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If the plants have been attacked by powdery mildew or downy mildew, then this is not only annoying and unsightly, the plants could also suffer holistic damage. But there are various home remedies for this.

Downy or powdery mildew?

Depending on whether it is false or powdery mildew, it occurs in different weather conditions:

  • powdery mildew
  • Erysiphaceae
  • in warm and dry weather
  • Mealy-white coating to dirty brownish
  • Wrong mildew
  • Perenosporales
  • so-called egg or pseudomushroom
  • in wet weather
  • gray coating only on the underside of the leaf
  • Upper leaf surface yellow or brown spots
Powdery mildew on maple leaf. Source: Jerzy OpioĊ‚a, Powdery Mildew Acer DK43 (1), crop from Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Notice: The false powdery mildew fungus is usually more dangerous than the real one, since the plant can suffer greater damage from it, even dying. If the affected plant is left untreated, it usually dies.

First measures

As soon as an infestation is detected, the first measures should be taken.

  • remove all affected parts of the plant
  • with scissors or by hand
  • also remove any fallen parts
  • Remove large areas of soil around the plant
  • don't put any of it in the compost
  • Don't reuse the soil
  • put everything in the garbage
  • in a well sealed bag

Notice: If you put infested leaves or other parts of the plant on the compost or in the organic waste, the fungus can spread further here. The soil should also be disposed of, as the fungus survives in it and spreads to other plants in the garden if it is used again.

Milk against powdery mildew

The plant, which has already been cleaned of all affected parts, can then be treated with milk. This should be done as follows:

  • use fresh milk
  • mix with water in a ratio of 1:8
  • spray diseased plant for several days
  • use a spray bottle for this

The milk contains microorganisms that fight the fungus in a completely natural way and usually very effectively.

Baking soda against powdery mildew fungus

A household remedy is baking soda, which can be used to treat many things, including powdery mildew on plants. Baking powder contains baking soda and is therefore available in almost every household. But pure baking soda is also available in supermarkets.

  • Add a packet of baking soda to two liters of water
  • Add 20 milliliters of oil
  • spray on the plants every two weeks
  • alkaline effect
  • works against fungi

Notice: Treating with baking soda as well as treating with fresh milk only helps against powdery mildew.

Broths against downy mildew fungus

Homemade broths from various plants usually help against the wrong fungus. Stinging nettles or horsetail, for example, are particularly suitable for this. These are also used after the infested parts of the plant and the soil have been removed. The procedure for production and use is as follows:

  • Add nettles or horsetail to water
  • leave for several days
  • then boil up
  • strain through a sieve
  • about 100 grams of fresh greens per liter
  • Then mix the broth 1:10 with water
  • put in spray bottle
  • Spray infested plants several times a day
  • over several days
  • also spray the floor

Garlic broth against downy mildew

Treating with a garlic broth can also help against the false mildew fungus, which is also a proven home remedy in this case. Proceed as follows during manufacture and use:

  • four cloves of garlic
  • cut into small pieces
  • Pour a liter of boiling water over it
  • Leave the broth to cool down
  • Strain and pour into spray bottle
  • Spray the plant with the broth
  • if necessary, also spray the floor
  • repeat after a few days

Tip: Garlic contains various active ingredients that are not tolerated by the causative fungi. Therefore, they die off after some time.

plant herbs

In a kitchen garden growing lettuce, cabbage, radishes, vines, spinach, onions, apples, cucumbers, strawberries or peas, all of which are very susceptible to the downy mildew fungus, herbs can be placed between the plants. The following are particularly suitable for this:

  • basil
  • chervil
  • chives

Natural Combat

Natural control methods include ladybugs. These are very good beneficial insects for every garden, since not only the annoying aphids are on the menu of the beetles, but also the powdery mildew fungus. As a rule, a healthy and well-kept garden that does not require many chemical agents is also home to some ladybugs. Otherwise, these can be settled as follows:

  • Ask at a well-stocked garden store
  • Ladybug larvae are sold here
  • place in the vicinity of the infested plants
  • Larvae eat the powdery mildew fungus
  • the adult beetles eat even more of it

Notice: The best predator is the twenty-two spotted ladybug, but this is rarely sold commercially. Here the two-spot ladybugs are usually available as larvae, which are not quite as effective but are still better than nothing.

Coccinella septempunctata

Complete pruning

If treating with one or the other home remedy no longer helps and the fungus remains on the plant, then it is important, especially with the dangerous downy mildew, to remove it completely.

  • Cut back the affected plant completely
  • Remove annual crops entirely
  • Fungal spores can survive for a long time
  • immediately attack the new shoots
  • are carried by the wind
  • infect other plants in the garden


Prevention is important so that the fungus cannot infect the plants in the first place. The downy mildew fungus, for example, also settles on crops that are intended to be eaten. The real one usually only on ornamental plants such as roses. Prevention should be taken to prevent an infestation from occurring in the first place, which must be treated with a home remedy. Because treating is always more difficult than preventing.

  • choose mildew-resistant varieties
  • Do not plant vegetables or flowers too close together
  • don't over-fertilize
  • use as little nitrogen as possible
  • only water at the roots
  • never from above on the plants
  • Cover potted plants when it rains continuously
  • Weeds could also be infested
  • therefore always remove

Notice: It is important that you take care when planting that the air can circulate well. This allows rainwater or moisture to evaporate and dry off more quickly, and downy mildew doesn't stand a chance.

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