The Q&A Archives: Lilac Bushes

Question: My lilac bushes have a white powder like substance on some of the stalks. Its not on all of them, but on the ones that have the white powder i have no buds on the branches. what do i do?

Answer: What you describe sounds like a fungal disease called powdery mildew. To reduce additional infections, avoid overhead watering to help reduce the relative humidity. Remove and destroy all infected plant parts (leaves, etc.). Selectively prune overcrowded plant material to help increase air circulation. This helps reduce relative humidity and infection. If cultural controls fail to prevent disease buildup, or if the disease pressure is too great, an application of a fungicide may be necessary. These include: sulfur, neem oil (Rose Defense, Shield-All, Triact), triforine (Ortho Funginex), ornamental use only, or potassium bicarbonate (Kaligreen, First Step) Chemicals are most effective when combined with cultural controls. Best wishes with your lilac!

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