Powdery Mildew is fairly common on houseplants. Find out everything you need to know about this fungal plant disease below!
What is Powdery Mildew?
It is one of the most common fungal diseases that infects the leaves and stems of plants. It spreads quickly and takes 3-7 days from initial infection to the appearance of symptoms. Although Its life cycle can be complete in as little as 72 hours.
What does Powdery Mildew do?
It spreads over the foliage which prevents the plant from photosynthesizing to its best ability. This can cause the leaves to yellow, brown, dry up and distort. New growth is stunted. Though it is usually not fatal, it can stress and weaken your plant.
Why is it on my plant?
Powdery Mildew thrives in warm, humid environments. On our indoor plants it often appears on a plant that is kept in a warm humid area that doesn’t have enough air circulation.
How to Identify Powdery Mildew
It is easily identifiable by its white to grayish powdery appearance on leaves and stems. The color darkens as it progresses. It will start out as spots that will grow to cover the entire surface of a leaf and can even spread onto stems/flowers if not treated.
The good news is you can easily treat powdery mildew. (As with all plant problems, best to treat as soon as you identify the problem)
The most common treatment for Powdery Mildew is probably sitting in your kitchen cabinet! Baking Soda! Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with a litre of water and liberally spray the plant. Bicarbonate of soda is a contact fungicide and will quickly kill off the spores.
You can also add some Neem Oil and Castille Soap to the mix.
Repeat once per week until mildew is gone.
Ensuring there is enough air circulation around your plant is a great way to deter powdery mildew.
Spraying your plants monthly with a Neem Oil solution is also a great preventative for many pests and diseases.