Baking Soda Recipe for Controlling Powdery Mildew on Plants
A Home Remedy for Fungus Diseases

Baking soda makes an inexpensive control for powdery mildew on plants. The baking soda fungicide is mostly effective as a preventative, offering only minimal benefits after your plants have become infected. Weekly spraying of susceptible plants during humid or damp weather can greatly reduce the incidence of powdery mildew in your garden.

To control powdery mildew on plants, mix together:

1 tablespoon of baking soda
Ĺ teaspoon of liquid soap
1 gallon of water
Do not store unused mixture. While this recipe has been known to be effective, it can burn the leaves of some plants. It is recommended that you water your infected plants well a couple of days before applying this mixture, and donít apply it in full sun. Try on a small area first, to test the plantís response before spraying the entire plant.
Some recipes also recommend applying 1 tablespoon of ultralight horticultural oil to the mixture. The oil coats and smothers the fungi. The soap is added to help the mix spread and cling to the leaf surface. Be sure to apply to lower leaf surfaces as well.

Researchers are still studying the effects of using a baking soda mixture on other fungal diseases such as: black spot, rust and anthracnose.

Powdery Mildew
Controlling and Preventing Powdery Mildew on Plants

Powdery mildew is one of the most common and easily recognized plant diseases. Almost no type of plant is immune, however some are more susceptible than others. Lilacs, crab apples, phlox, monarda, roses, grapes, squash and cucumbers are all likely targets for powdery mildew.


Recognizing Powdery Mildew
As the name implies, powdery mildew looks like powdery splotches of white or gray, on the leaves and stems of plants. There are actually several types of powdery mildew fungi, but they all look basically the same. You may not notice a problem until the top surfaces of the leaves turn powdery, but powdery mildew can also affect the lower leaf surface, stems, flowers, buds and even the fruit.
Although powdery mildew is unattractive, it is rarely fatal. However it does stress the plant and severe or repetitive infections will weaken the plant. If enough of the leaf surface becomes covered with powdery mildew, photosynthesis is impaired. Infected leaves often fall prematurely. This can be a particular problem on edible crops, since insufficient photosynthesis can diminish the flavor of the fruit or vegetable. If buds become infected, they may not open and mature at all.

Powdery mildew fungi are host specific, meaning the different powdery mildew fungi infect different plants. The powdery mildew on your lilacs will not spread to your grapes or your roses. However all powdery mildews favor the same conditions.


What Causes Powdery Mildew?
Powdery mildew fungi seem to be everywhere. They overwinter in plant debris begin producing spores in the spring. These spores are carried to your plants by wind, insects and splashing water. Conditions that encourage the growth and spread of powdery mildew include:
Dampness or high humidity (Not common during rainy seasons or in extreme heat)
Crowded plantings
Poor air circulation

Controlling Powdery Mildew
Choose healthy plants and keep they growing healthy
Try and find a powdery mildew resistant cultivar, if your area is susceptible
Donít plant non-resistant varieties in the shade
Once Your Plants are Infected:

Remove and destroy all infected plant parts
Improve air circulation by thinning and pruning
Donít fertilized until the problem is corrected. Powdery mildew favors young, succulent growth
Donít water plants from above

Apply a fungicide: There are many fungicides available. Check the label to be sure they are safe and effective on the type of plant that is infected. Look for ingredients such as: potassium bicarbonate, neem oil, sulfur or copper. There are also chemical fungicides, such as triforine, that can be used on ornamental plants. There is also a home remedy made from baking soda that is effective.
Most fungicides will need repeat applications every 7 - 14 days, for continuous protection. Always follow the label instructions for both application and waiting period before harvest