Plant diseases

Powdery mildew vine

The vine plant

The vine is a very important plant in Italy, given its historical connotation and the long tradition that unites us to it and especially to its fruit, the grape. Since ancient times the vine has been cultivated in the European areas of the Mediterranean basin: the ancient Greeks began, great wine lovers, followed by the Romans of ancient Rome, who accompanied banquets and every other meal with their favorite “nectar”. , and we Italians have continued, we have a wine industry that invoices billions of euros per year both in exports and in internal sales. It must be said that the climate of these areas clearly contributes to favoring this historical tradition, perfect for the growth of grapes: warm but never arid, cold winters but not frozen and very rare frosts in the transitional seasons (autumn and spring) which in other areas undermine the harvest and also the integrity of the plant itself. Other areas that can boast a climate similar to ours have dedicated themselves to the cultivation of vines and the production of wine, above all California, but the oenological research and the tradition of our vineyards is unsurpassed, like the art of those who in Italy the wine they produce, they almost raise it.

Diseases of the vine


The vine plant is a plant, as we have seen, very important both economically and historically for our areas; it will be for this reason that it appears to us as if all diseases are concentrated on it. In fact, it must be specified that the vine plant is a plant “coveted” by insects and other species such as mushrooms, as its fruits are very sweet, that is, they contain glucose and other more complex sugars that often attract insects and fungi various to find the substances they love. To this is added the fact that the vine enters many of our branches of the small economy, so when a disease attacks it and ruins some of our plans, it seems absolutely more relevant than if the same disease had attacked any sunflower and probably we wouldn’t even have noticed. But which are the diseases that affect the vine most frequently? There are two types of diseases that we absolutely must consider for this plant: insect attacks and fungal affections. The former usually proliferate on the plant itself because it contains those nutrients which the larvae (always them…) feed on to grow and develop; the second, the mushrooms, are attracted by the fruits which are also sugary.

Powdery mildew vine

One of the diseases that most worries and ruins the nights of vine farmers is powdery mildew; if this name doesn’t tell you anything, then maybe you know the “white sickness”, which is the common name of the Oidium fungus that infests the vine and many other plants. The common name, as can easily be imagined, derives from the fact that the mycelium of this mushroom (i.e. its visible part, the one that comes out of the ground in the truffle and has a deer-brown color) has a classic white color that is visible on the leaves and fruits of the plants that are infested by it. In reality it is not a classic mycelium like that of the truffle, but it is a layer that looks more like a little flour attached to the leaf or fruit. But how does it happen that the vine suffers the attack of this disease? In fact, this is certainly not even from a scientific point of view, also because classifying mushrooms is not a trivial operation and therefore it is thought that it could be different species that attack different plants, each with a different “preference” but which is still all to prove.

Attack and remedy

The presence of powdery mildew on the leaves of the vine is not a real attack; in fact this fungus is not one of those that parasitize the plant, stealing its nutrients and leading it to death in a progressive manner. Quite the contrary, the fungus simply “leans” on the plant and the only thing it takes is that natural secretion, that vegetable sweat which, however, in the case of the vine contains glucose and therefore sugary substances that give energy to this type of fungus. . The effects are therefore more aesthetic than structural, in fact the fruit affected by powdery mildew (also happens with citrus fruits), once the peel has been removed, could also be eaten; but it is clear that no customer would buy, let alone serve at the table, a “stained” fruit. This is what scares the vine breeders, also because the powdery mildew could be removed mechanically, but considering the number of grains present it would be an interminable job. Moreover, the only effect is that the mycelium prevents the leaf from doing chlorophyll photosynthesis, because it covers the part of the leaf that collects sunlight, so these areas cannot be used to give strength to the plant and what she needs it to keep going. The remedies against powdery mildew are preventive, trying to use anti-fungal products but in a preventive dosage and therefore very mild and without effects for anyone, then a certain care not to have a too humid environment (loved by all types of fungus) and also try to observe the plant often to intervene immediately. Moreover, the only effect is that the mycelium prevents the leaf from doing chlorophyll photosynthesis, because it covers the part of the leaf that collects sunlight, so these areas cannot be used to give strength to the plant and what she needs it to keep going. The remedies against powdery mildew are preventive, trying to use anti-fungal products but in a preventive dosage and therefore very mild and without effects for anyone, then a certain care not to have a too humid environment (loved by all types of fungus) and also try to observe the plant often to intervene immediately. Moreover, the only effect is that the mycelium prevents the leaf from doing chlorophyll photosynthesis, because it covers the part of the leaf that collects sunlight, so these areas cannot be used to give strength to the plant and what she needs it to keep going. The remedies against powdery mildew are preventive, trying to use anti-fungal products but in a preventive dosage and therefore very mild and without effects for anyone, then a certain care not to have a too humid environment (loved by all types of fungus) and also try to observe the plant often to intervene immediately. therefore these areas cannot be used to give strength to the plant and what it needs to move forward. The remedies against powdery mildew are preventive, trying to use anti-fungal products but in a preventive dosage and therefore very mild and without effects for anyone, then a certain care not to have a too humid environment (loved by all types of fungus) and also try to observe the plant often to intervene immediately. therefore these areas cannot be used to give strength to the plant and what it needs to move forward. The remedies against powdery mildew are preventive, trying to use anti-fungal products but in a preventive dosage and therefore very mild and without effects for anyone, then a certain care not to have a too humid environment (loved by all types of fungus) and also try to observe the plant often to intervene immediately.

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