Last Updated on May 9, 2020 by Matt Gardener
Powdery mildew is a widespread fungal infection that affects all plants ranging from vegetables to fruit plants. It attacks each plant leaving a trail of unpleasantness to the infected plants.
There have been a couple of organic solutions used to get rid of powdery mildews, including apple cider vinegar, yet the question ‘does vinegar kill powdery mildew?’ abounds.
Apple cider vinegar is being touted to be a multipurpose ingredient. It is useful in the kitchen for salad dressings, in hair care for getting rid of hair dandruff, and health-wise, it reduces cholesterol and blood sugar level.
Now, let’s find out if indeed vinegar kills powdery mildew and how it does so.
Table of Contents
What is Powdery Mildew?
Powdery mildew is an all plant disease that is caused by the Erysiphales order of fungi. These fungi grow in hot and humid conditions, and when they attack a healthy plant, they deposit circular patches of white powders on the plant. Plant parts usually affected include the leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits.
Powdery mildew is a transmissible disease that is easily transmitted to a healthy plant from an infected plant. It is spread from one plant to other plants in forms of spores through the wind, water, or insects.
These spores are microscopic and grow in harsh weather conditions, and this makes controlling them very difficult. They hibernate when the environment seems uncomfortable for them and blossom when the situation becomes favorable, that is, by becoming hot and humid.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a juice made from fermenting crushed apples. It is made by cutting apples into small sizeable chops and soaking the pieces in water. Bacteria and yeast are added to the water to aid fermentation. The fermentation process converts the sugar in apple to alcohol.
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid and malic acid, which are responsible for its sour taste. These acids in apple cider vinegar make it ideal for anti-microbial purposes.
Does Vinegar Kill Powdery Mildew?
So, does Apple Cider Vinegar kill powdery mildew?
Yes, vinegar kills powdery mildew on plants. Vinegar is used to get rid of powdery mildew due to its richness in acid content.
Traditionally, folks have used vinegar to clean, treat, and disinfect wounds and infections. Hippocrates, who is regarded as the father of modern medicine, used vinegar to clean wounds, this goes a long way to show the effectiveness of vinegar in arresting the growth of pathogens.
When it comes to plants, fungus cause powdery mildew, fungi do not thrive in conditions with low pH levels. Apple cider vinegar has a very low pH level, and when applied on any surface, it reduces the pH level of that surface.
To, therefore, kill powdery mildew, spraying infected plants with diluted apple cider vinegar is necessary. It is essential to dilute vinegar before spraying it on plants because the vinegar, in its raw form, can burn plant parts.
How to kill powdery mildew with vinegar
To kill powdery mildew on plants with vinegar, you will need to mix three tablespoons or 44 milliliters of apple cider vinegar to 1 gallon or 3.8 liters of water. Stir thoroughly and pour the solution into a dry and clean spray bottle.
Before you spray the vinegar solution to powdery mildew infested plants, test a portion of the plant with the solution, to ensure its suitability for the plant. If the plant does not react adversely to the solution, you may go ahead to spray the entire plant.
Ensure to spray an adequate amount of vinegar solution to plant and allow the solution to air dry and penetrate to all plant parts.
Vinegar, due to its richness in acid, kills powdery mildew, alongside other pathogenic microorganisms. Vinegar must be diluted with at least one gallon of pure water and tested on a small portion of an infected plant before being used for the entire plant and plants.