We have a plant located in front of the garage that came with the house. It has been completely trouble free at this point and required little water that I have nearly ignored it. In June it was encroaching on the walkway so I trimmed it back the weekend before we hosted a rather large party. I water it very little, but my son often waters it and I think that might be the problem. He waters it overhead with the spray nozzle just beside it. A few weeks ago I noticed this rather healthy plant looking rather sad. On further examination I saw that a powdery mildew was on most of the leaves (except new growth). I have had experience with this in my last house on roses and I used a spray from the store. I really want to avoid the use of harsh chemicals if at all possible at this point. Floating around the internet, there seems to be two different recipes to try. One involving milk and water, and this one that changes the PH balance using baking soda. Powdery Mildew is actually a fungus/mold and it spreads when spores travel in the wind. I’ve read that you may not be able to eradicate it entirely, but it is possible to keep it under control and from effecting other plants.
Recipe to combat Powdery Mildew (Pow!)
2 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
2 1/4 tsp. Dish Soap (I used Dawn)
2 1/4 tsp. Olive oil (can use most any oil)
1/2 gallon Water.
Mix ingredients and place in spray bottle and apply to plant.
- It is a good idea to test a section first before applying to all of the plant.
- Avoid watering overhead.
- Spray in the morning before there is direct sunlight that could potentially burn the leaves with the spray on it.
- Repeat Weekly.
I sprayed it once yesterday and this morning and while it seems to have helped there is still mildew. On closer examination I also found aphids and after spraying I do not see them. I’ll update on the progress.