Dahlia care update- it’s coming to the end of the season where our plants either have mildew or are looking straggly and leggy.
It’s really important to not ignore the signs of powdery mildew and deal with it as soon as you see it.
While Powdery mildew seldom kills the plant, its infection can severely limit the plant’s health and growth however that isn’t to say it CANT destroy it, an unhealthy plant is prone to other illnesses which can lead to its dying. Infection peaks under warm days with low humidity, and cool nights with high humidity conditions and is in fact inhibited by moisture on the leaves.
Treatment should begin as soon as the problem is detected. Apply fungicide - whether home made using milk, dish liquid and baking soda, or store bought such as copper - products every 7 to 10 days. (For outside beds, reapply after rain).
Be sure to thoroughly saturate the surface of the leaves for the best efficiency.
In Autumn, remove up to 50 percent of the leaves, but no more than that. This will help to allow air flow and prevent contact spread- remember to not just remove all the leaves from one section but to remove every second leaf to thin them out so they’re not touching. Bin the affected leaves rather than composting.