By Barbara Fahs, Garden Guides Contributor
About White Mold
White mold is a fungus that attacks crops such as beans and nearly 400 other plants. It is common in cool, damp areas of the world and can kill plants if left untreated.
Prevention and Control
Because moisture is essential for the growth and spread of white mold, it is important to keep the leaves of certain crops dry. Drip irrigation around such plants is a good method for preventing damp foliage. Plant crops such as beans well apart from one another, according to seed packet instructions, to maximize air circulation.
Beans of all types are especially susceptible to white mold. Fruits, lettuce, potatoes, sunflowers, petunias and cabbage family plants are often the victims. It even attacks some weeds.
White mold can infect leaves, stems and pods of plants. Look for pale-looking, water-soaked lesions to cue you that a problem exists. Irregularly-shaped, hard, black spots can also occur. As the mold progresses, a cottony white mold appears, leaves become yellow then brown, and fall off. Eventually, the entire plant can die.
If you look for seeds that are resistant to white mold, the chances of an invasion will be greatly reduced. Allow your soil to dry out between waterings. If you plant your rows in the direction of the prevailing winds, air circulation will be improved and white mold will be less likely to occur. Destroy infected plants and practice crop rotation.
Other Methods of Control
Chemical fungicides are effective in controlling white mold. You must spray it when the plants are dry and be sure to cover the entire plant. Apply fungicide twice, a week apart, for it to be an effective cure.