How to Get White Stuff Off of House Plants


Houseplants that grow in environments with cool temperatures, inadequate air circulation and indirect sunlight may develop an unsightly fungal infection. Powdery mildew covers plant foliage with a white powder, often starting small and growing until it covers the leaves. Left untreated, powdery mildew can spread from plant to plant. Get the white stuff off houseplants and minimize damage to your plants by treating the powdery mildew before it damages your plants.

Step 1

Move houseplants showing signs of powdery mildew to locations with more sunlight and air circulation and keep them away from other plants, if possible. While this will not reverse the powdery mildew, it should help minimize the spread of the fungal infection.

Step 2

Clip all foliage with white mildew off the plant with the pruning shears. Make sure you remove every piece of foliage with powdery mildew with the pruning shears. Discard the foliage into the garbage immediately.

Step 3

Wash your hands with antibacterial hand soap after handling the infected plant. Saturate a paper towel with isopropyl alcohol and use the paper towel to clean the blades of the pruning shears thoroughly. These precautions will minimize the possibility of spreading the powdery mildew between your infected and uninfected plants.

Step 4

Spray the fungicide spray lightly, but thoroughly, over the remaining foliage and stems of the infected plant. Spray infected plants once per week with the fungicide spray to control the spread of the fungal infection.

Tips and Warnings

  • Check the label of the fungicide spray before you use it on your plant to make sure it is suitable for your houseplant. Most fungicide sprays list the plants you can treat on their labels.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Antibacterial hand soap
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Paper towels
  • Spray fungicide


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Powdery Mildew on Indoor Plants
Keywords: fungal infection, powdery mildew, white powder, white stuff, off houseplants

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.