Pros: Fungicide, Insecticide, and Miticide in one product, safe for indoor/outdoor plants, effective
Cons: None. Just be sure and observe the cautions.
I've got this one shady spot in my outdoor garden that no matter what I plant there, it will get powdery mildew every year. If you've never encountered powdery mildew, you're lucky, because it is very hard to eradicate. Many pesticide products won't work on powdery mildew. I like to use Safer Insecticidal Soap, since it doesn't have chemicals, but it doesn't do a very effective job of controlling powdery mildew. I had to step up my game plan and go with something stronger, although still natural, like Schultz Garden Safe Fungicide 3.
~ Product Description
Schultz Garden Safe Fungicide 3 is actually three garden products in one; fungicide (controls fungus), insecticide (controls insects), and miticide (controls mites). Not a bad combination.
Garden Safe Fungicide is effective for the prevention and control of various fungal diseases, such as black spot on roses, the aforementioned powdery mildew, anthracnose, rust leaf spot, botrytis, needle rust, scab, and flower, twig and tip blight.
This will also control whiteflies, mealybugs, army worms, hornworms, leafhoppers bagworms, leafminers, psyllids, fruit flies, loopers, budworms, beetles (including Japanese beetles), aphids, scales, caterpillars, midges, budworms, and mites (including spider mites, which can also be very hard to control).
This kills the eggs, larvae and adult stages of insects. It prevents fungal attack of plant tissues. Garden Safe Fungicide 3 can be used on roses, flowers, shrubs, vegetables, trees, fruits, and houseplants.
The active ingredient is clarified Hydrophobic Extract of Neem Oil, 0.9%. This is a natural pesticide from the neem tree, which is native to India. It may be all natural, but there are nevertheless cautions to be aware of - see below.
This product comes in a plastic 24 fl. oz. bottle with a trigger sprayer. Just twist the sprayer end from Off to Spray or Stream. I found it at Wal Mart for $6.79.
~ Directions for Use
As a preventative, Fungicide 3 should be applied once every 7 to 14 days, until the potential for disease development is no longer there. You need to spray pretty heavily, until the spray runs off the leaves. Complete coverage of all the plant tissue is necessary for control.
If there is already disease present, apply once every 7 days until the disease pressure is eliminated. Then keep spraying once every 14 days. There are some further directions specific to various diseases, which I won't go into here.
For insecticide and miticide control, apply at the first sign of insects or mites. Apply once every 7-14 days. Fungicide 3 is most effective when applied in early to mid-morning, or late afternoon.
This should not be applied to wilted or obviously stressed plants, or to newly transplanted plants prior to some decent root establishment. Use care on plants with tender tissue. It is suggested to check for leaf burn in a small trial prior to covering the entire plant.
~ Important Cautions and Hazards
Avoid breathing spray mist. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, or clothing. In case of contact, flush eyes or skin with plenty of water. Prolonged or frequently repeated skin contact may cause allergic reactions in some individuals.
Environment Hazards: Do not apply directly to water, to areas where surface water is present, or to wetlands. Do not contaminate water by cleaning of equipment or disposal of equipment washwaters.
Bee Hazard: Fungicide 3 is toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment. Do not apply while bees are actively visiting the treatment area.
The label doesn't specifically say to keep away from children, but KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN!
These precautionary statements are subtitled "Hazards to Humans and Domestic Animals," so apparently these apply to pets as well. Keep your pets away from newly treated areas. (Although the label does not specifically say to keep pets away, I think it's obviously a good idea.)
~ My Experience
Well, as you can see from all the cautions, this stuff is pretty intense. My stubborn problem with powdery mildew really called for something serious, so I felt it was necessary.
This shady area where the powdery mildew develops each year is beneath a cedar tree. I usually plant impatiens there in late spring, as they like the shade and provide great color, and generally do well there. But the powdery mildew always seems to occur, and can take a toll on the plants.
I used Shultz Garden Safe Fungicide 3 last year with great results. So when I saw the mildew starting to develop again this year, I hauled out the Fungicide 3 to put a stop to it right away.
The spray trigger works easily, and the spray covers the plants quite well. I've never yet had the nozzle clog up, and this bottle is two years old. You do need to shake well before using. I have about a dozen impatien plants to cover, so I use the "spray" rather than the "stream." I spray heavily, until I can see the liquid dripping off the leaves. I try to cover the entire plant, buds, flowers, and underneath the leaves. As directed, I apply in the early morning.
After just one thorough application, the powdery mildew is gone. Last year I didn't even need to reapply, but I think I did anyway after a couple of weeks. My rather tender impatiens (transplanted about 4 weeks prior), showed absolutely no ill effects. The blooms didn't fall off, no leaf burn at all. For such seemingly strong stuff, Fungicide 3 has never harmed my plants.
I've also used this on some stubborn cases of spider mites and aphids on my houseplants, when Safer Insecticidal Soap couldn't quite cut it. This is good stuff, and will definitely get the job done.
~ Final Thoughts
For stubborn indoor or outdoor plant pests and disease, Schultz Garden Safe Fungicide 3 is a wonderful product. It takes care of fungus problems, insects, and mites. The trigger sprayer is easy to use and never clogs. It has never harmed my plants or flowers. Just be aware of the cautions, and use as directed.