It may start as a few unsightly leaves covered in gray or white powdery patches or spots. Left unchecked, powdery mildew can spread to other plants, especially in warm, dry conditions .
It will weaken plants and cause the leaves to curl up, twist, or dry out. This type of fungal disease can affect fruit trees, vegetable crops, and other plants in your garden.
Here’s how to get rid of powdery mildew naturally:
1. Baking Soda
Make a homemade powdery mildew spray using baking soda. For the recipe, combine one tablespoon of baking soda, half a teaspoon of liquid soap, and a gallon of water.
Shake well and spray the leaves of the plant. You can also apply it to the soil surface around the base of plants.
Use this solution as a preventative measure. If the plant is already infected, remove the infected leaves and spray the rest of the plant. Reapply after a shower of rain.
Organic gardeners often use vinegar solutions as an anti-fungal treatment for plants.
The acetic acid in vinegar makes it effective at controlling powdery mildew. However, when making the spray, the solution needs to be fairly weak so as not to burn plants.
Apple cider vinegar is the preferred choice. To use apple cider vinegar for powdery mildew, mix 3 tablespoons of the vinegar with a gallon of water.
Spray onto plants every three days.
3. Neem Oil
This oil has been used for generations by gardeners as a natural insecticide and fungicide.
To use neem oil for powdery mildew, combine 3 tablespoons of the oil, one teaspoon of liquid soap, and a gallon of water. Next, add it to a spray container and spray the leaves.
Alternatively, you can purchase a ready-to-use neem oil concentrate. To avoid leaf burn, use the solution early in the morning or in the evening.
4. Improve Air Circulation
To reduce the spread of the disease, give your plants more room to breathe.
Pruning and thinning out plants if necessary will prevent overcrowding, thus providing better air circulation.
5. Avoid Overhead Watering
Fighting powdery mildew is not helped by overhead watering or getting the leaves wet. This increases the risk of dampness and humidity that will encourage mildew growth .
6. Insecticidal Soap
Using a soapy water solution to rid the garden of pests and diseases is nothing new. Moreover, you can get insecticidal soap as a ready-to-use spray.
Brands such as Bonide carry insecticidal soaps. These contain active ingredients that work against certain plant diseases, including powdery mildew.
Spray it onto problem areas of the plant at 7-day intervals.
This commercial product contains copper, another remedy used to control fungal diseases organically.
Cueva is a liquid copper fungicide that works against powdery mildew, bacterial cankers, anthracnose, brown rot, and more.
The product penetrates the cells of the disease, causing fatal cell leakage. Cueva is OMRI-Listed for safe use on organic crops.
8. Bonide Liquid Copper Fungicide
This is another powdery mildew fungicide that contains copper. It is also effective in treating rust on plants and downy mildew.
Moreover, the product is safe to use in your organic garden. All kinds of ornamental, vegetable crops, and fruit trees can benefit from this ready-to-use spray.
Banish is a popular and powerful all-natural organic fungicide. It contains Geraniol, a geranium oil plant extract.
The product works to prevent mildew growth. It does so by disrupting spore germination and mycelium growth, ultimately destroying the pathogen cell.
However, it is very potent, so use it according to the instructions that come with your purchase.
Milk spray works as a preventative measure for controlling powdery mildew on certain plants.
To get rid of powdery mildew with milk, make a solution of milk and water (40/60 ratio). Next, remove all affected leaves before applying the spray.
Afterward, use it as a foliar spray for your plants. Repeat after 10 to 14 days and after a heavy rain shower.
This milk treatment works great on pumpkin plants, cucumbers, grapes, apples, and other crops susceptible to powdery mildew.
This is another popular natural remedy for powdery mildew. Garlic is naturally high in sulfur, making it an effective powdery mildew treatment.
Therefore, blend two bulbs of garlic in two cups of water. Next, strain the mixture and add one teaspoon of liquid soap.
Afterward, dilute a quarter cup of the garlic mixture in a gallon of water. Finally, use this as a foliar spray.
A far easier option is to purchase a product containing garlic that fights against fungal diseases on plants.
12. Compost Tea
Some gardeners have gotten results using compost tea for powdery mildew, so it’s worth giving it a try.
To make compost tea for plants, add a shovel full of finished compost to a 5-gallon bucket of water.
Leave it to steep for a week, and then use the solution to water plants. However, ensure that you dilute it with water (1:1) before using it.
This home remedy will help strengthen plants against pests and diseases.
Cutting back parts of a plant to let in more air is sometimes not enough to control mildew.
Prune small trees and shrubs. Cut off any dead or unwanted plant parts to improve air circulation.
But you will also have to remove diseased plant parts. This will help maintain disease-free plants.
Sometimes mildew shows up in even the best-kept gardens. Fortunately, there are plenty of home remedies and natural solutions to stop or prevent the problem.