Problem with mildew

flowergirl70ksDecember 17, 2012

This is getting to be a real problem for me.I've been growing violets for over 50 years and have only had this happen the last 2 years.Looked at the FAQS and they say poor air circulation is the culprit. I'm at a loss here because if anything they have more air circulating now than ever.Change in temperature from summer to winter((we had no fall to speak of) is supposed to cause it too. I have my violet table in front of an east window. I have shades to lower in the morning so they don't get too much hot sun. As soon as I can, I raise the shades. Does anybody have any suggestions for me? This happened when the seasons changed last year at this time too.

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Try using a fan, but not direct on your AV's. I keep my fans running 24-7.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 6:45PM
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I have a ceiling fan at the far end of the room, is that enough?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 9:55AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Flowergirl - while the advice you were given are valid for the PM prevention - you already have an infection, so lets think how to stop it.

If you have just a beginning of it - you can use neem oil - they sell 3-in-1 spray where neem oil is a fungicide-miticide-pesticide. Since it is not poisonous to humans and animals - you can spray your plants every 3 days - oir at least once a week. You can remove the older leaves and blossoms if they are already covered with PM. The less fungus you have - the sooner you get rid of it.

If the PM fungus took over the leaf - there not very much you can do, it is already inside the tissue. (There is some stuff - but it will be poisonous and expensive).

There are several more things you can spray without breaking the bank. "Green Cure" - it is potassium bicarbonate - analog of our baking soda - but with much more plant friendly potassium. It is a great preventative - both for violets and outside roses - if sprayed once a week. Physan 27 - there is analog for it Orchid growers use - I think Consan - also can be used on a regular basis. I think there is some turf fungicide in Home Depot that also does the job - but it leaves spots and probably not harmless.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 12:20PM
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I have used consan last year-it was a disaster left spots on leaves and stems,I bought physan, didn't do much good either. The mildew just kept coming. I'm trying to figure out why I went for years and never got mildew, does it live over somehow and only appears in the later part of the year? I guess I will try the neem next. I'm about to think my violet growing days are over.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 1:42PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Flowergirl -

I am thinking that after you get PM - you can control it - but cannot not get rid of it totaly. And ever time the conditions are right - spring or fall - it will resprout.
Some plants are PM magnets - and in this case - you can replace this plant with more resistant one. But you cannot prevent PM from reappearing some time later - because it is present outdoors.

The spots from Consan are temporary nuisance, not a disaster - could you probably use too high of a concentration? Should be something like a half-spoon per gallon.

The trigger for PM to appear is the large temperature difference - hot days and cool nights - happens when you turn the furnace off in spring - or before you turn the furnace off in the fall. Spores only sprout if the surface of the leaf has has mini water drops from the dew - that's why fan helps - it dries them.

The fungicide that will kill the PM is called propiconazole and is used against PM on roses - the name is Honor Guard PPZ - you can get a bottle on amazon for $58.

For this amount of money you can buy a lot of AVs.

If you Av irritates you to no end - chuck it, wipe all the surfaces with Clorax or alcohol - and some time later get another one - and be ahead of the game on prevention - GreenCure - or neem oil sprayed at the change of the seasons time, possibly another location where it wont experience day time night ttime temp drop - and good air circulation. It is such a pain to get rid of it - much easier to prevent.

good Luck


    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 2:45PM
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Thanks everybody

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 4:27PM
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Flowergirl ...

I'd suggest NOT closing your shades during the day.

You're not going to get TOO MUCH sun from an eastern exposure ... and the sun will help to keep down the mildew.

The other thing that you can do for mildew is to use Lysol air freshener spray, which contains mildew-killing chemicals.

Don't spray it directly on the plants (the spray is too cold), but spray it over the plants, ... and let the mist drift down onto the plants.

Your mildew should eventually clear up.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 5:28PM
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minimac(6 So In. Louisville Ky)

Flowergirl, don't give up! A wonderful product for powdery mildew is Spectracide Immunox Multi-Purpose Fungicide spray concentrate. You can find it at big box stores. It cost around $20 and will last forever. You may also use it in your garden and is great for roses.

Mix 1 and 1/2 teaspoons to a quart of water. Once mixed - it still lasts forever. I put it in a fine mist sprayer and spray upper and under leaves. It works like magic and seems to melt away powdery mildew. In the beginning you may have to use it once every 2 weeks, until it is under control, and then only as needed when and if it shows up again.

I, too, used to always get PM until I started using Immunox and turned on the overhead fan.

Good Luck

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 9:12PM
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gwenvet(Zone 5 Indiana)

Once Flowergirl gets rid of the current infection, should AV's be sprayed with Lysol, Physan, Immunox as a preventive measure during the winter? It hit my young plants last winter and eventually wiped them out and I am wondering if I should be spraying this winter to prevent it. I hope I didn't hijack this thread. Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 3:22PM
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I spent the weekend going thru my violets. Only the ones in my east kitchen window have mildew. None at all in my living room and basement. I carefully checked each one, the worst ones were chucked into the trash. Since I was snowed in, I could only spray with what I had. Consan was what I had. it said 1 1/2 tsp to gallon. Irina says 1/2 tsp so thats what I used. I took off the worst leaves and all the flowers, all pots sit inside pretty pots, so I washed all those with clorox water, and wiped my table and surrounding area also. Sprayed top and bottom leaves and soil in pot. The fans are running.
As soon as I can get out of my garage, I'm going to hunt for Immunnox, and spray again. I'm hopeful. some of my violets are very old, some moved to this house with me when I came here 45 years ago. Garnet Elf is one, it never goes out of bloom. I always have a crop of babies coming on in the basement. I am thoroughly sick of mildew though, maybe I will go to begonias next.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 10:15AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

I never used Immunox - and I have no idea if it would stain or damage AVs. Since Debbie uses it and OK-s it - it will probably work.

My only concern it - if you look at the label - it is for outdoors - and it is an eye irritant. So - take your plants to the bathroom to spray - which you can hose afterwards, wear protective glasses, gloves, mask or just cover you nose and mouth with some kind of handkerchief to prevent inhaling the solution.

I am thinking that using Neem oil or Consan/Physan or Green Cure weekly or by-weekly for prevention - probably a good idea for the next spring - when the next attack of mildew will be coming. Right now - some kind of serious fungicide is probably due.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 1:17PM
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I had PM several months ago and was told to use sulphur in shallow pots placed among my violets. I thought it would never work;it just sounded too easy. Turned out, it worked like a charm and I haven't had a problem since. I also tried the Lysol to no effect.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 2:07AM
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I thought I'd give a report on my mildew. since I went through them all and sprayed with a light spray of consan, I have seen no more mildew. The fans are running too and I'm sure that has also helped. Buds are showing up now, so I should have lots of bloom soon.
I do thank you all for the comments and advice.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 9:30AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Good Job!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:44AM
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