Sunday, April 13, 2008

African Violets & Powdery Mildew

Recently I noticed some odd looking dust on a few of my African Violets. I thought at first that maybe this was a trait some of them had, it didn't look terrible, just hairier. I noticed it again a few days later on a couple other AV's and decided to look more into it, it just didn't look right. I went to Dr.Optimara, and ruled out alot of things. I was left with either botrytis or powdery mildew, both common when it comes to AV's. The pic below shows some of the barely visible dust.

I was having trouble deciding which one of these ailments it was. Botryris causes a fuzzy gray mold, whereas the powdery mildew looked more like a dust. But since I have never actually seen the difference, I was torn. Both are caused by lack of air circulation and high humidity conditions. I am willing to say that yes I have a space problem, they had been placed quite close together, and the humidity has gone up in the past few weeks with Spring coming on.

I decided to get an answer on a gardening forum I frequent and it seems almost certain that this powdery mildew. I had heard to spray Lysol around the affected plants, and wait a couple days. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The next step from there would be to treat with a fungicide, or if all else fails, toss the plant (Take a leaf or two though).

I had a bottle of concentrated lysol, and I mixed one capful to 500ml of water. and sprayed them down. I made sure to get underneath the leaves and flowers and all along the stems. The next day they was a dramatic improvement already. A couple of them got another spray down, but it seemed much better that the previous day.

I had to see what kind of damage the lysol would do to the flowers so I didn't disbud them right away. The pic above shows the damage done by the lysol spray. The leaves had no damage, and the powdery mildew seems to be gone. I spaced them out a little better and I have been trying to open the windows more often to keep to keep the air circulation going a little better. Right now, I would say that the Lysol worked, and it isn't so bad to have to deal with. The worst part was having to remove the flowers from many of them.

The pic above and below this paragraph are pics of the piles of flowers I had to remove from my plants. It didn't seem like a lot until I starting get a pile on the table. The pic below shows some of the size variations in the flowers of AV's. Some are almost an inch and a half across (pink fantasy upper right corner), where others are only a half inch (purple double in the center).


No Rain said...

What a shame. Since we are in such a dry area (average 6-15% humidity except during summer monsoon season) fungus and powdery mildew are not a big problem. Sometimes the prickly pear get an infestation of cochineal scale, which is caused by a tiny insect, and I have to run a strong spray of water over the cacti, and then wipe off each infested area with a Q-Tip dipped in alcohol. What a chore--trying to reach into a cactus while avoiding glochids and spines!
Hope your AFs all get well.

viagra online said...

I find it very interesting this tutorial ... I have the same problem with my violets, and for more remedies that I have provided ... and not able to put them in their prime. Additional mites that have as the are eating .. I can do something to remedy this?

Anonymous said...

Just want to say that I have had success using a spritz of Raid for flying insects. It must be the Raid in the blue can . . .I don't know why, it may be other are not as effective on flying insects or may burn plants. Using this method, you may lose your blossoms, but the plant will bounce back with no leaf discoloration and will be better for it. Good luck. I love my violets and raid and lysol have helped take the mystery out of keeping them happy as well as proper lighting and watering from beneath vs from the top. Good Luck!