Learn About African Violets

Question: I could use help on why my violet blossoms are getting a powder on them, then die.  (click here)
 

Answer: I think that the white spots are powdery mildew. This fungus disease has the texture of a spattering of white flour; it can be wiped off; the spots have an indistinct round form; spots may appear on both foliage and flowers. Powdery mildew thrives best in areas that have widely varying temperatures in a 24 hour period. Warm days feed moisture into the air allowing the relative humidity to climb dramatically during cooler nights. If the air is not being stirred by a fan (especially at night), pockets of humidity collect between the pots and near the plants. Regulating temperatures and/or moving the air will help prevent future outbreaks. In the meantime, Lysol disinfectant antibacterial spray can be misted in the area to control minor outbreaks. Do not direct it toward the plants from close range because aerosol sprays are very cold. For more persistent mildew, Ortho Rose Pride Rose and Shrub Disease Control is effective and does not damage violets when used as directed. Neem oil (which is also an effective insect preventative) is also a safe and effective biological control when used as directed.

Happy Growing!

Joyce Stork

 Much of the information here in Violets 101 was originally published in the African Violet MagazineJoin AVSA to receive the magazine with much more in-depth information.

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