Powdery Mildew: The White Coating on Your Crepe Myrtle and What to Do About It
Date June 05, 2022
If you have been noticing white spots on the leaves of your crepe myrtle, there is a good chance you are dealing with powdery mildew. This fungus can cause damage to your plants if left untreated. In this blog post, we will discuss what powdery mildew is, how to identify it, and how to treat it.
What Is Powdery Mildew?
Powdery mildew is a type of fungus that affects a wide variety of plants, including crepe myrtles. This fungus thrives in warm, humid conditions mostly in the spring and fall. Powdery mildew typically appears as white or grayish-white spots on the leaves of affected plants. The spots may eventually coalesce to form large patches of powdery mildew. Powdery mildew spreads by producing spores that are carried by the wind to other plants.
Is Powdery Mildew Harmful to Trees?
While powdery mildew is not typically fatal to trees, it can cause noticeable damage if left untreated. Powdery mildew can cause leaves to yellow and drop prematurely and can also lead to stunted growth. In very severe cases, powdery mildew can kill branches and cause major stress.
Besides crepe myrtles, the most commonly affected trees are:
- Oak trees
- Magnolia trees
- Dogwood trees
- Maple tree
How to Identify Powdery Mildew?
If you suspect that your crepe myrtle has powdery mildew, it is important to confirm your suspicions with a quick diagnosis. The first step is to take a close look at the affected leaves. Powdery mildew typically appears as white or grayish-white spots on the leaves of affected plants. The spots may eventually coalesce to form large patches of powdery mildew. If you see these symptoms on your crepe myrtle, it is likely that you are dealing with powdery mildew.
How to Treat Powdery Mildew?
There are a few different ways to treat powdery mildew.
You can use a fungicide to kill the powdery mildew spores. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully.
You can make a homemade treatment using baking soda and water. Mix together one tablespoon of baking soda and one quart of water. Spray the solution onto the affected leaves, being sure to coat both.
Baking Soda Mixture:
Whichever treatment you choose, it is important to be consistent with your applications. Apply the treatment every seven to ten days until the powdery mildew is gone.
Monitor your crepe myrtle for signs of powdery mildew and take action as soon as you see any symptoms.
How to Prevent Powdery Mildew?
The best way to prevent powdery mildew is to take proactive measures to keep your crepe myrtle healthy. This includes watering your plants regularly, avoiding overcrowding, and providing adequate ventilation. These steps will help to reduce the risk of powdery mildew and other fungal diseases.
One of the main reasons powdery mildew occurs is due to overcrowding. When plants are too close together, they compete for resources and create an environment that is conducive to fungal growth. To prevent powdery mildew, it is important to give your plants enough space to grow.
Another important factor in preventing powdery mildew is watering. It is important to water your trees and plants early in the day so that the leaves have time to dry before nightfall. Nighttime is when powdery mildew thrives, so you want to avoid leaving your plants wet for long periods of time.
Proper ventilation is also crucial for preventing powdery mildew. Good airflow helps to keep the leaves of your trees and plants dry, which makes it more difficult for powdery mildew to take hold.
How TreeNewal Arborists Can Help
Powdery mildew is a common problem for crepe myrtles, but it can be controlled with the right treatment. If you think your crepe myrtle has powdery mildew, inspect the symptoms on the affected leaves and have a tree health expert come take a look to confirm the affliction. Once it is diagnosed that powdery mildew is the culprit, TreeNewal will be able to guide you in the best management options for ridding your beautiful crepe myrtle trees of any and all tree diseases!
If you need advice or assistance with managing tree diseases in your yard, get in touch with the ISA-Certified Arborists at TreeNewal and enjoy tailored tree care advice.
To learn more about Powdery Mildew: The White Coating on Your Crepe Myrtle and What to Do About It, call our Argyle and Southlake-based teams
at (817) 592-6846 or send us a message.
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