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Mr. Smarty Plants - Spots on leaves of sevenleaf creeper in Austin

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Saturday - November 14, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Spots on leaves of sevenleaf creeper in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Have 3 seven leaf creepers that are planted in mostly shade. In Sept & Oct 2009 all 3 plants had dried up leaves which fell off; however, all three plants grew new leaves when we got rain and are coming back well. One plant, which gets more shade that the others, has leaves that have turned a paler green with some whitish brown spots. What is this and how do I treat it?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants recently answered another question on Parthenocissus heptaphylla (sevenleaf creeper). When you read this previous answer, note the line about information on the plant: "Because Sevenleaf creeper has a much smaller native range and is a much less well known species, there is simply not as much literature about it." About the best we can do under those circumstances is to find out what might be causing this sort of problem in other members of the genus Parthenocissus. All three like sun, part shade or shade, are native to Texas, and seem to prefer moist soils.

Parthenocissus heptaphylla (sevenleaf creeper) is found on soil underlain with limestone, endemic to Edwards Plateau and Lampasas Cut Plains of Texas.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) - tends to climb using tendrils with adhesive-like tips

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Sadly, looking for information on all three plants only yielded the information that it was subject to leaf spots, but not what causes them or what to do about it. Finally, we found a website from Yardener, Problems of Virginia Creeper, that will give you some leads on what might be causing the spots on your species. One more caution: the Virginia Creeper is known to cause very severe allergic reactions on contact for many people. Again, there is not much information on Seven-Leaf Creeper, but better safe than sorry when you handle the vine. 


Parthenocissus heptaphylla

Parthenocissus heptaphylla

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

 

 

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