Powdery mildew makes garden plants unsightly, and it limits a plant’s ability to nourish itself and flower or produce fruit. Plants like bee balm, roses, squash and cosmos are often infected with powdery mildew.
Easy Solution: Spray plants with a home brew fungicide—you can find many recipes online. A favorite is 1 tablespoon baking soda and 2.5 tablespoons horticultural oil in 1 gallon of water. Spray plants weekly to protect new growth.
Problem: White spots that look like powder or flour on your houseplants. Solution: This is probably a fungal disease, powdery mildew. Increase the air circulation in the room, and avoid overwatering. Saturated soils and poor ventilation are breeding grounds for this problem. Remove badly infected leaves, and if the problem persists, look for an organic fungicide labeled safe for indoor use. Follow all label directions. Shown here: a vining Philodendron, 'Brasil'
Bee balm, also known as Oswego tea, explodes with floral fireworks in summer. This variety is ‘Raspberry Wine,’ beloved for its burgundy-tinted leaves that resist powdery mildew. Flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Bee balm (Monarda didyma) makes a terrific addition to a cutting garden. Place plants in full sun to part shade with consistently moist soil. Rabbit- and deer-resistant plants grow 30 to 36 inches tall and 14 to 18 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Look for bee balm in a host of colors and plant sizes—there’s one to fit any spot in your garden.
Bee balm (Monarda didyma) is a buffet of color and activity in the garden, beckoning all kinds of pollinators, including hummingbirds, butterflies and bumblebees. This bloomer kicks off the flower show in midsummer, ultimately sending up multiple flowers from a single stem. It makes a great addition to a bouquet, lasting a week or more in a vase. Bee balm comes in a host of colors, including pink, lavender, purple and red shades. Choose varieties that have good powdery mildew resistance. Look for varieties from short to this average size ‘Raspberry Wine’ bee balm, which grows 36 to 48 inches tall by 18 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.