ALthea-white powdery blooms - Knowledgebase Question

New Orleans, LA
Avatar for KLMcBride1
Question by KLMcBride1
August 10, 2007
This is my 2nd request!!! I am having a problem with a white powdery substance appearing on the blooms of my Althea bush. Also some leaves are curling. I have checked thoroughly for mites, bugs,etc. but do no see any. Can you tell me why this is happening , and how to stop it?!
Ken McBride

Answer from NGA
August 10, 2007
I remember answering your question so it appears the answer was lost in cyberspace. This can happen through an electronic glitch or if your email address is incorrect. In any case, I apologize.

It sounds as though your plants have powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that attacks plants when environmental conditions are right (warm days, cool nights, some humidity) and when air circulation is poor. You can help avoid powdery mildew by giving plants the required exposure to sunshine, and plenty of elbow room so there's good air circulation all around them. Some plants are more resistant to powdery mildew, so choose carefully and avoid those that are mildew-prone. Unlike most other fungal diseases, powdery mildew can be held in check by strong sprays of water that simulate a downpour. Another effective treatment is regular sprays with compost tea solution. To make the spray, mix one part mature compost that contains some manure with five parts water. Let the mixture sit in the shade for two weeks, then filter through cheesecloth and spray on your plants. You can dilute it by half if you like. Repeat every two weeks. If you prefer, you can purchase a fungicide at the garden center. Fungicides will help protect unaffected plant parts but will not cure the already present disease. I usually spray and then prune off the affected plant parts. Spraying on a regular basis (as indicated on the fungicide label) will help your plants avoid future attacks of powdery mildew. I hope you have some success with these methods.

Best wishes with your garden!

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