Mildew - Let’s understand what this is and how it can be prevented.
Midsummer is when you start to see all kinds of problems in your green babies. One of them is your plant babies being affected by mildew. Let’s understand what this is and how it can be prevented.
While there are a whole host of pathogens that affect your green babies at this time of the year, one of the most important plant diseases is Powdery Mildew. This fungus produces asexual spores which can spread quickly and easily with the winds in your plant. Let’s start with the basics.
Powdery Mildew is a fungal infection and it is rather unique in its features. Infact, it does not need humid conditions to spread. Once it impacts a plant, it can spread very easily and quickly. It slows your green baby’s development, and in severe cases may cause the plants to die.
One of the symptoms that can help us identify whether our plants are suffering with mildew attack is that it usually begins affecting older, lower leaves and includes loss of colour in leaves. Additional symptoms include yellow or bright green spots, or white-grey powdery coating on the upper side of leaves. You may also find powder-like material on the underside of the leaves, stems and petioles (Petiole is a stalk that connects the blade with leaf base).
The easiest and most cost-effective way to reduce powdery mildew is by preventing outbreaks, as the wise elders also said that prevention is better than cure. Fungal spores exist in the air and soil and are extremely difficult to avoid. But the spores themselves don’t actually have a negative effect on green babies. It is only when spores develop into mold that plants are actually infected.
Some precaution that can help prevent the spread of Powdery mildew are as follows :-
- Prune or stake plants to improve air circulation. Make sure to disinfect your pruning tools after each cutting/ pruning.
- Remove diseased foliage from the plant and clean up your plant after each cut. Doing so keeps diseases from being unwittingly around the garden.
- Use a thick layer of mulch or organic compost to cover the soil after you have raked and cleaned it well. Mulch will prevent the disease spores from splashing back onto the leaves.
- Milk sprays made with 40% milk and 60% water, are an effective home remedy for use on a wide range of plants. For best results, use this spray every fortnight.
- Wash foliage occasionally to disrupt daily spore releasing cycle.
- Water in the morning so plants have a chance to dry out during the day.
- Use slow release organic fertilizer on plants and avoid application of excess nitrogen.
We hope that this article has provided useful insights and our green babies will have reduced or no cases of infections due to powdery Mildew.
Pro tip- use Neem oil to spray over green babies to prevent Powdery mildew.
Happy plant parenting!