White coating on the top of leaves or discoloration and spots are signs of infestation with powdery mildew. How can the fungus be treated naturally?

Powdery mildew is a common fungal disease of laurel that has more than 100 different species. Some species, such as apple powdery mildew, only affect certain plants.

How to treat it?

Powdery mildew is a so-called fair-weather fungus, which means that it forms when it is warm and dry. It can be recognized as a wipeable, white, later dirty-brownish coating on the upper leaf surfaces and the flowers. The leaves turn brown and dry out, and the flowers wither. In severe infestations, entire parts of the plant may die. Powdery mildew occurs mainly on laurels, roses, asters, and on cucumbers, carrots, and gooseberries.

Prevention is always better than cure. To do this, you should also know the causes of the infestation. However, subsequent measures are not always a guarantee that the fungal disease will not break out, because it also depends on the weather. But there is a possibility to reduce the points of attack. Attention should therefore be paid to:

  • Correct choice of location;

  • Planting of resistant varieties;

  • Sufficient planting distance;

  • Regular trimming;

  • Avoid overfertilization with nitrogen, this softens plant tissue, and the fungus can penetrate easily;

  • Use fertilizer with a caloric tone;

  • Water plants from below;

  • Watering in the morning or in the afternoon;

  • Leaves must be dry by night;

  • Keep soil free of weeds;

  • Use of plant dips to strengthen the defenses.

Infested plant parts must be removed and disposed of. Subsequently, it is recommended to treat with milk. To do this, mix fresh milk with water in a ratio of 1:8 and spray the plant with it every few days. The microorganisms contained in the milk fight the fungus effectively and naturally. They also strengthen the plant.

By using all the preventive actions we described and by the timely discovery of the fungus, you will ensure that your hedge will serve you for a long time.

About the author
Adrian Byrne
I am Adrian Byrne, the owner of Hedging.ie and Laurehedging.ie. I have 20-year experience in the Horticulture industry and working with customers.

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