Introduction: How to Kill Fluffy White Mould on Plants
I have a beautiful money plant which I have been cultivating for more than ten years. I grew it from a cutting so have had it since it was a baby. I was sad to see a few days ago that it had grown some fluffy white mould on quite a few of the leaves.
The white mould is known as powdery mildew and takes hold where there is poor airflow. It doesn't usually kill the plant but can stunt growth and damage new shoots. There are a few simple household products you can use to kill the fluffy white mould on plants.
Step 1: Ventilate the Room
Fluffy white mould often forms where the airflow is poor. This can be due to lack of ventilation from doors, windows and chimneys. Dampness and humidity from condensation will make the problem worse. Improve ventilation by unsealing windows, leaving them open a crack whilst making sure they are still secure. You could try a dehumidifier or small fan to keep the air circulating. Even a computer could help; the cooling fan will keep air moving.
Double glazing can cause a problem as it reduces airflow, increasing dampness and mould formation. Try locking it open a crack to allow air to circulate; this is also better for you as spores can cause respiratory infections and allergy.
Step 2: Household Products
Rinse out an old household spray bottle from something relatively harmless less like window spray (mostly water, vinegar and soap) and pump the handle about 20 times to wash it through. There are several different household products you can use to get rid of white mould on your houseplants. I decided to go with garlic to start with as I had no bicarbonate of soda. Vinegar, although effective, can make the leaves shrivel and can be used as a general herbicide.
Add a teaspoon of garlic granules to 200mls of hot water and stir for a minute. Strain the granules out with a coffee filter or cloth so they don't clog the pump mechanism in the bottle. (I used my cafetiere and put it in the dishwater to remove all the garlic oil. Even a trace will taint your coffee.) Alternatively you can use a couple of cloves of crushed and diced garlic in hot water in the same way.
Vinegar can be used in a 1:20 ratio with water but I would suggest trying a small area first and leaving for a few days to make sure it doesn't damage the plant. Other suggestions include diluted mouthwash and bicarbonate of soda. A tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda can be used in a gallon of water with half a teaspoon of liquid soap to help it spread out and penetrate the mould. Make sure you don't use baking powder; this is not the same thing and often contains flour which will clog your spray and make a mess on the plant.
Step 3: Spray the Plant
Spray the whole plant weekly to get the problem under control. I found that the problem was significantly controlled after a couple of applications and fully gone after a month. I was also pleasantly surprised that the garlic smell didn't linger.
Let me know which recipe you try and how long it takes to work in the comments below.