Organic Anti-Fungal Plant Spray

Updated February 21, 2017

Organic anti-fungal plant sprays are an effective and responsible method of treating your infected plants. Unlike organic pesticides, which often yield less favourable and effective results than their chemical counterparts, organic anti-fungal sprays have been used for centuries with consistent, positive results. There are a host of fungal and mildew problems that they control.

Common Diseases

Weather often plays the biggest factor in the spread of fungal diseases. Even the most diligent and attentive gardeners can expect at some time to experience problems such as powdery mildew, downy mildew or anthracnose on their trees, shrubs and plants. When conditions warrant it, a preventive application of an anti-fungal remedy will yield better results than treating a fungal or mildew problem after your plants have contracted it.

Efficacy of Organics

Organic anti-fungal plant sprays have been shown to be at least as effective as, and in many cases more effective than, chemical fungicides. They are less lethal to non-target species that they may inadvertently come in contact with. All pesticides, organic and chemical, are given a signal word on their label, either "Caution," "Warning" or "Danger" based on their LD 50's. LD 50's are the unit used to quantify at what dose each pesticide is lethal to half of a given population. Organic anti-fungal sprays boast low LD 50's.

Types of Organic Anti-Fungals

A wide variety of substances are used in the production of organic fungicides. They generally fall into one of three categories. Derivatives of natural elements such as copper or sulphur, oil-based sprays and bicarbonates are the most common organic anti-fungal plant sprays on the market. The copper- and sulphur- based remedies have been around the longest. Some of the oil sprays such as neem oil, are plant-based; the oils are extracted from plant or tree seeds. The bicarbonates are similar to baking soda and act by drying out the fungal problem.

Certified Organic

The labels on anti-fungal spray packaging can make many claims regarding their "organic" properties. Only products that have been tested and certified by The Organic Materials Review Institute can officially call themselves organic. Other products may contain organic active ingredients, but sometimes the inert components that act as a binder or delivery agent do not pass muster. Read the packaging carefully to ensure that you are in fact purchasing an organic product.

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About the Author

Chris Bond has been writing about gardening, sustainable agriculture and local history since 2005. He has been published in "The Plain Dealer," "The Repository" and online. Bond holds an A.A.S. from the State University of New York at the Finger Lakes campus in Canandaigua, N.Y.