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 - June 17, 2008

From: Lake Winnebago, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Non-native Hyacinth Bean vine dying
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in Missouri and have tried to grow hyacinth bean. Mine drop leaves (after some yellow appears on on them)and the vine turns yellow, then withers to brown. Other places near me grow them beautifully. Too much water maybe? they are in potting soil, clay pot, sun to some shade during the day. Please help! Thanks!!

ANSWER:

Hyacinth bean, Lablab purpureus (syn=Dolichos lablab) is native to Africa.  This is germane to your question only in that the Wildflower Center focuses solely on North American native plants.  However, since your plant problem is general in nature, we may be able to help.

Too much water is a definite possibility.  The growing conditions you describe sound generally favorable for your plant, but if you're getting a lot of rain or are not letting the soil dry out some between waterings, then the roots may be rotting.  If that is the case, you will need to cut the top back hard to save the plant since the remaining roots will not be able to support the abundance of foliage on the vine.

Another possibility is an infestation of thrips and/or spidermites.  Both are tiny creatures which suck feed on plant foliage and cause yellowing and leaf drop.  Check the underside of the leaves with a magnifying glass and look for any barely-visible green or red critters inhabiting the plant.  If spider mites or thrips are there, insecticidal soap will usually take care of the problem.

If you have a good local nursery in your area, you might remove a piece of the vine - not just a single leaf - put the vine in a clear plastic zip-top bag and let a professional horticulturist take a look at it for a more specific diagnosis.

 

More Vines Questions

Care of Passiflora incarnata or Passiflora coccinea
July 04, 2007 - Hi- I have two passionflowers, one red, one purple. I live in upstate NY. They grow very well up onto trellises, however, they have stopped producing flowers. Both are planted in pots (fairly large)...
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars eating passion vines from Austin
May 17, 2012 - My question concerns Yellow passion flower, purple passion vine & butterflies. I have had my passion vines for 3-4 years, each spring they start growing beautifully, then in 1-2 days are almost compl...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a vine to grow on limestone pillars.
February 24, 2009 - Could you please suggest a vine which would grow on the limestone pillars at the front of our home near New Braunfels? We would like something that is attractive but does not harm our home. The pill...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen vine for St. Paul MN
June 17, 2010 - I am looking for a native vine that will stay green, or at least keep its leaves, throughout the winter. The vine will be grown on a trellis between our house and our neighbor's, and we want to keep...
view the full question and answer

Plant for Erosion Control on Wooded Slope in MD
May 19, 2015 - We are looking for a plant to help with erosion control on a wooded slope next to our drive. The roots of several of the trees are exposed like a shelf, so I think it's a fairly severe problem. We ar...
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