Why is White powder on my succulents | Everything you need to know!

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white powder on succulents

One fine day while checking up on my succulents I found a white powder on my succulent leaves. I was wondering even after taking all the care and precautions why do my succulents end up forming these white powder on leaves. Then after doing some research I have found out that the formation of white powder on succulents has mainly two reasons. 

It could be epicuticular wax which is good for plants or it could be powdery mildew that is not a good sign for a succulent. Let’s get to know about the white powder on succulents.

Epicuticular wax on succulents

Epicuticular wax is a protective layer that succulent forms on their leaves to protect the plant from the harmful sunburns, attacks of insects, keeping the moisture, and providing water to the leaves in case of emergency. It can be recognized as a whitish layer formed on the leaves and the stems of the plant. This is a perfectly natural process of protecting the plant from environmental harms. The plants have this phenomenon to thrive in all the climate and conditions.

Epicuticular wax is mainly a tiny crystal coating on the succulent leaves. It is also called “farina” and the succulent which has this coating are often called “glaucous” that is a powdery coating on the leaves of the plants. You can remove the coating from the plants but remember that it is very hard for a succulent to form that coating again over the plant. And eventually, that may end up risking the health of the succulent. So it’s better to avoid removing the layer.

Powdery Mildew on succulents

Powdery mildew is a fungus that spreads all over the plant and that can be seen in white color on the leaves and stems. Many vegetables, fruits also get this fungus infection due to the humidity. It is a type of fungal disease that most of the plants get affected by. Powdery mildew is the most common disease in plants that is easy to recognize.

It does not spread in rainy and cold areas. Many plants are immune to this fungus. The powdery mildew spreads in moderate temperature, or in humid conditions. This fungus first appears in white spots on the plants then slowly it spreads all over the leaves and the stems. 

Powdery mildew can affect the structure of the leaves and the stem and can affect the healthy growth of the plant. It can be caused due to higher humidity in surroundings and sometimes it can be removed just by rubbing off the leaves. 

How to spot the difference in epicuticular wax and powdery mildew?

white powder on succulents

The difference between the epicuticular wax and the powdery mildew can be spotted while checking the plants regularly. 

The cause of powdery mildews is due to fungal spores and that will spread quickly across the plant. You can notice the white spots on the plant and that is one of the ways to notice the fungus. This will also harm the growth of the plant and will cause them to deform and will affect their appearance. That is the signal that a plant is suffering from fungal disease.

While in case of epicuticular wax it spreads evenly all over the plant and covers the plant uniformly including leaves and the stems of the succulents. And it won’t damage the plant, it will help the plants to thrive and to grow beautifully.

Powdery mildew treatment

To treat powdery mildews always consider organic treatment. Because that will not harm the plant and are very effective while treating them from this fungus.

1. Milk

To get rid of powdery mildews milk can be a very effective way. Take milk and dilute it in water and start to apply it to the plant. Do this until the fungus disappears it is a very effective way to get rid of it.

2. Baking soda and Soap with water

This is another great way to deal with the powdery mildew on the plants. Take baking soda and soap together and mix them in water. Then apply the mixture on the plants and repeat the process till the fungus disappears. But while doing this also remember not to use it in excess as baking soda can burn the leaves of succulent. 

3. Neem oil

The use of neem oil is also an effective treatment for fungus as it is powerful enough to kill the fungus within a day. While using this treatment consider diluting the oil in water and then apply it all over the plant. Then wait for the amazing results. Do this until the fungus is contained.

4. Water

This is a very basic treatment for the spread of the fungus. It can be useful in the early days of the fungus. Just spray the water on the plant leaves and wash the spores before they start to embed although this is a temporary solution but can be preventive. 

How to prevent powdery mildew

To prevent the occurrence of the powdery mildew it’s important to take these following things into consideration.

1. Powdery mildew resistant succulent

If you don’t want to have this powdery mildew ever then you should always consider the type of succulents that are resistant to this fungus. While getting a succulent choose the one which will not get affected by this powdery mildew.

2. Avoid watering over the top of succulents

While watering succulent consider not to water on the top of the plant. The water will sit in the leaves and that will increase the humidity in plants which can end up causing the powdery mildew.

3. Don’t over-fertilize succulents

When using fertilizers for succulents always keep in mind to use it in proper proportion. When you over-fertilize the succulent that can lead to the new growth in plants and that new growth is prone to this fungus. So to avoid getting prone to jt do not over-fertilize the plants.

4. They love sunlight 

Place your succulents in sunlight for at least two hours a day that will help them grow healthy and that will avoid the humidity in a plant. They love direct sunlight so consider placing them in light.

5. Well-drained soil

Always have good quality well-drained soil so that the water will flush away from the drainage holes. And the soil will not get damp that will prevent soil breeding ground for disease-causing organisms. Which can affect the growth of plants and can also cause powdery mildew. 

fungicide for succulents

To prevent the plants from the fungus disease you can consider using the fungicides. But while using them always consider going for the organic way rather than going for the chemical one, as that will end up damaging a beautiful plant. There are many organic treatments as informed in this article. Consider those remedies for good results. 

Final thoughts

As this white powder on the succulents can be useful if it is an epicuticular wax and it can be harmful if it is powdery mildew and then it is very important to take care of the plant and to prevent them from getting affected. Also, use the preventive remedies to treat them and keep checking the plant once a week while watering the succulent.

If you have any suggestions or doubts make sure to drop a comment.

I hope you found all the answers to know more about the succulents also read

Happy planting!

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