“What’s that white powdery stuff on my crape myrtle?” It’s confectionery sugar. It’s talcum powder. No, it’s powdery mildew.
What is powdery mildew? It is a fungal disease that attacks some trees and shrubs in our landscape. It is fungal spores that typically appear on new growth shoots, mature leaves and sometimes flowers. Infected parts of the plant may become distorted and fall off early. It appears when the temperatures rise above 60 degrees, it becomes more humid.
What are some of the plants that powdery mildew prefers? It can be found on lilacs, crape myrtles, magnolias and dogwoods to name a few. We typically see it in these plants in late spring to midsummer as the plants are actively growing and flowering.
What can I do about it? In some cases it only makes the plant unattractive, while in others it can cause distortion, flower and/or leaf loss or even death of the plant in a few cases.
Here at Virginia Green, we start treating these plants in the spring and thru the active growing season. To help prevent the return of the disease, homeowners can make sure they cleanup all fallen leaves and dispose of them properly.
So, if you were wondering about what that white powder is on your tree or shrub’s leaves or flower buds, rest assured that it is not from the powder from a donut. Instead it is a fungal disease that we at Virginia Green can treat for you.