En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Identification of vine in Louisiana
July 06, 2011 - I have two vines in my backyard. I've looked at pictures of each and they both keep coming up "virginia creeper." However, both are different. Neither causes an allergic reaction. One has leaflets ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification for vine in Kentucky
April 26, 2010 - Need to know the name of a plant. It grows in Eastern KY, south WVA and West VA. It grows alone riverbanks and creeks. It is a weed, in the spring it has a white bloom and bees work it like crazy. ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine from Las Vegas NV
July 11, 2012 - I'm interested in identifying the vine shown by the leaf in this photo: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/zR3R4JSPYcCI4ESczNXWM4h8z33Cq5cyZNqSSYf9hx0?feat=directlink My mother-in-law got one o...
view the full question and answer

Native trees of Hornsby Bend in Austin, TX
April 10, 2013 - We are looking for a list of the trees occurring along and in the vicinity of the Colorado River at Hornsby Bend circa 1820.
view the full question and answer

Purple Passionflower as a native in Charlottesville VA
September 18, 2013 - Is it possible to grow purple passion flower as a perennial in zone 7? I am looking for hummers and butterflies to be attracted by the plant. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center