Cause The fungus Golovinomyces orontii (formerly Erysiphe cichoracearum) has been reported from Washington. Conidia are released in response to abrupt decreases in relative humidity. Wind blows conidia to healthy foliage where they start new mildew colonies. Too much water, such as flowing water or rain, destroys spores by causing them to burst. The fungus does not grow in a leaf but rather across the surface. Small anchor cells of the fungus, haustoria, remain in the leaf and take nourishment from the plant, but the main filament and the multitudes of spores it produces are outside the leaf. The disease can develop under relatively dry conditions in spring and summer so long as the air is humid. Plants in shade tend to have more problems because that environment favors disease development. Multiple disease cycles occur during the growing season. Plants can be infected at any growth stage. Cleistothecia form in older infected plant tissues, survive in plant debris, and produce ascospores the next season.
Symptoms White powdery areas appear on both surfaces of leaves. Older leaves may wilt and become necrotic. Severely infected leaves may wilt and die. Stem infections are cultivar dependent.
- Space plants for good air circulation.
- Heating the greenhouse at night and/or venting around sunset may be necessary to reduce humidity.
- Remove and destroy plant debris at the end of the season.
- Plant in an area that receives full sun most of the day.
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 the growing season.
- Armada 50 WDG at 3 to 9 oz/100 gal water. Do not use a silicone-based surfactant. Not for nursery or greenhouse use. Group 3 + 11 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
- Bayleton 50 T&O at 5.5 oz/275 to 550 gal water. Landscape only, not for use on plants for sale. Group 3 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
- Bicarbonate-based products. Might supplement a normal program when powdery mildew is first observed. Do not mix with acidifying agents. Thorough coverage is essential. O
- MilStop (85% potassium bicarbonate) at 2.5 to 5 lb/A in the field or 1.25 to 5 lb/100 gal water in the greenhouse. Oregon and Washington only. 1-hr reentry.
- Monterey Bi-Carb Old Fashioned Fungicide at 4 teaspoons/2 gal water. H
- Broadform at 2 to 4 fl oz/100 gal water. Group 7 + 11 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
- Compass 50 WDG at 1 to 2 oz/100 gal water. Do not use organosilicate additives. Group 11 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
- Disarm 480 SC at 1 to 4 fl oz/100 gal water. Group 11 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
- Eagle 20 EW at 6 to 12 fl oz/100 gal water. Group 3 fungicide. 24-hr reentry.
- Fame SC at 1 to 4 fl oz/100 gal water. Group 11 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
- Insignia SC at 3 to 6 fl oz/100 gal water. Do not use with organosilicate-based adjuvants. Use preventively only. Group 11 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
- Mural at 4 to 7 oz/100 gal water. Group 7 + 11 fungicide. 12-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.
- Orkestra at 6 to 8 fl oz/100 gal water. Group 7 + 11 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
- Pageant at 6 to 12 oz/100 gal water. Do not use with organosilicone-based adjuvants. Group 7 + 11 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
- Propiconazole-based products. Group 3 fungicides.
- Banner MAXX at 5 to 8 fl oz/100 gal water. 12-hr reentry.
- Infuse Systemic Disease Control at 2 Tbsp/gal water. H
- Seido at 4 to 5 fl oz/100 gal water plus an adjuvant. Group 50 fungicide. 4-hr reentry.
- Spectracide Immunox Multi-Purpose Fungicide Spray Concentrate for Gardens at 1 fl oz/gal water. Group 3 fungicide. H
- Sulfurs such as Bonide Sulfur Plant Fungicide (90% wettable) at 2 to 2.25 Tbsp/gal water. 24-hr reentry. H O
- Terraguard SC at 4 to 8 fl oz/100 gal water. Group 3 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
- Tourney 50 WDG at 1 to 4 oz/100 gal water. Group 3 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
- Trigo at 1.5 to 2.4 oz/100 gal water. Group 3 + 11 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
- Trinity at 4 to 12 fl oz/100 gal water. Group 3 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
Note: Products that contain the group 11 fungicide azoxystrobin, such as Heritage and Mural, should be avoided due to phytotoxicity. Injury of certain cultivars may occur with repeated use.
- Cease or Rhapsody (Bacillus subtilis strain QST 713) at 2 to 8 quarts/100 gal water. Active ingredient is a small protein. Efficacy in the Pacific Northwest is unknown. 4-hr reentry. O
Reference Baker, K.F. and MacLean, N.A. 1950. Powdery mildew of snapdragon on the Pacific Coast. Plant Disease Reporter 34:183-185.