The Q&A Archives: white mildew

Question: one of my bushes has a white mildewy substance on it's leaves. It appears to be killing it off. I know I need to prune it, and other trees/bushes near it to give better air plow. What is the substance, and how do I get rid of it? Thanks!

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), or potassium bicarbonate (Kaligreen, First Step) Chemicals are most effective when combined with cultural controls. Best wishes with your landscape!

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