How to Combat White Powdery Mildew - My Garden Journal

in Natural Medicine2 years ago (edited)


Can you imagine? I woke up one morning to go check on my plants and found this white fungus looking stuff all over them.

It wasn’t until three days later that I figured out what it was (from watching videos) and by that time it had spread more and gotten worse.

Our cabbage and broccoli were the main plants affected whereas our lettuce and tomato plants weren’t really harmed at all. There were only a few lettuce leaves that had to be removed.


The Cause

During the Summer months where humidity is at its finest mildew can easily form on our plants.

I was not aware of this and watered my plants every evening. That water would sit on the plants all night with no real chance of fully drying due to all of the humidity in the air. Mildew likes that type of environment and accumulates on the plants spreading from leaf to leaf as time goes by.

At first glance I thought there were tiny white pests all gathered up on the plants. Tbh I’d rather battle mildew than have a plant pest problem. Either way I knew I had to act soon if I were to save our vegetables.

The Solution

The first thing I did was change my watering schedule. I stopped watering the plants in the late evening and began watering them early in the mornings. This way there will be less moisture on them at night from drying throughout the day.

Once this mildew hits your plants it will keep spreading like a wild fire. The best thing to do is remove the affected leaves and let them regrow fresh and anew.

I went through each plant and snipped off the affected leaves with scissors.

I then sprayed a fungicide/insecticide solution on each leaf top and bottom.

I’ll give you the ingredients and measurements I used but please be cautious to always test a small area before spraying your plants entirely. This is a very potent solution and I even diluted it further (adding more water) just to be safe:

  • approx. 1 quart water
  • 1/2 tsp. Neem oil (100% pure/organic)
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking soda
  • a few drops of Castile soap

The castile soap helps to sink the neem oil in order to mix better with the water. Once this was all added into the spray bottle I gave it a good shake.

It made me sad at how much I had to clip away but I knew it had to be done in order for the plants to be healthy again.

Here they are all nice and shiny after being clipped and sprayed...


See how small they were afterwards?

It’s okay because this happened two weeks ago and I’m happy to show you how well they have grown back since then :D


and the


All of the vegetables are thriving. I love the way the cabbage looks. It’s shaping into a pretty flower form. I really love admiring how well they are growing now.


I reapply the solution to the plants once a week. I don’t spray as heavily as I did the first two weeks but just enough to coat the leaves and discourage any more mildew from developing. It has been working quite well.

As mentioned before I did have to dilute the solution more with water due to a few of the leaves tarnishing (mild foliage burn on our lettuce leaves) from the spray. That neem oil is super potent so you have to be careful how much you use. That’s why it’s important to always test your solution as each plant reacts differently to a change in pH.

Note: - I urge you to please do your own further personal research on the effects of neem oil before using. Some believe it to be harmful to humans if consumed. When using neem oil always wash/rinse your plants before eating.

I’ll leave you with a shot of our head lettuce. It’s growing abundantly and we can’t use it fast enough. We’ll be giving some to our neighbors.

We’ve been enjoying it on sandwiches and I’m looking forward to making me a salad soon :)


Thanks for Joining Me Today 🌱~

Oh I hate that stuff! I used to deal with it bad indoors. I found a new solution that works great, doctor Enzymes. It is organic and contains no neem. That stuff can be nasty. Be careful with it, because it can be toxic to humans.

I hated it too and couldn't wait to get rid of it.

Thanks for sharing that, I’ll have to look that up to see what’s all in it.

Yea, I’ve heard different things about neem oil. The thing is if you wash/rinse your plants well before eating you should be okay. Especially if you are using it correctly by diluting it. I love that it protects the plants from so many things at the same time. So far it’s worked well and we clean our plants really well before consuming them.

You’re not going to really find too many other insecticides and fungicides that are non chemical. I feel this is a really good organic and safe option to get the job done.

wonderful how beautiful.

The plants or the post? 😄

Very informative. Great job.👏

Thank you for reading :)

I have a concern! Can you tell me how you tested the antifungal, how you evaluated it if you had to dilute it more or less, what effect you saw in the plant to make a decision, thank you.

Hi @necho41 sure.

I personally didn’t test the solution first. I just prayed and hoped for the best because it had gotten so bad I wanted to act soon. I always share what I think is best practice in case someone tries any methods I’ve used, thus I expressed it’s important to test out a small area of one of your plants first before spraying them entirely.

