Powdery Mildew

Powdery Mildew:

Anyone who has come into contact with this persistent little pest can attest to just how devastating it actually is.  Probably the single most destructive pest for indoor and outdoor gardeners, lets start with a little bit about it.

Powdery Mildew is a  fungus that starts with a microscopic spore that will attach itself to a host ( your plant) once it has done this the real trouble begins. 

The spore infects the host and begins to establish itself internally by setting up its own network within the host, where it begins to redirect the life sustaining nutrients from the host to itself. 

Most people think that the white Powdery Mildew that shows itself on the exterior of the plant is the total problem.  NOT SO, that is just the reproduction of the fungus, because the fungus is actually living within the plant itself it makes it very hard to kill even with heavy fungicides. 

Because Powdery Mildew is robbing the host of its life force nutrients you can expect a dramatic loss in yields of whatever crop is infected.

From Bad to Worse:

All those microscopic spores you see on the exterior of the host plant are billions and billions of future infestations.  These spores will be transferred in a multitude of ways, a few of which being on (or in) you / your friends / pets and of course clones, there is less than a 1% chance it could come in through the intake of your ventilation system, this might only happen if you have an infected rose bush in close proximity to your intake.  consider the vastness of the outdoors and the size of your intake.

I hear alot of people say that they only see the powdery mildew during certain cycles of there plants development and those same people tell me that they only have powder mildew in those cycles.  This is entirely false,  Like I have stated the mildew itself is living with in the plant and generally manifests itself during a flowering cycle. 

What this means is that if you are using Mother plants to take cuttings from you are going to continually re infect your other rooms

In an indoor situation once you have powdery mildew consider it to be everywhere!  That means in your drywall, clothes, house plants, carpet, furniture, EVERYWHERE .

PREVENTION!, PREVENTION!, PREVENTION! are the three best ways to avoid the White Death.  This goes for any    PESTS,  but is best put to use in the case of Powdery Mildew, The only true way to prevent all and any infestations is to treat your indoor growing situation as a Laboratory.  Meaning shower and change your clothes every time you enter your room do not allow friends or pets access, and quarantine all new clones for at least a month before introduction  to the room.  Starting from seed is the only way to ensure you do not bring someone else’s problem into your space. 

CURES ?

    Ok now that we have discussed the problem lets look at reclaiming your space back from Powder Mildew. There are a few ways people have been,      to some degree successful in treating this problem.  First is to prevent it from entering in the first place as mentioned above. 

The next is to build up the plants natural immunity to it this can be done with Silicate all outdoor plants growing in natural earth have access to this but when people are growing in premixed mediums  there is little if any present in Hydroponic and aeroponic systems it is generally completely void of silicate. This is why most outdoor plant variety’s have to some degree a natural immunity to most funguses, and indoor variety’s are so susceptible.  

Silicate helps the plant  build up its natural resistance to all pests and drought, it does this by reinforcing the plants cell walls making it difficult for anything to penetrate the outer wall of the plant.  Because of this the plant is stronger, can hold more weight, and is ultimately heaver.  

You can think of this similar to as a scab on a human being the platelets contained in our blood lock together to close and protect open wounds, a plant does this all the time, every time it is moved by wind or other means it fixes minuscule fractures that are created, with silicate

Changing the PH value of the plants leaf seems to work very, well it  makes the leaf uninhabitable for the powdery mildew spore. 

A lot of people have had great success with sour milk mixed with water and applied on as a foliar spray.  This should be avoided in middle to late flower on plants that the end product is prized for aroma.

Sulfur burners: work very well and are great for dealing with the spores. Sulfur burners work on selective toxicity,  meaning that the sulfur vapors are MORE toxic to the spores than most plants.  Again it is not advised to use this treatment in flowering as the end product will have a distinct sulfur aroma that CANNOT be removed.

BN Vitelizer:  This product was not designed to be used as a Powder mildew blocker but it has proven itself to be quite useful.  It helps to strengthen the plant and seems to keep the spores under control long enough to finish off.   I should add that the company that makes this product makes no claims as to this products effectiveness in battling powder mildew but I have seen it work.

For indoor growing air conditioner units are available and very effective as a preventive

running exhaust fans 24 7 will help keep the humidity levels down and lower the risk of getting a powder mildew problem

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