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

Friday - April 24, 2009

From: king of prussia, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pruning, Vines
Title: Bignonia capreolata with brown leaves in Pennsylvania
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe

QUESTION:

3 year old crossvine leaves brown and dead looking. Will it come back and bud out? Crossvine on fence southern exposure. Crossvine on fence in another area has leaves and are dark green/purple - same area as older crossvine in another bed flanking fence gate. Some are brown but not like 3 year old plant. Help! Thanks Cathy

ANSWER:

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) is a lovely, versatile native vine. The prolific spring blooms can be a real knock-out. Your brown leaves may or may not be a severe problem.

There are several possibilities. Your vine has clearly flourished for a couple of years, which suggests that it was planted in an appropriate site and your southern exposure should encourage blooming. Has anything changed to negatively affect the plant? Are other plants encroaching? Does it get more or less water than formerly? Do broadleaf herbicides get applied where they could affect the vine?

Crossvine can be evergreen, but in some winters it loses its leaves even down here in Texas, and you are closer to the northern climate range for the plant. To check and see if the vine itself is still alive, scrape away a bit of the bark on a main stem. The interior bark layer should be alive and green. If it is not, your vine may have died back. In that case, I would cut it back and hope that its root system is still viable. You could feed it a mild tonic, like a seaweed infusion, nothing too strong that would shock it. It could very well come back, and maybe more vigorously.

Since this plant is several years old, another possibility is that some of the vine's older growth just needs to be rejuvenated with some pruning. Cross vines are most vibrant and productive on new, younger vines, flowering on new growth. Brooklyn Botanical Garden, which is in your climate zone, has a Vine Pruning Guide which recommends late winter or early spring pruning for Bignonia capreolata. While they point out that minimal pruning is required, Crossvine is a vigorous climber that you may want to prune to control its size and direct its path. Benny Simpson, on the Texas A&M Native Shrubs Database suggests light pruning after flowering to extend the flowering season.

Here is a link to a previous  Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) query:

What is wrong with my crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)?

Hope this helps.

 

From the Image Gallery


Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Death of Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy from Austin
April 18, 2013 - I have one small area that there are two plants - Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy withered and died eventually. Same kinds of plants are doing fine close by. It is my front yard close to walk way.I w...
view the full question and answer

What is the sticky stuff coming out of the trees in Austin?
October 06, 2009 - Hello - I live in Austin TX, and in the past half month or so, have been noticing much sticky, sweet sap being exuded from trees. In a normal year I only notice the crepe myrtles doing this, but this...
view the full question and answer

Sap oozing from non-native Chinese pistache in San Antonio
September 07, 2011 - I live in San Antonio, and my chinese pistache is exuding copious amounts of a sticky sap from old trim sites and from the trunk itself. The tree is about 12 years old and has been healthy up until no...
view the full question and answer

Is December a good time to prune oaks in Central Texas?
December 29, 2010 - Given that we haven't had much cold weather here in central Texas (Wimberley) this season, is it a good time to trim live and Spanish oak trees (damaged limbs and low hanging branches and suckers)? ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Carolina Laurel Cherry from Pflugerville, TX
September 02, 2011 - In 2007 we planted 7 Carolina Laurelcherry (Prunus caroliniana)across our back fence. Everything was fine until this year. Three of the trees seemed to get sick and a local arborist said the roots ne...
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