Ask a Question forum: powdery mildew on store bought Salvia (May Night variety)

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Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Jul 7, 2016 2:28 PM CST
I picked up a couple 'mainacht' Salvias from the store weeks ago for my front yard area. I don't know if I just hadn't noticed this in the store, or if it somehow picked it up while it sat on my front step away from all the other plants for a couple days (to see if it had any diseases brought home)... but the next day it was covered in powdery mildew. I cut the plant WAY down so it could be aired out and have sprayed it with Neem once a week for the last two weeks. It is due for another spraying now. It still looks like this today:

Thumb of 2016-07-07/robynanne/cfe7b6
Thumb of 2016-07-07/robynanne/9029f3
Thumb of 2016-07-07/robynanne/162293

I don't want to put it in the ground like this as I don't want it infecting the ground area. I also don't want it infecting any nearby plants. Is it possible to completely eradicate this mildew from a potted plant before planting it?

Thanks!
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
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Altheabyanothername
Jul 7, 2016 2:54 PM CST
That is really weird. May Night is not known for getting powdery mildew.
Mealy cup salvia is and it does, but it has not ever spread to my May Night. Try some baking soda water or hydrogen peroxide with water. Without any insects I do not think you have to put soap in the water. I would try the baking soda water first. It can help neutralize the soil around it. It is a Catch 22 but powdery mildew likes shade and damp. However when plants have it full sun damages them. Try to find a compromise. I would rinse as much soil off the roots before planting, but May Night will not like it's roots messed with. The nice thing is if it's happy with a good root system you can cut off the majority of leaves give it miracle grow and it will grow like nothing happened. No matter what you do May Night is a baby about transplanting, but rarely dies. May your week be blessed with joy!
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Tomato Heads Garden Photography
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robynanne
Jul 7, 2016 3:05 PM CST
thank you Sharon! I was contemplating cutting the whole top off the plant while in the pot, treating the soil, and letting it grow back before planting it in the ground. I wasn't sure if that would just kill it entirely though. And yes, that explains why it would wilt any time I got it in full sun when it says it LIKES full sun. I will try some baking soda water. Do you think if I rinse off the top inch or two of dirt and leave the plant in the pot it is in now, that might help without traumatizing it with a move? It was huge when I got it - I think I cut off about a ft of plant that was all covered in mildew.
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
Daylilies Garden Art Irises Region: Texas Clematis Lilies
Amaryllis Bulbs
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Altheabyanothername
Jul 7, 2016 3:46 PM CST
That should be fine to remove the least amount of soil. I would cut off only what has real bad mildew. Some of your inner leaves look ok, you want to get a good root system before winter.
Until it is in the ground with your full sun and happy it will wilt. Age and in ground planting will stop the wilting. After transplanting it will wilt for awhile, keep watered. Probably with problems you have had I would water around it. Normally nothing bothers the leaves. A little care now will equal many years of enjoyment. When we were first putting in the gardens we forgot about it. It was mowed twice. I do not know how to winterize them, but every spring before flowering lift all the leaves. You just might find a baby or two. You can pot them for root development, and they will cry and wilt after you put them in the ground. Any time it is ungainly give it a haircut. I pretty much take alot of mine off about now so I will have a good fall show. I root alot of the cuttings in moist soil in the shade. With those cuttings being old and the Texas heat, I still get most to root.
A little fertilizer increases growth and amount of blooms. Many blessings for a good day!
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Tomato Heads Garden Photography
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robynanne
Jul 7, 2016 7:51 PM CST
Thank you!

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