Growers can attest to the fact that powdery mildew is one of the biggest headaches in their day to day. As one of the most widespread plant diseases today, powdery mildew can truly alter a crop’s ability to flourish and thrive properly. When warm and dry weather is present, powdery mildew is abundant and threatening. Even worse, there is really no escaping it. Powdery mildew does not discriminate when it comes to plant; they attack vegetables, fruit trees, grasses, flowers, shrubs, weeds, and many types of trees. While a number of plants have been able to develop a resistance and/or tolerance for powdery mildew, creating a plan for controlling and restricting attacks is imperative.
Typically recognized by patches or spots of white, then yellowish, then black areas on your precious plants, powdery mildew is a powerful and dangerous fungus. While the powdery mildew will be seen on the top of leaves, the fungus will also be present on the bottom of leaves as well as the buds, young stems, young fruit, and flowers. One of the most difficult concepts to grasp when it comes to powdery mildew infestations certainly surrounds the unique attraction to warm, dry weather. Powdery mildew thrives in the wet leaf surface.
The following tips should be followed in order to reduce the likelihood of a powdery mildew infestation:
- Avoid crowding your plants
- Keep air circulation at relatively high levels
- Avoid shaded and damp regions
- Control humidity levels
- Young plant tissues are most susceptible to attacks
- Most damaging to pumpkins, cyclamen, squash, and begonia
It is also important to remember that growers should avoid watering their crops from overhead, as this is a trigger for humidity. In addition, once an infestation is detected it is vital to remove every plant part that is infected. Powdery mildew infestations expand quickly when damaged leaves are not removed. Finally, keep in mind that powdery mildew is able to adapt to the host plant’s characteristics, so purchase a powdery mildew killer immediately to treat your crops.