reduce the spread of the powdery mildew pathogens whenever possible. For example, removal of overwintering infected terminals by carrying out some pruning helps reduce powdery mildew.

  • Use either one or more of the fungicides we have listed to control powdery mildew as using more than one may increase your chances of controlling the problematic disease.

  • Use fungicides as a preventative measure before powdery mildew has become a problem on your plants.

  • Do not create your own fungicides.in an attempt to get a powdery mildew outbreak under control. This can be more trouble than it's worth saving a few bucks.

  • Adjust spray volume per acre based on the size and volume of the crop to attain the best spray coverage.

  • Apply fungicides at rates specified on the fungicide label (do not under or over dose the rates).

  • Avoid over spraying or application of the same product over a short period of time. Be patient and wait for the initial application to work before going back out to spray.

  • Include low resistance risk compounds (sulfurs, carbonates, and petroleum spray oils) in the spray program as much and whenever possible.

  • Apply fungicides during conditions which are ideal for it to be effective. You can find out when are the best times on the instructional label of the product you use.

So there you have it! With a combination of smart cultural practices and a high quality fungicide which you can find here at Solutions Pest & Lawn, powdery mildew can be successfully eliminated off of your plants and property.


Additional Resources:

Powdery Mildew - Penn State Extension


Powdery Mildew : UMN Extension


Signs and Symptoms of Powdery Mildew Disease - NC State University



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