Wednesday, 12 September 2012

gardening help please

My lovely azalea has a very very nasty attack of mildew. All this damned wet weather! Now I have been to the garden centre and thanks to their non advice found myself trying to work out what was best to do for myself.

As you can see, it is a very nasty case.

So, all you much more experienced gardeners than me, it is time for you to come into your own with much needed advice. I have been spraying it with an anti-fugus plant spray that says good for mildew but it hasn't yet made any difference at all. How long should I keep this up for? All webites advised to remove any fallen leaves and destroy them as this will put the disease back into the soil and continue the cycle. One website said to remove all the infected leaves from the plant, which I am happy to do if someone can verify that this is indeed the best course of action! It will make the plant look pretty awful for a while, but I guess it is going to lose its leaves for winter soon anyhow.

Anyone had anything similar? and have you managed to sort it out/find a solution? Any help is very very much appreciated!

I'm away now until Sunday, so just keep those suggestions coming in. I will gratefully read all your comments on my return.


  1. Hi Dan

    My blackcurrant had the same problem so I'm not sure if this will help with yours. I removed all the dead leaves and prayed it with a mixture of 1ltr water, with a teaspoon of washing up liquid and 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda. Give it a good mix and spray. Be careful that you don't do it in full sun as the leaves could be scorched. For advice I go on one of the gardening websites such as gardeners world and I find them very helpful, and of course the mixture is frugal as most people may have bicarbonate of soda in their kitchen cupboard. It is a very useful cleaner and costs hardly anything.

    Good luck
    Sheila x x x

  2. Dan, if removing all affected leaves means stripping the plant completely, then i would be slow to do that. If you had spotted it early then a dilute 5:1 water with milk (yes milk) is a very frugal and effective way to halt mildew. Unfortunatly it may have gone a bit far for that to work on your azalia.
    I have heard of the bicarb solution, but never tried it myself. I'd probably remove the WORST affected leaves and give it a shot.
    Good luck.

  3. Don't know if this will help, just found this on the internet:

    "Keem oil or diluted milk are best for effectiveness against powdery mildew, & the least chemically invasive. Milk diluted to as weak as 1 parts milk to 9 parts water were AS GOOD as fungicides in the 1999 Brazillian study that first proved milk was excellent for stopping powdery mildew. In stronger
    concentrations (diluted to one-fifth to one-half) the efficacy increased -- hence was vastly superior to even the best outcomes ever seen from copper-based & sulfur-based fungicides"

  4. I know out hop farmers use copper sulphate sprays to treat problem crops, but that is a deterrant against spreading rather than treating existing problems. I would remove as many of the infected leaves as you dare, and then wash with soapy water (yes washing up liquid, it will encase the spores in lipids to avoid spreadage) the remaining foliage. That should remove alot of the spreadable spores, and then you could use the bicarb on remaining foliage. If you can treat the root areas with copper sulphate solutions it may prevent ingress of the infection back into the soil.

    Good Luck

  5. Sorry, I can`t help with this. Never had azalias or mildew.
    I`d go with the washing idea.

  6. This is called "Powdery Mildew". I haven't had it on azaleas but had it on another plant and I got the leaves off (mine was close to Fall as well so they were going to drop off). I used a baking soda mixture.

    Check out this website, they have some great tips.

    Good luck and sorry you had that happen. The joys (NOT!) of gardening, ha.

  7. Thank you everyone, lots to browse through and think about there. I think I will certainly try the bicarb and washing up liquid solutions, because there is nothing to lose with that. Fingers crossed that something works. My soil is acidic and I planted it in ericacious (no idea how you spell that) compost, so I know that that is not the problem. Will let you know how it turns out. If nothing else, I will be collection up every single leaf that drops off and destroying it over Autumn.