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What's Plaguing your Ice Plant?

Downy mildew is becoming a problem in San Diego county on common Red Apple ice plants. The disease appears as a "mat of grew, blue, or brown fungal growth on the lower or both sides of leaves and other plant parts." Infection rapidly spreads under cool and wet conditions and windblown rain and/or sprinkler splashing helps aid the disease spread. The damage done is resulting in total loss of plantings.

What can be done and how can you help?

  • If you notice an infection, contact your community manager who will contact your landscape company to help control the problem; they should then remove and destroy plants with symptoms of infection.

  • Plants should be pruned regularly and weeds removed to improve air circulation and reduce fungal growth.

  • Overhead irrigation should be avoided during cool weather.

  • Consider watering in the morning hours so that plants dry during the day.

  • Do not over- or under-fertilize as it may increase the chances of infection.

  • Consider other host plants as ground covers when replacing diseased ice plants.

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