The Q&A Archives: "mold On Leaves"

Question: Help! I have a beautiful and thriving Grape Ivy plant hanging in a basket by a window. Of late, I've notice that all of the new shoots and leaves unfold covered within a thin layer of a downy white powder, kind of like dust, that can be wiped off, but which also seems to kill the new growth. It just turns brown and dries up. Strangely, this powdery substance isn't on any of the old leaves which are in fine shape. I'm concerned, however, that none of the new growth actually survives and that the plant will die. I feed it every two weeks with Mircale-Gro. Any ideas about what it might be or what I can do? Does it need a new pot or soil? I've been pruning all of the dead new growth off, but it doesn't seem to help.

Answer: Based on your description it sounds like the plant is suffering from powdery mildew. You might wish to contact your county extension (566-0673) to verify that and see if they can suggest an appropriate control suited to indoor use. In the meantime, increase the air circulation around the plant and avoid wetting the leaves when you water. Also continue to remove and destroy any infected leaves to try to reduce the reinfection rate.

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