The Q&A Archives: Mildew on Nandina Domestica

Question: All the new growth on my Nandina Domestica is coated with a white powder and now the leaves are wilting and falling off. Is this mildew and if so, how do I treat/control the problem?

Answer: Nandina can develop a fungal disease called powdery mildew. The spores spread through splashing water and travel on wind currents to infect other plants. Once established, powdery mildew is difficult to control. Most fungal diseases develop during rainy, wet weather, but powdery mildew develops when daytime temperatures are warm and nights are cool. The disease is not dependent on water on the leaves. You can help your nandina resist the disease by cutting back the affected plant parts (down to ground level if necessary), providing afternoon sunshine, and lots of air circulation in and around the plants. Best wishes with your nandina!

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