Q: What is this white, fuzzy stuff on my hedges?
A: The likely culprit is powdery mildew. As the name implies, it is a white fungus that crumbles like powder. Many times it will creates fuzzy growth patches on leaves and stems. Several plants are susceptible to powdery mildew in the home landscape from ornamental shrubs to flowering annuals. It is most common in cool or warm and humid weather conditions, but may occur and cause severe damage in warm and dry climates. The most commonly affected plants in Arkansas include crapemyrtle, euonymus, dogwood, rose, and oak. Evergreens such as pines, dear and junipers are not affected by powdery mildew.
The best control is to plant resistant varieties. Infection can also be minimized by reducing lead wetness. This is achieved by either planting in a well ventilated, sunny spot or not using overhead watering. Fallen leaves should be removed and destroyed during the fall. IF you have ornamentals that have a history of persistent powdery mildew, regular applications of a systemic fungicide may be necessary. Begin applications of elemental sulfur or other fungicides in the spring at the first sign of powdery mildew. For more information on rates and products, search MP154 at uaex.edu or visit your local extension office.
100 Court Street, Suite A • Murfreesboro, AR 71958 • 870-285-2161 • www.uaex.edu