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Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Apr 22, 2016 4:25 PM CST
I was just asked for a suggestion on what to do for powdery mildew on a Goldflame Honeysuckle in a butterfly garden. They don't want to use anything that might harm the critters.

I know the experts here will have a suggestion or two. Please share any ideas. Thanks
alice
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
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mellielong
Apr 22, 2016 7:44 PM CST

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Okay, I'm certainly no expert, but I'll chime in anyway. Rolling on the floor laughing My first thought would be to make sure the plant has enough air circulating around it. Is it planted too close to something else? Does it have room to spread and breathe? Then, I'd make sure it wasn't getting too much moisture. Is there a sprinkler located nearby that needs adjusting? You'd think I'd know more about mildew living in Florida, but I don't really see it too much. Come on out people reading this; I know you can help!
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
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ctcarol
Apr 22, 2016 8:14 PM CST
The only thing I've heard of that's organic is milk diluted with water. I don't remember the measurements off the top of my head, but it does kill the mildew. Like most simple cures, it will come back when the weather is right.
Texas (Zone 8a)
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GrammaChar
Apr 22, 2016 11:38 PM CST
Me too. I use milk. It's not a permanent solution, but works for short term. Good air circulation is a key factor though.
GrammaChar
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
Apr 23, 2016 4:35 AM CST
Milk? wow I never thought of that one. I think in this case the plant was simply under stress and susceptible to anything. There is plenty of air circulation. It is growing on a trellis about 20" from a wall just for that purpose. I believe someone dropped the ball and forgot to turn on the automatic irrigation and first it got too dry then too wet when the water was turned on.

This is a children's garden at a library so milk would be the perfect solution, safe for kids and critters. How do you use it? Whole milk or skim? what dilution?

I can't wait to pass this info on.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Apr 23, 2016 1:00 PM CST
The thread "White Powdery Mildew Cure. Easy, Organic." in Pests and Diseases forum
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
Apr 23, 2016 4:59 PM CST
Thanks Carol, seems straightforward enough. I am going to go along when they spray and watch the results.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
central Arkansas - zone 8a/7b (Zone 7b)
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Myles
Apr 23, 2016 5:10 PM CST
I am also trying the milk spray this year. My spring milkweed seedlings began to develop powdery mildew so I went looking for a remedy. Apparently the milk treatment does work according to what I've read. There was a professor at one of the colleges who did a study on using milk to combat powdery mildew.

The dilution I saw recommended was one part milk to two parts water. I use a hand sprayer to apply it to both the top and underside of the leaves. Also read that it didn't seem to matter whether it was whole milk or other.

It is suggested to begin a milk spray treatment for susceptible plants even before the mildew begins and if I'm remembering correctly, to spray once a week for best results. Hurray!

Myles
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Apr 23, 2016 7:26 PM CST
Even if it doesn't have much residual effect, it does kill the mildew without killing the beneficials. I'm thinking maybe the lactic acid is what does it. I'm lactose intolerant so I bought a 1Pint bottle of whole milk to experiment...just in case the Lactaid doesn't work.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
Apr 24, 2016 5:10 AM CST
LOL, Carol, you never know, the honeysuckle might prefer Lactaid. I believe you might be right on the lactic acid part. I did a bit of research and there are recommendations calling for "only non fat" only whole milk", "only organic (very important) non fat" etc. It seems the common denominator is that it must come from a cow. As to the non fat vs. whole milk, I should think the fat in whole milk would help disperse the milk solids on the leaves.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
Apr 24, 2016 8:21 AM CST
This is such a great tip! My bee balm develops powdery mildew every year after it blooms. Going to try it!!

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