WSU Extension


Currant, Gooseberry
Anthracnose (Leaf spot) 
Powdery mildew 
Brown marmorated stink bug 
Currant aphids 
Gooseberry maggot (Currant fruit fly) 
Imported currantworm 

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Caption: Powdery mildew on gooseberry
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Currant, Gooseberry : Powdery mildew
(revision date: 5/7/2015)

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease. Characteristic white patches of powdery fungal growth develop on shoots, fruit, and either or both sides of the leaves. Infected tissues are often stunted and distorted, and infected leaves may drop prematurely. On the berries, the fungal patches turn rusty brown as they age. Infected berries are typically smaller than normal, with rough, cracked surfaces. The fungus probably overwinters on twigs and infected plant debris and possibly also in buds. Disease development is favored by cool, rainy weather in the spring and early summer.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Space plantings and prune to provide good air circulation and reduce humidity.
  • Provide proper culture.
  • Clean up plant debris. Prune out and destroy/discard (do not compost) diseased plant materials.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Make a sulfur product application at prebloom (just before blossoms are ready to open), a second application at full bloom, and a third application 2 weeks later. NOTE: Lilly Miller Sulfur Dust is registered for use on GOOSEBERRY ONLY.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Bi-Carb Old-Fashioned Fungicide [Organic]
    Active ingredient: potassium bicarbonate  |  EPA reg no: 54705-10
  • Defend DF/Home & Garden Use/for Organic Gardening [Organic]
    Active ingredient: sulfur  |  EPA reg no: 62562-8
  • Lilly Miller Sulfur Dust Fungicide/Insecticide Dust or Spray
    Active ingredient: sulfur  |  EPA reg no: 802-16
  • Monterey Horticultural Oil [Organic]
    Active ingredient: mineral oil/pet distillate light  |  EPA reg no: 48813-1-54705
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.

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Caption: Powdery mildew on gooseberry
Photo by: R.S. Byther