Mildew in the plant: This is how to prevent and control plant disease

Mildew appears as a white or light gray floury crop appearing on the leaf surfaces. It is caused by mildew, which spreads with the air currents during the day. Fungal damage often appears in plants in late summer.

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Where does Härmä come from?

Downy mildew is caused by downy mildew that needs a living cell to live. The fungi germinate in moist but spread in dry vegetation in warm weather. Therefore, varying weather contributes to the occurrence of plant disease.

Härmä does not “stick” from one plant individual to another, for example with a knife, but fungal spores can fly in dry weather and, when faced with favorable conditions, germinate on the leaf of another individual. Some of the frost-causing fungi live in several plant species, others only together.

Is it wintering?

Because mildew needs a living cell to live, the damaged parts of the plant, the leaves of trees and shrubs, and the shoots of perennials can be composted. In garden waste compost, fresh leaves and shoots should be covered with waste previously brought into the compost for safety.

The duration of the disease can overwinter, for example, on the underside of strawberry leaves if the leaves persist over the winter. This can cause problems, especially in professional cultivation.

Does Härmä kill the plant?

On trees and shrubs, mildew disturbs the press and causes aesthetic harm.

In herbaceous Perennials, it may interfere with growth, but even above all, it may affect the appearance of the plant. If a plant suffers from a really bad mildew contamination, summer growth will decline – rarely so much that the plant will die.

For berry plants, such as strawberries, Härmä causes crop losses, but not the way to plant.

Which plants suffer from the disease?

Mildew can occur in almost all plants, but ornamental plants appear to suffer from Siberian pea bush, scented vine, autumn stamps, roses and thunderstorms, among others. Frost-resistant varieties have been developed in breeding, especially for crops such as currants and strawberries.

On trees and shrubs, the leaves may suffer from frost, but they regenerate each year. It depends on the weather next summer whether there will be frost or not.

Repel Härmä at home

  • choose frost-resistant varieties
  • take care of the overall well-being of the plant by fertilizing and watering in a balanced way
  • avoid excessive nitrogen fertilization that exposes plants to mildew
  • keep the crops airy, so that the moisture evaporates and there are no conditions in the crop suitable for the germination of mildew
  • immediately collect diseased plant parts and compost them
  • if you water at noon, wetting the crop will reduce the spread of spores but may give the spore a chance to germinate
  • if you water the base of the plant in the morning, drying the crop during the day reduces their chances of germination but increases the spread of spores

Sources: Home Garden Magazine, Mildew control and prevention tips, Luoto & Luoto: For the health of your own yard (Readme, 2020), Päivi Parikka: Strawberry diseases and pests in seedlings


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