mold on phlox

lbabbApril 3, 2005

Last fall my favorite plants, a lavendar phlox, had a white coating all over the leaves. Will the mold (at least that's what I think it was) come back this spring? Is there anything I can do to prevent this? I'd really hate to loose these plants.

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tadeusz5(z5 il)

lbabb; A Hearty Welcome to the MG and the Garden WEB;

Powdery Mildew ; pHlox , Monarda Fistulosa are some plants that are very succeptable to having that white coating that you described; Yes they will be back for sure- but there are some remedies- consult this link below.

Nice to have you join us.

tadeusz in Orland Park,illinois.

Here is a link that might be useful: phlox mildew

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 8:37PM
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Thanks tadeusz5. I check out the link you recommended, and learned a lot about what I am dealing with, but I didn't get what I should do about it. It said to thin out the stems and something about a spray, but not what kind of spray. I am wondering if I should just dig these plants up and replace them with a mildew resistant variety. Will this mildew spread to other perennials? I have many plants up already, but the plox are not. I did clear off the leaves and stuff today, and I guess that was not a good idea--to leave a leaf cover over them. I've never dealt with this before; they have always been so pretty and very little problem. Any advise would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 9:26PM
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tadeusz5(z5 il)


Forget about spraying- In My humble Op- its'a waste of money, and putting chemical's /killing beneficial things on this planet of ours.

tRY "siting" those Phloxes where you have some "wind" blowing thru them, this will help tremendously in keeping the spores off your plants, and do not despair -you have had success with them , and you will again -it could have been one of those years, lots of water, humidity,etc thus the mildew- lots of other shrubs, perrenials , annuals get all kinds of diseases, We as human's just have to live with that.

have a great spring in South Dakota.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2005 at 10:48AM
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I use "Safer" brand fungicide on my roses for powdery mildew. It's organic, safe when dry and you can use a spray bottle as opposed to a Hazmat suit if ykwim.

I don't know if you can use it on phlox, but you might want to check it out.

Biggest issue with roses is overly wet conditions where they can't dry out and too much shade.

Again, sorry that I have no phlox experience, but I can't imagine that it would be much different as to what the solution is. Early morning watering, lots of drying sun and sometimes spraying keeps it at bay for me.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 6:18PM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

I have used Crystal Light Lemonaide in a sprayer and it works. I have a book called Gardening Magic that recommends various household products to help with gardening. It had Tang as a cure for aphids. Well I had the Crystal light on hand so used it for aphids and while I was at it I used it on the phlox and bee balm to see if it would work on the powdery mildew and it did. I sprayed and then in two weeks and three more I sprayed again and the powdery mildew as well as aphids didn't come back. It is the limonoids that do the trick.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 9:44AM
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I've also heard that using a 50/50 solution of Listerine mouth wash and water gets rid of powdery mildew. One year I had it really bad on my phlox. But it hasn't been bad since then. My phlox 'David' is the best on not getting pm in my garden. Seldom a spot. The others get a light case, but the flowers and scent make up for it. I'll keep that crystal light in mind too.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 5:01PM
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Thank you all so much for your suggestions. If the mildew comes back, I will have many things to try. I'm so excited for spring this year because we are out of school on May 13, and I will have lots of time to spend in my flower garden.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 9:37AM
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sheri(St. Louis/zn 6)

Hi Lbabb,
I'm in the same boat. I have a huge problem with powdery mildew. I know part of my problem is overcrowding. But I also have it on one of my tree roses which isn't touching or even near anything else, so crowding is not the only problem. I went searching online last year and have a list of organic (non-chemical anyway) remedies. I'm just liable to try them ALL! But then I won't know what fixed the problem.

Here's the ones I have on my list.
- 1 part milk to 9 parts water

- Cornmeal tea, which is just soaking cornmeal in water until it makes a "tea" and then spray the tea.

- 1T baking soda
- 1-2T Horticultural Oil
- 1 gallon water
- 1-2 drops dishwashing liquid

I'm most excited about the first two. I certainly have milk on hand. And I've used cornmeal on the lawn for several years. It has some sort of natural fungicide. It looks really odd though when I go in the grocery store and buy 10 bags of cornmeal! Finally this year, I think the feed store nearby is going to carry it in bulk.

I'm going to make note of these other remedies too. Something is going to work for me this year. I have lots of phlox and I absolutely love them for mid-late season color.

Good luck! Let me know what works for you.

Thx! Sheri

    Bookmark   April 27, 2005 at 10:34PM
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I have several varieties of phlox and several were covered with mildew this summer. I've had no problems in the past and am certain that this year's problems were due to our weather conditions this spring and early summer. Should I cut the phlox down to the ground this fall and get rid of the foliage or does the mildew not overwinter - our climate can get to -20 to -35. Any thoughts on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 9:41PM
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I did not have any mildew on my phlox this year. I don't think they were as pretty as usual, but it was very dry here, and I didn't get them watered like I should. Maybe the dry weather had something to do with no mildew. I cut them down to the ground last fall and hauled the foliage away. Then, I just took a wait and see approach. I was all set to try the crystal light and listerine and some of the other remedies, but turns out I didn't have to. It didn't get that cold here last winter, but I think the dry summer helped the most.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 4:08PM
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Thank you lbabb. I think I will cut them to the ground and thin them out a bit as well. Mine were beautiful this year if you didn't get close enough to see the mildew! Many are still blooming and the scent is wonderful. I'm going to save the remedies mentioned in the event the plants become infected again next year.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 7:00PM
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I have an old white phlox called White Admiral. It's the only phlox I've ever had that doesn't get mildew.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 8:42PM
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Oswegian(Z5 IL)

My yard where the phlox are is hot as blazes and twice as dry. The only time I ever had a problem with them is when I watered them alot trying to get them established. Boy, they were mad about that, and their bottom leaves rotted away in protest.

I once saw in the Sunset Garden Guide (IIRC), they recommended phlox for a bone-dry California hillside under a leathery western oak. The photo showed a whole load of them looking really happy that way. Hot and good drainage.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 10:36PM
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pam_aa(z5 Berwyn Il.)

I agree with tadeusz5's opinion, Don't sweat the small stuff, unless it's absolutely hideous. It won't kill/damage the plant unless it's sickly. Mildew spores are everywhere. I am also a devote of David, the pure white flowers bloom a long time, and is very stunning in the still of the evening. Mine gets a little mildew but so what?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 12:47PM
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