• What to do about mildew on our milkweed?

    Question

    Hi , I would like to ask Tami or another Naturalist about mildew on milkweed leaves (with caterpillars on the plant)...should we treat the leaves with mildew, and if so, what should we do... or ignore it?

    Naturalist's Response

    The safest control for mildew and other diseases and pests to your milkweed plants would be to remove the diseased leaves, but do not compost. Monarch eggs and caterpillars could be harmed by pesticides, even those labeled as safe or organic. It is best to control milkweed threats manually. Mildew is a result of factors like high humidity and moisture on the leaves, especially when plants are under stress. Keep your milkweed plants healthy by growing them in rich soil, and water the soil of your plants regularly (being careful not to overwater), preferably without watering the leaves.

    Here is a good link from Monarch Watch regarding “common milkweed pests.”

    Thanks for helping the Monarch Butterfly by growing milkweed!

    -Naturalist Dottie Drockton