Mealy dew on currants is one of the types of fungal diseases that affects berry bushes. The disease manifests itself in the form of a white-gray spotted plaque on young branches, leaf petioles and leaf plates. One of the main causes of the occurrence and development of fungi on currants is unstable weather with sharp fluctuations in temperature and frequent rains. Mycelium fungus, for the time being in a state of remission, in such conditions begin to multiply rapidly, capturing more and more surfaces on young growths of currants.
Currant protection against disease
Currant bushes are low, compact, very convenient in care and at harvest. Fruits of black, red and white currant are useful and tasty, you can make excellent juices from them, cook compotes or preserves and jams. Currant leaves are suitable for brewing green teas - flavored and unusual to taste drinks. For these reasons, many gardeners grow different types of currants in their gardens, but it is not always possible to get a good harvest from berry bushes, if powdery mildew appears on it. It is necessary urgently, without waiting for the wide spread of the disease, to take drastic measures to combat this disease, otherwise you can lose not only the crop, but also the plant itself.
Definition of the disease
According to the biological definition, powdery mildew (pepelitsa or belle) is nothing more than a fungal disease of currants, caused by the smallest spores of the mildew fungus of the family Erysiphales. This family includes more than 700 species, united in 19 genera. For some reason, this disease, which is manifested on plants, in Russia is also called the “American powdery mildew,” with which this is not exactly known.
Two concepts should not be confused: powdery mildew or false. Today we are talking only about the present form, downy mildew is rarely found on currants, it is caused by a completely different pathogen and its symptoms are different from the symptoms we mentioned above.
It is worth noting that all types of powdery mildew of fungus prefer to multiply on certain types of plants. The fungus that has settled on the currant does not move to an apple or pear tree, it will not move from the leaves of cucumbers to the bushes of tomatoes or eggplants. Infection occurs on a family basis, that is, an apple tree from an apple tree (regardless of the variety), a pear tree from a pear, a currant tree from a currant, and so on, become infected.
Signs of the disease currant powdery mildew appear on plants the same, but it happens rapidly. Gardeners yesterday did not notice any manifestations, and the next day the top young shoots and leaves are already covered with white bloom.Important! At the first visible signs of infection, it is important to stop the further spread of the disease. Having noticed them, immediately proceed to treatment, about which methods we will tell a little later.
Symptoms of infection:
- in the first stages of the disease, the leaves of young gains of currants from the front side are covered with small whitish specks, as if the leaves are sprinkled with flour;
- then (in the absence of the necessary treatment) more and more enlarged, moving to leaf petioles and twigs, currant leaves curl, thinning shoots;
- the entire apical part of the young growths is twisted into an ugly lump of dry foliage, the leaves fall, the petioles and branches become brittle, the growth of the shoots ceases;
- destroying the young parts of the plant, the fungus "occupies" the fruit ovaries and the fruits themselves, draining them and turning them into hard balls, which also crumble on the ground;
- without receiving proper treatment during the season, currants have to hibernate weakened and unprotected;
- Many plants do not withstand such a condition and die from cold or nutrient deficiencies, the supply of which to currant bushes is completely blocked by a harmful overgrown fungus.
The top photo shows the condition of currant leaves at the initial stage of their defeat by powdery mildew. In the video attached to this section, you can visually see how infected currant bushes look compared to healthy plants.
Gardeners who love their garden and all the plants that live in it will not allow the death of at least one single sprout from some mealy dew. They are always ready to fight any scourge in order to preserve the health of their green pets. Having a rest from such a struggle in a shady arbor, they will drink tea with a currant leaf and a bit of sugar with black currant jam and will again be ready to protect their garden. We wish them good luck in all their endeavors.