En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - September 04, 2007

From: La Place, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Problems with purple passion flower
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hello, I live in La Place, Louisiana (30 miles west of New Orleans). In March 2007, I planted a purple passion flower (maypop). During the spring it thrived and was covered with brilliant green leaves and many blossoms. But now I am experiencing some problems. My question concerns the leaves. They started out lush and green, but now are pale and have become almost yellow. Some of them have dark spots and holes. Some have dried up and fallen off. The plant is in partial shade, and I keep the soil moist, but not soaked. The vine is in a very large planter and I planted it in Miracle Gro potting soil. It has a trellis to climb. The plant is still growing new leaves and blooming, but the older leaves look really bad. Any ideas why this happened? Could this be some sort of fungus or insect? I'd like to keep the new leaves from ending up like this. I appreciate your assistance!

ANSWER:

The possible causes of the leaf problems you describe are numerous. The yellowing foliage could be caused by too much water, too little water, sucking insects such as aphids and scale, other predators such as thrips and mites, fungal diseases or simply normal aging. The dark spots and holes can be signs of fungal diseases and/or chewing insect like grasshoppers or caterpillars or snails and slugs. Carefully examine the effected leaves (especially the underside) for tiny insects or mite. You may need a magnifying glass to see some of them. Check your plants at night for night-working predators like slugs.

To be sure of what is afflicting your vine you should contact your state's Cooperative Extension Service for a positive diagnosis.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Premature leaf drop on Red Maple in Kentucky
June 25, 2008 - I have a ten foot Red Maple tree that has been set out for 4 years. Its leaves have slowly turned colors until it currently looks like fall. The leaves are not falling off nor is there yet any s...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Strawberry Hedgehog cactus from Temple TX
June 03, 2012 - I had purchased a Strawberry hedgehog Cactus (echinocereus stramineus) a few years ago from the Wildflower Center's annual plant sale and planted it then. It has now started to brown from bottom to t...
view the full question and answer

Demise of Flameleaf Sumac in Austin, TX.
July 31, 2012 - My Flameleaf Sumac suddenly died. Beetles came out around the trunk when I cut it down. How can I prevent this on the other sumac?
view the full question and answer

Possibility of oak wilt in red oak in Austin
December 25, 2010 - I planted a Red oak tree in Austin January 2008. It was container grown but decent size, over 15ft tall. This summer (2010) its leaves turned color as if it were fall and started dropping. I starte...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen groundcover under pine tree in NY
May 23, 2008 - Hello! I live in upstate NY. I'm trying to find an evergreen ground cover to plant under a pine tree. I believe it's a white spruce (but I'm not postive). I've read conflicting information reg...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center