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Weather, air circulation and plant susceptibility trigger powdery mildew disease

Fungus discoloration — Powdery mildew on honeysuckle turns green leaves white. © Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Fungus discoloration — Powdery mildew on honeysuckle turns green leaves white. © Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

If I didn’t know better, I’d think my ‘Goldflame’ honeysuckle has white leaves instead of green.

That’s because my honeysuckle (Lonicera x heckrottii) is susceptible to powdery mildew, which shows up big time in late summer.

Honeysuckle isn’t the only plant that gets this disease. Hundreds of landscape plants may fall victim, including ninebark (Physocarpus), lilac (Syringa), Azalea, dogwood (Cornus), Zinnia, Phlox and roses (Rosa), to name just a few.

Powdery mildew is an apt description of this fungus disease because it looks like leaves, stems or flowers have a coating of white or grayish powder. Eventually, the leaves dry up and fall off.

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