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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.

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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.

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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!

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Sunday - January 06, 2013

From: Semmes, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Vines
Title: Problems with crossvine from Semmes AL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a 3 year old cross vine (tangerine beauty) and the leaves have started turning black and falling off the plant. I have two plants growing on the same pergola (opposite ends) and the second plant is beginning to get splotchy leaves and I am afraid both of these beautiful plants will die. What can I do? I can send a photo if that would help. I've tried asking at local garden centers, but no one seems able to help me.

ANSWER:

According to this USDA Plant Profile Map, Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) grows natively to Mobile County, Alabama. This is usually the first thing we look at when we are trying to diagnose a problem with a plant. Trying to grow a plant in the wrong climate or soil is frequently the first problem we find. In this case, however, it is obviously in the right spot.

Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on care of crossvine. From BackyardGardener.com, here is an article on Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine). Scroll down the page and you will find information about spider mites, mealy bugs and fungus, all of which can affect this plant. From your description, we would suspect fungus, possibly caused by poor circulation of air or not enough sun on the plant. Since we can't see the plant (and, sorry, we no longer can accept pictures) we will have to give you information to make your own diagnosis.

 

From the Image Gallery


Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

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