Powdery Mildew on Miniature Crepe Myrtyles

Kingsville, MD

This is my 2nd post in one day! I'm either failing as a gardener or just having some bad luck. I planted 6 miniature crepe myrtyles this past spring. They have been very healthy and are starting to bloom (I live in Maryland). I noticed though last evening that 2 of the plants have a white powder on some of the stems/bloom pods. I'm assuming this is powdery mildew. It has been very humid here, so I'm also assuming it is from the humidity. The plants were all planted with plenty of room in between, so I don't think I crowded them. I found a recipe for treating this on the internet, but I wanted to verify with the experts here that this is a good formula: Mix 1 tablespoon of baking powder (or should it be baking soda?) and a few drops of mild dish detergent in 1 gallon of water and spray on plant. If this is not a good formula, I would appreciate any recommendations. I want to go the more natural route in treating the problem. Thanks!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

It's baking soda but there are other methods using milk. See what you get when you Google it and I'll look around, too.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

From ghorganics.com - they warn not to use a stronger mix and to only spray the leaves that have the problem - not good, clean healthy foliage.

Milk for Mildew
Milk with its' natural enzymes and simple sugar structures can be used to combat various mildews on cucumber, asters, tomato, squash and zinnia foliage. This works by changing the pH on the surface of the leaves, so they are less susceptible to mildew. Use a 10/90% mixture of milk and water. I.E.: To make 10 ounces of finished spray use 1 oz of milk to 9 ozs. water. Thoroughly spray plants every 3 to 4 days at first sign of mildews or use weekly as a preventative measure.

Kingsville, MD

Thanks so much for the replies. Since I asked my original question, I did find a post, on Dave's Garden, that someone uses skin milk. Since the mildew was only on a few sections, I snipped them off. While I was looking at the crepes, I found an enemy had started working on the leaves...the Japanese Beetle. I started pulling them off and stomping on them. Then, to top it all off, I noticed some of the bottom leaves looked very strange. The leaves were red and yellow, with one black spot on it. It almost looked like someone had painted it on. I have no idea what is causing the leaf problem. Any ideas? I sent my husband off to the store today to get beetle traps. They seem to work in our area (Maryland). I plan to try the milk spray for the mildew. I had high hopes for these miniature crepes. They have been very healthy since I planted them in May. Perhaps the Maryland humidity is getting to them. Again, thanks for responding.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Be sure to use those Japanese Beetle traps precisely as the instructions direct or you'll end up attracting them to your garden instead of repelling them.

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