Hi, I'm just starting to get into gardening and trying to grow a few herbs and a chilli plant. I found a recipe for homemade fungicide using some baking soda mixed with water and a little bit of detergent. I sprayed my plant and now there is a white residue on my basil and chilli plant. My question is, is that normal, and is it actually harmful to put a little bit of detergent in the mixture (either for the plant but especially for people eating the herbs!)? Of course, I'll rinse anything before I eat, but will that be enough? Thanks Ryan
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Yes, the use of baking soda is safe for people eating the plants- simply wash the residue off first. As for the detergent, I use a small amount of dish detergent, since this is sure to be safe for humans once rinsed off. It is also fine for plants. Too-frequent sprays can possibly harm the plant if a lot of residue blocks photosynthesis, but infrequent use or use to control a specific fungal infestation is helpful.