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Powdery mildew - spireas, etc.

Posted by zigzag 7b - Triangle, NC (My Page) on
Sat, May 12, 07 at 19:26

Anybody have any sure fire home-type remedies for this? (I did find a few in garden books and on an old posting here - skim milk and a baking powder mixture recipe.) Here's my scenario - makes me wonder if it's in the soil .....

Had four (green leaf) spiras in the back courtyard which were beautiful for the first two years, but have been afflicted yearly ever since. This seems to hit very fast and withers the bloom (which should be right about now!). Last year I hacked them back down, they rebounded, but didn't re-flower.

Now ..... this year I moved two of them out front - they're fine, as are the four gold leaf spireas in the same bed, but the two left out back are again and suddenly ailing badly. For the most part, nothing else in the same bed is ailing (I did put in bee balm last spring, that got pretty 'dusty' as bb is wont to do, but the spirea ailment preceded the bb arrival).

Is this affliction something that can lurk in the ground? The bed is re-mulched w/rotted leaf compost every spring. Any ideas will be appreciated!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Powdery mildew - spireas, etc.

Try improving the air circulation as much as you can - that may be why the 2 moved to the front are OK now. You may have to move these as well, and put something else in back. Warm days and cool nights encourage PM. I have read that since it thrives, unlike most mildews, when leaves are dry, that watering so the leaves are wetted, can help discourage it.

It's baking SODA, not baking POWDER - there is a difference. Adding in a litle Neem oil might help, as it can act as an antifungal.

I have also read that scattering ordinary cornmeal lightly on the ground is good, more as a preventative, but it's worth trying, and easier than mixing and spraying. Don't cover the ground, as that seemingly leads to mold and stinks.

RE: Powdery mildew - spireas, etc.

  • Posted by zigzag 7b - Triangle, NC (My Page) on
    Sat, May 12, 07 at 22:41

Bingo, Dibbit! I think your air circulation explanation is the key - makes perfect sense! Over the past five years all the surrounding plants have grown incredibly really hemming these spireas in - in fact, crowding is why I moved the two earlier this year. The garden is raised, in a fenced corner backed by a timber retaining wall w/now pretty big trees (magnolia & Japanese maple) and a few suddenly huge perennials, all of which are definitely restricting air flow.

Too late to move them this year w/out seriously disturbing their neighbors, so will definitely free them next spring. Meanwhile I'll cut them back again and baby them w/a home remedy - and thanks for the soda/powder correction, brain & fingers wern't connected!

Thanks again!

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