Powdery Mildew-Echinacea-Advise Please

heavenscent(7b Atlanta)November 7, 2007

I have been battling PM most of the summer on all of my echinacea.I must have inadvertently spread the fungus while deadheading and not cleaning my shears...OOPS!

Once I realized what it was I began spraying weekly with Daconil, it did not help. A few weeks ago, after searching the internet for advice, I cut most of the plants back to the ground. I did not cut back of a few plants that were planted together in which a green lynx spider had chosen as her home to lay her eggs. ;0)

I try to only select plants for my garden that are low maintence, I try as much as possible to garden organically and I have not had any problems with echinacea in my prior garden. I have a few questions:

Should I expect to see my echinacea again in the spring, or did I surely grant them an early death?

Should I now cut back the others that the spider had nested in?

Is the soil around the plants contaminated? Should it be spayed as well or will the soon to be winter take care of that?

Any expertise is greatly appreciated, as I am tired of torturing the poor echinacea...

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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Your plants should emerge fine next spring without powdery mildew. It spreads to some but not all plants. The reason you got it so bad this year could be:

drought mixed with humid air. Powdery mildew sets on plants that are often dry at the root but the leaves have humidity on them constantly

crowded foliage or foliage that is just in a sort of wind blocked area so the air doesn't circulate well and the moisture doesn't dry off leaves quickly

shadier than the plant appreciates

I wouldn't do a thing now but wait. Hopefully next spring will bring better growing conditions and your babies will recover and be mildew free!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 5:59PM
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Do a search for "powdery mildew + milk" for the answer to your question. A simple, organic solution that works.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 8:36AM
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heavenscent(7b Atlanta)

Thanks GGG Should I stop spraying now and just let the foilage die back on it's own?

Nandina~ I did do some searching as far as organic treatment with milk and read alot of conflicting results, by the time I noticed the PM it was all over the place and I wanted a sure fix(even though that did not help much either) ;)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 1:24PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

I wouldn't bother spraying now. My cone flowers have browned in the frost, so yours probably will soon.

Ironically powdery mildew is worse in dry weather. Regular rain or overhead watering washes the spores off the leaves.

Zinnias are another plant that gets mildew. But it doesn't over winter.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 3:36PM
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Maybe next year you will be alert for the first signs of mildew and try the milk treatment. You do not know if it will work in your situation until you give it a try. Lots of gardeners report success using it.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 4:57PM
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heavenscent(7b Atlanta)

nandina- You bet I will! I am a lazy gardener by nature, but I think I will do some preventive milk spraying through the growing season next year!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 8:05PM
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