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Gooseberry mildew

Symptoms

Greyish-white powdery fungal growth spreads across the upper leaf surfaces and stems of gooseberry plants, eventually affecting the fruit. It's often accompanied by dieback of new growth.

Find it on: gooseberries, blackcurrants
Time to act: spring, early summer

Overview

Also know as American gooseberry mildew, this greyish-white powdery growth of the fungal disease Sphaerotheca mors-uvae appears on new shoots, which can become distorted and die off. The mildew also affects the upper leaf surfaces and stems of the plant, while the skin on affected fruits turns from a white mould to a light brown. The fruits can be scraped clean and eaten, although they'll turn brown when cooked.


Solution

Greyish-white powdery fungal growth spreads across the upper leaf surfaces and stems of gooseberry plants, eventually affecting the fruit. It's often accompanied by dieback of new growth.

Organic

Space out plants and cut out congested branches to improve air circulation. Cut off any infected branches straight away. Plant resistant cultivars, such as 'Invicta' and 'Greenfinch'.

Chemical

Use an all-purpose feed, rather than one high in nitrogen, as this will only generate soft new growth that's prone to infection. Spray infected plants with myclobutanil.




Discuss this problem

Talkback: Gooseberry mildew
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casgarden 24/11/2011 at 15:28

I found one mouldy gooseberry and a little mould on one leaf of each of my two new plants. I took these off straight away. Do you think I still need to cut off the WHOLE branch on both, and should I plant them far apart to stop it spreading? I dont want to use chemicals and I dont mind them not getting a crop this year if it means I can protect them. Ta

Gardenerruss 24/11/2011 at 15:29

I have planted a small gooseberry bush which now has quite a few fruits on, the fruits are covered in a brown furry skin it rubs off and the fruit is green underneath the leaves are brown around the edge is this a disease?

supergrannme 24/11/2011 at 15:29

I've just signed up to this site - have had same problems with three gooseberry bushes, quite mature bushes but suddenly they all developed same symptoms - start off okay in spring, flowering etc - then mildew - are fruits okay to eat?? What can I spray these bushes with, and is it worth persevering with them or should I pull them all out and start again somewhere else in garden (please say no, they are lovely big bushes ...)

brian carnall 21/06/2012 at 22:54

any advice on pruning apples pears cherys & goseberys briancarnall@yahoo.com thanking you brian