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How to Treat Powdery Mildew?Anyone who gardens is no doubt familiar with the scourge of powdery mildew. This fungal disease can attack plants in a variety of ways, from disfiguring leaves to completely killing them. While there are many commercial fungicides available, some gardeners prefer to treat powdery mildew organically. When it comes to powdery mildew, prevention is the best medicine – and thankfully, it’s easy to prevent this fungal disease.

Simply water your plants from below (rather than overhead) and be sure that they get plenty of sunlight. A thin coating of marigold leaves on the soil around affected plants can also help deter powdery mildew. In this article, I’ll explore five organic methods for treating this pesky fungus. Happy gardening!

What is Powdery Mildew?

Powdery mildew is a common fungal disease that attacks many kinds of plants, including cannabis. Powdery mildew thrives in hot weather. It can grow on the leaves of affected plants, eventually covering them entirely with fluffy white or grayish spots. If it spreads to the buds, they will have an unpleasant taste and may rot.

Powdery mildew most commonly affects outdoor plants in temperate climates, but it can also occur indoors when growing conditions are at fault. Powdery mildew is most likely to appear when there’s low air circulation and high humidity, especially if the plant has been recently transplanted or stressed by lack of water or light. To prevent powdery mildew, make sure your plants:

Are given enough light and air circulation. Powdery mildew spreads in warm, damp places that lack good airflow. Make sure your growing area has plenty of fresh air and gets plenty of sunlight to keep the temperature and humidity low. Plants that are moved outside need a period for their leaves to adjust to the sun and wind.

What are the symptoms of an infection?

Symptoms vary by plant species, but powdery mildew on cannabis plants often appears as fluffy white or grayish spots that grow larger. The leaves may turn yellow or brown and then shrivel up if the disease spreads to the entire plant.

Recognizing Powdery Mildew on Your Plants

infected plantsYou can recognize powdery mildew on your plants by its characteristic appearance. Fluffy white patches will grow larger, eventually covering the entire plant if left untreated. Leaves may turn yellow or brown and then shrivel up as a result of damage to the plant’s vascular system.

How can you treat powdery mildew using organic or chemical methods?

Prevention is the best treatment, so always keep your plants healthy and strong. Here are some organic methods for preventing powdery mildew:

  • Use soaker hoses on your cannabis plants to create a humid microclimate that’s unfavorable to powdery mildew.
  • Alternate wetting and drying of leaves can also discourage this fungal disease. Water plants thoroughly, allow them to dry completely, and then water again a couple of hours later.
  • If you’re growing your plants indoors, open any curtains or blinds for a few hours a day to air out the room and let the light in.

If these methods don’t work, there are several chemical treatments for powdery mildew.

  • Sulfur is available in powders or sprays. Apply it before powdery mildew appears since it will likely prevent the fungus from growing.
  • Baking soda spray – mix together one tablespoon of baking powder and two teaspoons of vegetable oil with 2 cups of water to create a spray that kills powdery mildew on contact.
  • Horticultural oils will also kill this fungus, make sure the oil contains one of these active ingredients: horticultural, fatty acid, or neem oil.

Can powdery mildew cause any long-term damage to plants or humans?

Powdery mildew isn’t known to cause any human or plant damage long-term. But, the cosmetic damage done by this fungus can be extremely disheartening and even prevent some plants from setting fruit. If you’re prone to powdery mildew or it regularly attacks your garden, consider adding some extra organic matter to your soil – this will help prevent powdery mildew in two ways. 1) It improves the health of your soil, which makes it less attractive to powdery mildew, and 2) It increases humidity levels, making it more difficult for powdery mildew to survive.

Treating Powdery Mildew

Powdery Mildew isn’t generally life-threatening to outdoor plants, but it can kill indoor plants if left untreated. Luckily, powdery mildew is easy to prevent and treat organically.

Please keep in mind that when you are working with any natural substance, there is always the possibility of an adverse reaction when applying these substances to your growing medium or plants. To avoid adverse reactions, always test a small area on any plant before applying anything new. For example, some essential oils can cause burning if too concentrated on the leaves of your plants.

Remove Infected Portions of Plants

If your plants have an infection, remove the infected portions of the plant to prevent further infection or spread. Dispose of these parts in a way that won’t allow them to come into contact with other plants – such as throwing them in the trash. Be sure to wear gloves when removing parts from your plants because powdery mildew can be difficult to wash off of your hands.

Apply a Fungicide

If your plants are already infected with powdery mildew, you can try to apply a fungicide that kills powdery mildew. These include:

Sulfur: Apply before the fungus appears and mix it thoroughly into your growing medium. Make sure to follow all directions on the packaging and wear protective clothing while applying this fungicide.

Horticultural Oil: Mix together one tablespoon of baking soda and two teaspoons of vegetable oil in 2 cups water, then add this mixture to a spray bottle. Spray onto the leaves of your plants until they are soaked in order to kill the fungus. Make sure not to get any on the flowers because it will harm them.

Don’t overwater your plants, which will make them more susceptible to powdery mildew

Manage your Garden: Build Soil Health

For powdery mildew prevention, manage your garden to maintain healthy soil. Healthy soil is the key to preventing most plant diseases because it reduces stress on plants and allows them to fight off infection naturally.

To build healthy soil, use good quality compost that you create yourself or purchase from a store. This will allow your plants to retain moisture and build a strong immune system.

Whenever possible, plant your plants in raised beds to avoid overly compacted soil. And whenever you’re planting anything, always amend the soil with compost before you plant – this is one of the most important steps to preventing powdery mildew!

Soil pH also plays a role in whether or not plants will contract powdery mildew, so be sure to test your soil’s pH and adjust it accordingly.

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