Thursday, September 4, 2008

Powdery Mildew - Aack!

Despite all the glowing reviews I find about Echinacea, they too can suffer from a multitude of diseases. My sis asked me to research why her glamorous orangey/red Echinacea had black leaves and some powdery gunk on the leaves. My peony is also suffering from a similiar malady.

So after a bit of research, I found out that the recent weather is the perfect condition for mildew. How can that be? You might hasn't rained in at least two weeks. It has been sunny and gorgeous. Ah, hah! There you have it! These are actually the perfect conditions. Powdery mildew likes hot and humid conditions, with little rain. Rain or wind would blow it off. Apparently the only cure is to dunk the plants in fungicides or just cut the whole plant down to the ground (be sure to dispose of the infected stems/leaves and wash off your cutters).

I opted to cut away the peony stalks. They won't bloom anyway and I hope will make it back next year. At least this is happening at the end of summer, rather than at the beginning!

Photo courtesy of University of Illinois Extension


  1. I think I have boytris (or whatever it was) not mildew. It has killed the plant. Does that mean I should yank it out or just cut it back?

  2. Ummm, not sure, but I will look it up and get back to you. I just got a book from the library about how to handle "plant problems".

  3. I found a good article on botrytis. Here's the URL:

    Basically, you should cut it down, make sure you throw away the infected plant material (not in your compost pile), and maybe thin out your jungle so your poor plants get some air.