Polemonium Problem

Can anyone help me with a small problem i seem to have with my Polemonium 'Jacobs Ladder' Heaven Scent... I planted it back at the beginning of spring and it flowered beautifully until about 2 weeks ago (mid June) It has not only started to wither and die back but is covered in a chalky white substance. Is this normal? I figured it may just be the natural way that it dies back after flowering but im concerned as i cant seem to find any information on this. Every inch of the plant is covered in this chalk and if its not something that should be happening then of course i don't want it spreading to my other plants. Any advice???

Many Thanks 


  • BerghillBerghill Posts: 2,826

    Sounds like Mildew which can kill plants. Water with a good fungicicde or make one from 9 parts water to 1 part full cream milk.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,241

    I'd cut it back to start again, you might even get another crop of flowers

  • Little hLittle h Posts: 7

    Berghill - i think you might be right. Thank you for the advice on how to make my own Fungicide - very good to know. The plant is completely covered and withering so i believe it is beyond saving for now. I may have to do as Nutcutlet suggests and cut it back. I can only hope it hasn't spread and that the plant will come back next year.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,241

    i hven't found them particularly long lived on my soil and always hope thy'll get to seeding and replace themselves before I have to cut them.

  • BerghillBerghill Posts: 2,826

    Survives well in our ground too. Never had mildew on it to that extent though. Usually a sign of lack of water at the roots. This is sometime a problem with plants in  professional compost. The soil all round the plant may be wet, but the plant roots are stuck in dry compost. Cut it back, give it a good soaking through the plant not on the soil and a feed of something to encourage it to produce new shoots.

  • Polemonium 'Heaven Scent' is a hybrid and does not produce seed. It needs semi shade and a good rich soil to thrive, so in dry conditions will be susceptible to Powdery Mildew. Cut of all the foliage and burn to kill spores, and mulch the plant and water well and it will produce new healthy foliage, National Plant Collections are always here for advice and we are open to visit if anyone needs help.

    Kind regards, Dianne

    National Plant Collection of Polemonium

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