Forum home Problem solving

Do I have mildew? If so, what now?

Hello all, 

We recently decided to plant a garden in October, in heavily compacted clay soil (NW England). I added a lot of organic matter and worked hard to loosen the soil before planting, and have been watering once a week (apart from when it pours down!) since I planted.

I've noticed this week, however, that my Perovskia blue spire sage and my Acer palmatum Orange Dream Japanese maple both have a whitish/silvery powder on the stems and branches. I'm thinking perhaps this is some sort of mildew, because when I rub with my finger or when the plant gets wet, the white disappears to reveal the true colour of the plant. The Perovskia has also started producing new shoots from the ground which look nice and healthy, but I'm not sure if/how much a threat this silvery white stuff is.

The acer is supposed to have green branches, but it has these rich red/pinkish branches which turn green towards the root. When I move the soil away from the base of the tree, I can see that the bark is a nice rich green as expected, but above ground it is coated in a soft dusting of white/silver, right the way up towards the redder parts of the branches.

I had applied a layer of straw mulch to the flower bed and also to the separate plot in which I planted the acer, and am wondering if maybe this is the problem, but I honestly don't know. So I'm turning to you all in the hope someone might know what to do? I've seen online that I can make a kitchen spray and apply that, but I would like to see what you all think. Is it perhaps the soil?

I hope all of this makes sense and I haven't just waffled. Any help would be much appreciated. 

Thank you


  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,560
    Is it possible to take a photo or two and post them on this thread?  It's a bit hard to tell what's happening from your description.   

    Welcome to the forum, by the way!   :)
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
Sign In or Register to comment.