I knew I had to dilute mine when two of the leaves on my lettuce plants tarnished...meaning turned a brownish color (from a mild foliage burn). I knew the neem oil was too potent so I then added more water to my solution. It has not tarnished any more leaves since then :)

I hope this answered your questions clearly and addressed your concerns.

Thank you for your explanation, very detailed, you always have to take the experiences of others, it is a path already traveled.

It was no problem at all. Glad I could answer clearly for you :)

I totally agree with that ~

The bugs in my garden have been eating away at my veggies and some else suggested neem oil. I just bought a bottle on Amazon!!!

Oh good! Be sure to do some test rounds on a small area first. It is so very potent. I love using it though. It really has helped keep away the mildew and it seems we don't have too many bugs around as before.

I'm curious to see how it works for you.

What a scare to get that mold in your garden, thank goodness you caught it in time and managed to resolve it without your plants being so affected. I was very upset to learn that this had happened to your plants.

The wonderful thing is that with your care and the remedy, they have recovered beautifully.

What a beautiful cabbage, how lovely that you can harvest and share with your neighbors, this is truly a blessing.

I can see you will be making a salad soon.

Thank you for sharing the medicine recipe and for sharing the positive effect of the medicine.

Best regards

Yes it was truly a scare. When I first saw it I had an immediate thought of “welp, I tried.” Meaning I thought I was going to give up. I get very discouraged by things like this that I don’t understand. I’m glad I took the time to research and understand what we were dealing with. Now we have a beautiful harvest waiting for us :)

It is such a blessing to be able to share it all!

Thank you so much for your sweet thoughts and comment.

very interesting this information...I have a small garden at home and I also use to water the plants at night...I will not do it again. Thank you very much for the gardening tips. I am very glad that you were able to save your vegetables. Best regards.

I'm glad you found these tips useful :)

Thanks for giving my post a read. I’m so glad I was able to save them too, thank you ~

Woow .. this is really a very useful article. I really like reading every article you share through your blog. I know now. It turns out that you are a person who really likes plants. And you did it. Unfortunately, I am not a person who likes gardening, but the solution you provide is very useful for people who like gardening. If I just like the photos and enjoy the vegetable dishes... he he

Thanks so much for such a nice compliment. It makes me happy that you enjoy reading my articles :)

Thanks for coming to read and support. I'm also pleased you like the photos ~

We have to be careful because neem (azadirachtin) is dangerous for humans in some forms. It can't be used on anything that will be burned or heated (like tobacco leaves).

Thanks for adding your input.

This is why I added a few notes of caution. I am sharing the type of neem oil I use, how I use it and how it has worked for me. As in anything everyone has to do their own due diligence and research to come to their own conclusions.

As for my garden, the amount I use has helped my plants to nourish. As long as we wash and rinse our plants before consumption there is no harm caused.

Oh no! That is horrible! Our broccoli and cabbage and kale suddenly have aphids. Do you think your remedy would work for them too @crosheille? I've tried a local organic product, the active ingredient is pelargonium. But it hasn't worked for the aphids. It's wonderful that your veggies are bouncing back and so healthy! I love neem. It's such an incredible essential oil

Yikes @buckaroobaby! So sorry to hear you have those. Yes, neem oil should definitely work for that. It helps rid of aphids, mites, beetles and more.

It’s an amazing oil. You just have to figure out the amount to use that your plants can handle and diluting with water is essential. Also make sure to spray under the leaves as well to rid any pests eggs that may be hiding.

If you try it please let me know if it worked for you ;)

Thanks. I'll definitely give it a go! The aphids are mostly under the leaves or right in the centre of the plant. It's so disheartening when you put so much effort into gardens and then have bugs and plagues to contend with!

For sure ;)

I totally agree. It seems to always be something we have to contend with. Thankfully there are natural solutions to help :)

My go to products for all garden pests are neem oil and dish soap. I am a little scared of using soda bi carb as I don't want leaf burns.
It's important to test any product before spraying it full-scale. It's also important to do spray before it gets too hot, early mornings work fine.

Yes that neem oil is keeping that mold away and pests at bay.

It has been working better for me to water/spray early in the mornings.

Thanks for the visit :)

Bien explicado voy a seguir tus sugerencias con nuestro huerto, esos fungicidas e insecticidas caseros son bastante buenos yo he utilizado uno para las plagas a base de aceite vegetal y jabón liquido puro diluido en agua y me ha dado buenos resultados, utilizaré el que estás recomendando también a ver que tal.

Thanks! I hope it works for you and does as you need it to ;)