Honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)-Powdery Mildew

Cause The fungus Erysiphe caprifoliacearum var. flexuosa (formerly Microsphaera caprifoliacearum var. flexuosa) has been reported from Idaho and Washington.The disease has been diagnosed twice at the OSU Plant Clinic. This fungus is favored by conditions that produce high humidity but dry leaves. It is a highly specialized pathogen that forms a close association with the host. Conditions that favor the host also favor the pathogen. Much of the fungus remains outside infected plant parts where it grows on the surface but sinks root-like structures called haustoria into plant cells to obtain nutrients. The white growth seen is composed of both mycelium and spores of the fungus.

Symptoms The leaves, branch tips, and buds may be covered with a thin layer or irregular patches of grayish white powdery material. Infected leaves may turn yellow and drop.

Cultural control

  • Space plants for good air circulation.
  • Plant in full sun.

Chemical control Fungicides will do best when used before symptoms develop. Few materials have good eradicant activity. Use at 7- to 14-day intervals; using shorter intervals when environmental conditions favor disease development. Alternate or tank-mix products from different groups that have different modes of action. Limit the use of any one group during crop production.

  • Eagle 20 EW at 6 to 12 fl oz/100 gal water. Group 3 fungicide. 24-hr reentry.
  • According to IR-4 data, Heritage is safe on some species of this genus. Use at 1 to 4 oz/100 gal water plus a non-silicone-based wetter sticker on a few plants first before wide spread use. Group 11 fungicide. 4-hr reentry.
  • Myclobutanil 20 EW T&O at 6 to 12 fl oz/100 gal water plus spreading agent. May observe a PGR effect. Group 3 fungicide. 24-hr reentry.
  • Pageant at 6 to 12 oz/100 gal water. Group 7 + 11 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
  • Spectracide Immunox Multi-Purpose Fungicide Spray Concentrate for Gardens at 1 fl oz/gal water. Group 3 fungicide. H

Reference Braun, U. and Cook, R.T.A. 2012. Taxonomic Manual of the Erysiphales (Powdery Mildews). CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Center, The Netherlands.