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What Can I Do About Mold And Mildew On My…

Teresa Asked

What can I do about mold and mildew on my phlox?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Teresa: Phlox and powdery mildew go hand in hand. There are a few cultivars that are more mildew-resistant than others. ‘David’ is probably the most available cultivar. After the very wet and humid spring we have had mildew is going to be abundant on our garden phlox. In terms of control it is always a good idea to clean up around our plants with any fallen plant debris. This is especially true in the fall so that the fungal spores do not over-winter. Spraying with a fungicide is an option but it is only preventive, not curative, so it will need to be continuously sprayed throughout the growing season. If you decide to go this route check with your local garden center to see what they carry and be sure to follow label instructions. Good air circulation is important in preventing further mildew development. It will begin on the lower foliage and eventually work its way up the plant. Removing infected foliage will help prevent further spread. This fungus can make our phlox look unsightly and in severe cases it can weaken the plant. When watering be sure to only water the soil and not the plant. Ideally we want to water in the morning or early afternoon, never at night because the foliage will not have a chance to dry before nightfall and this creates a great environment for fungus to thrive. Phlox should be planted in full sun.

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