Did you know that fungal infections are a class of plant pests and diseases? Have you ever seen white powdery substances on the leaves of your plants before?
Did it look like spots on the leaves of the plants or was it more like a sprinkle of powder on your plants?
Did it bother you to see your plants wilting after some time due to dusty spots on their leaves?
These questions are all geared with the first statement to help you realize that what you saw as just dust particles on the leaves of your houseplants, especially outdoor plants, was not merely dust from the environment.
If they were, your plant should be thriving even better as you read this article.
Those were fungal diseases whose symptoms on plants are as subtle as powdery spots on leaves and stems of plants. These fungal diseases are called powdery mildew and its appearance on plants is characterized by white fuzzy molds on pants.
Fungi are a species of pests and diseases that inhibit the growth of plants and destroy plant leaves which reduces the ability of the plant to carry out photosynthesis. When plants are not able to carry out photosynthesis, they cannot produce the food needed for their survival, so they die off.
Powdery mildew fungi thrive in conditions of high humidity and low heat. They quickly infest a plant that is overwatered under little sunlight and cover the leaves within the shortest possible time.
The powdery mildew fungi reproduce by spore formation. It is these spores that get on the leaves of plants and discolors them. The brown spots keep getting bigger as more spores are formed. The powdery mildew reproduces both sexually and asexually and can only survive on the leaves of plants.
Powdery mildew is not so much of a threat to the plants until the fungi have covered every part of the leaves. It is advisable to begin the process of ridding powdery mildew off the plants as soon as symptoms appear to avoid considerable damage to plant foliage.
This article states the various ways of getting rid of powdery mildew from plants. It does this by categorically stating which control measures will be effective in the long run and which of them will have a short-lived effect.
Getting rid of these pests and diseases categories of plants requires that a gardener can follow the steps laid out in this article.
How Do You Get Rid of White Powdery Mildew
There is a list of ways to get rid of white powdery mildew and their white fuzzy mold on plants. These steps are given based on proven results that have helped other gardeners get rid of the white powdery mildew pests and diseases infestation on their plants.
The steps are effective for every plant that has the infestation and necessary caution for the application of these steps is explained alongside the steps below.
The following are ways to get rid of white powdery mildew on plants:
- The use of fungicides
- An overhead sprinkling of water
- Use of baking soda
- Use of milk solution
- Application of mouthwash
The following ways as well as the right application, are expatiated upon below.
These methods are very effective and can rid your plant of its white fuzzy molds in a couple of days. These methods are also effective for other pests and diseases that affect plants.
So an application of the above-listed methods is sure to rid your plants of the fungal powdery mildew as well as other fungal pests and diseases.
1. The Use of Fungicides
Fungicides are chemicals that are composed of substances and compounds that are harmful to fungal pests and diseases.
Some fungicides that affect powdery mildew include spectracide immunox multipurpose fungicide. This fungicide contains an active element called myclobutanil.
Myclobutanil works by suppressing the enzyme in powdery mildew which leads to the breaking down of the cell walls and stops the further growth of the powdery mildew on plants.
Another fungicide that is effective for controlling and getting rid of white fuzzy molds on plants is the banner Maxx fungicide. This fungicide contains propiconazole as its active element.
Propiconazole works like the myclobutanil except that in its case, it goes into the powdery mite fungi and binds with its enzyme which inhibits the production of ergosterol required for fungal growth. With this enzyme inhibited, the powdery mite fungi are not able to carry out cell division of either mitosis or meiosis and this brings about its death.
Other effective elements contained in fungicides that you should look out for to rid your plant of the fungal pests and diseases of powdery mildew include sulfur, thiophanate methyl, chlorothalonil, and ketoconazole.
2. Overhead Sprinkling of Water
Remember that the powdery mildew gets formed on the plants that are underwatered and kept in very humid conditions. This is because these fungal pests and diseases love to thrive in these conditions.
To get rid of the powdery mildew, it is only logical to reverse engineer these conditions. That is, to water the plants well enough as well as put it under good sunlight.
Watering should be done using an overhead sprinkling technique. This is to enable the water droppings to get on the white fuzzy molds and shake them off.
Enough water on the plant should be able to prevent further growth of white fuzzy molds. Ensure that you water the plants sparingly to avoid the issue of root rot caused by overwatering.
3. Use of Baking Soda
The advantage of baking soda is that it is readily available in every home and is cheap to get.
To apply baking soda to your plants with white fuzzy mold, mix the baking soda in enough water and add a little drop of liquid soap to it for binding.
Then transfer the solution into a sprinkler and sprinkle affected parts of the plant.
Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate that burns the fungi pests and diseases up.
4. Use of Milk Solution
Although not scientifically proven, milk serves as an important repeller of the white fuzzy molds of powder mites on plants.
Milk solution can be made by mixing milk in a gallon or bowl of distilled water and letting it get incorporated in the water. After the formation of the milk solution, sprinkle on the parts of the plant where the molds appear.
Watch how effective it is after the first spray, and repeat the process after about three days. The milk solution, unlike fungicides, only repels and kills fungal pests and diseases without causing harm to the plants.
5. Use of Mouthwash
Mouthwash is another effective way of getting rid of white powdery mildew. It does not affect the plants and can destroy large colonies of powdery mildew in a short while.
To apply mouthwash to plants for eradicating powdery mildew, mix about 3 gallons of water and one mix of mouthwash and sprinkle on the affected leaves of the plant.
Mouthwash goes into the fungal disease and the fluoride in it coats the powdery mildew fungi, inhibiting reproduction and feeding. The powdery mildew eventually dies off and clears its mold from the plant leaves.
Can You Use Hydrogen Peroxide on Powdery Mildew?
Yes you can.
Hydrogen Peroxide is a good chemical for getting rid of powdery mildew. To apply hydrogen peroxide, mix the peroxide to water and sprinkle on the roots of the plant.
It is also advised to mix some hydrogen peroxide in the water you would be using for misting the plant. This helps control powdery mildew as well as prevent future infestations of fungal pests and diseases that behave like powdery mildews.
How Do You Treat Mold On Plant Soil
To treat mold on plant soil, the following should be done:
- The molds appearing on the top soil is proof that they have fully covered the entire soil, therefore the first step should be changing the soil of the plant pot.
- In the new soil, ensure to add some fungal pests and disease controllers.
This is to ensure that molds cannot thrive in future in that soil.
- The uprooted plants should be treated with a fungicide or Neem oil before being replanted as there are tendencies of the mold fungi being stuck to the root hairs.
- Maintain good growing conditions for the plant. Ensure to give it adequate sunlight and just enough water to aid its survival.
Can Powdery Mildew Survive in Soil?
The answer to this question is an emphatic yes.
In Fact, they can survive in soil as well as attack the root of the plant to cause root rot.
Fungal diseases thrive more in the soil especially when the soil is often overwatered or underwatered.
What pH Levels Kill Powdery Mildews
Alkaline soils are toxic to the growth or survival of powdery mildews.
Alkaline soil has a pH level of 8. This level inhibits the functioning of powdery mildew and keeps your plant safe.
Meanwhile, excessively alkaline soil is harmful to plants and can damage them from the roots up to the foliage covers.
To conclude, it is necessary to state that powdery mildews as fungal pests and diseases start slowly to infest the plants and subtly cover the leaves until the plant dies off.
They are a threat to the good functioning of plants and should be treated with urgency rather than a wave of the finger.