Efficacy of azoxystrobin (Heritage 50W™) was assessed over a range of application rates and intervals for the control of powdery mildew (Erysiphe polygoni) and Cercospora leaf spot (Cercospora hydrangea) on bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) ‘Nikko Blue’. Rooted hydrangea cuttings were transplanted in a pine bark/peat mixture. In 1998 and 1999, azoxystrobin at 0.16 g ai/liter and 0.32 g ai/liter, as well as 0.24 g ai/liter myclobutanil (Eagle 40W™) and 0.84 g ai/liter thiophanate methyl (3336 4.5F™), greatly reduced the incidence of powdery mildew compared with the untreated control where 75% of the leaves of were infected by the causal fungus. When applied at 1-, 2-, and 3-week intervals, both rates of azoxystrobin were equally effective in both years in preventing the development of powdery mildew on bigleaf hydrangea. In 1998, all fungicides except for thiophanate methyl protected bigleaf hydrangea from Cercospora leaf spot. In the last two trials, the incidence of powdery mildew increased significantly as the application rate for azoxystrobin decreased from 0.16 to 0.04 g ai/liter and the application interval was lengthened from 1 to 3 weeks. In general, all rates of azoxystrobin applied on a 3-week schedule failed to provide the level of powdery mildew control needed to produce quality bigleaf hydrangea for the florist and landscape market. When applied at 2-week intervals, myclobutanil was equally or more effective in controlling powdery mildew than any rate of azoxystrobin applied on the same schedule. When compared to the untreated controls, significant reductions in the incidence of powdery mildew on bigleaf hydrangea were obtained with weekly applications of paraffinic oil. No symptoms of phytotoxicity were associated with the use of any of the fungicides screened.

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Author notes

2Professor, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology; e-mail: ahagan@acesag.auburn.edu

3Superintendent, Ornamental Horticulture Substation.

4Associate Superintendent, Ornamental Horticulture Substation.

5Research Associate, Department on Entomology and Plant Pathology.