So dissapointed...what is ailing my blooming AV NOW?....

Begonia2005(7)October 27, 2012

OK...just when I thought I was getting the hang of it, another problem shows up. This is an AV I managed to make bloom again, with quite a few buds coming. I was so excited to see the show of flowers soon... I noticed gray-whitish white spots on the leaves - as shown in the photo.

What is this NOW? ...I suppose it is either powdery mildew or Bortrytis, right?

I did the test with the Q-tip dipped in alcohol to make sure these are not mealy bugs, and it did not turn I don't think this is it.

Between powdery mildew and Bortrytis, I am not sure. One leaf does show one small brown lesion on the edge, as if the leaf got scorched/sun-burnt or something like that (the next picture below).

Kindly help as I have worked so hard to get this violet to bloom again, including disbudding, which broke my heart at the time. I am almost ready to give all this up.

The plant has been sitting in a east-south window, and under artificial lights, on top of a round tray filled with pebbles and water. I should mention that the ceramic pot was placed on a terracota saucer, which in turn was sitting on the pebbles. I did this so that I would avoid having the pot sit directly on the pebbles almost covered with water - to avoid root rot.

I am afraid though that I may have created too much humidity by keeping a terra-cota saucer between the pot and the pebbles because every time I would lift up the pot there was condensation at the bottom.

I would appreciate any advice as to what you think these spots are and what I should do next.

This plant has got such beautiful buds coming. In fact there is one that has just bloomed (picture below).

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The lesion on one leaf...

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 7:20PM
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...and the first pretty bloom ...:-((

I really don't want to lose this violet. ...

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 7:24PM
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It's powdery mildew.

Not a major problem, but try and reduce the amount of humidity in the growing area.

Pretty bloom, BTW.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Oh...thank you, thank you, aegis!!
Anything in particular I should do? Fungicide? Any "home remedies"? I heard cinnamon powder might work?...

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 7:57PM
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I get powdery mildew in the Fall when the heat comes on. It's a little bit of a nuisance, but it's treatable. I have been very pleased with Spectracide Immunox Multi-Purpose Fungicide mixed 1/8 tsp to 12 oz slightly warm water. I spray to thoroughly wet the foliage to the point where it begins to run off. Use a bit of paper towel to blot the moisture out of the crown and allow to dry before turning the lights on. The Powdery Mildew spores spread with incredible efficiency so if I see symptoms on one plant I treat all nearby plants.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 8:23PM
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I don't know if cinnamon will work but I have used luke warm milk on powdery mildew with success. You don't need much, let it sit for a minute or two & wipe off. This worked for the few spots I found. Improving air circulation helps to prevent powdery mildew; it spreads quicker in humid, cool, and stagnant conditions.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 8:26PM
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I can't quite have a fan where the plant sits....but I really didn't think air circulation would be a problem because the plant is not crowded on that stand. It sits on a shelf next to a dome under which I have some leaves put down. It is true I have avoided opening the door or the window in the eat-in kitchen area where the plant sits because there have been some cool days lately and I was afraid it might get a cold draft of something. I also religiously kept a steady supply of water in the tray with pebbles - given all the fuss about violets liking humidity.

Any idea how else I could naturally improve air circulation in the area? The stand sits against the window, in the breakfast room where we normally eat. I read somewhere that as long as people naturally move in the area, this is enough to ensure good air circulation. Looks like it is not quite enough.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 9:05PM
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Oh...also, any idea what that brown lesion may be?

It is one of the newer leaves so I didn't want to cut it all off for the sake of some future blooms; so I just clipped off that brown edge - is that acceptable?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 9:07PM
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I really didn't think air circulation would be a problem because the plant is not crowded on that stand

The whole pot by it's self is the environment Micro environment Your statement is true for the stand area but not as true for the inside of the container to the bottom row of leaves.

Rest assured powdery mildew doesn't need a lot of room to develop and it can spread faster than a plant can breath the better air that your trying to give it.

First thing I would do is loose the humidity trays move the plant to an area where PM wouldn't be able to effect other plants AKA Isolation.

Next I'd also remove every effected leaf and toss them outside somewhere.

After that I'd speak firmly to the plant and say YOU better start behaving. Explained below:
Not sure if organic K-Neem is effective for AV's with PM already but would be helpful if used as a preventive measure of PM.

Powdery Mildew if you haven't already read about it ... It develops mainly as a result of humidity chances that a plant cant adapt to as fast as the sudden high to low or low to high humidity changes occurring.

A personal IMO for Begonia:
I think it's better to try to grow the same plant a second time again. It could be better to try try again than over applying to much effort on that one single plant.

Some of us have been there & done that. In return we learn more from our failures than our success.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 11:10PM
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The overall plant looks so nice that I am having a hard time butchering it or throwing it away.
For now, I have used some Lysol disinfectant wipes and wiped the white spots offs the leaves. When the leaves dried, the spots were not there anymore. I am aware I may have still missed some spots but I will keep reapplying as needed until the mildew is gone.

I would hate to lose my nicest looking plant as of now, to something I read is easily treatable.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 12:18AM
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Begonia ...

Your plant looks very healthy.

In years of growing, I've never had Powdery Mildew become a major problem, though it shows up on a plant or two from time to time.

I'd simply suggest eliminating the humidity trays, continue to use your Lysol wipes (I've never thought of that), ... and see what happens. Some plants are more susceptible to PM than others.

I just resolved a case of PM on just one violet in my collection. It never spread, ... and, eventually the plant cleared up.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 8:49AM
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After using the Lysol wipes last evening, the plant looks pretty much good as new. I saw one extremely tiny spot left today, which I may have missed yesterday in electric light, and wiped off that one too. It seems Lysol wipes work, at least so far. On top of that, the leaves look clean and all dust is gone.

I can't wait for all those buds to come to full bloom. I will take a picture and post it here ...because this is really the first AV I managed to get to bloom again after the store blooms were gone - and with a relative abundance of buds too. These are all home-made buds :-), courtesy the advice I received here from very kind people.

I have another plant though, with a different story...this one is clearly not working out; I had another thread about it and I will revive it because I have no idea why the plant continues to decline.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 5:34PM
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perle_de_or(Zone 7)

Thats a great idea about the Lysol wipes. I have seen some postings on using the spray and spraying upwards and letting it mist down on the leaves, but the wipes would do the same thing. From what I have read, using cinnamon is for fungus gnats. I am trying that on some of mine and it seems to be working so far. The brown place looks like leaf burn or water damage. I have cut bad places off of leaves with good results. Something interesting that happens with my store bought plants is after they start getting new leaves they change appearance and become much prettier and quilty looking. And even the blooms become larger and prettier than they were at the store.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 9:30AM
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