white growth on mulch and bushes - Knowledgebase Question

Boston, Ma
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Question by cwls
June 30, 2010
I have noticed the appearance of a pool of white something (fungis?)but it is not liquid. It shows up on the mulch under my bushes and sometimes on the trunk of the bush itself. It goes away on its own. However, I have lost two burning bushes in the last two years so I am wondering if this was the cause. Is it some kind of disease? I am from the east coast. Thank you!

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010
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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