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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - August 14, 2013

From: Charlottesville, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Vines
Title: Tip Dieback on Lonicera sempervirens
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have a Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle) vine in Virginia which does well early in the season, but then around July, the very tips of its shoots (just the last 1-2 inches) wither, turn black, and die. It looks like the kind of damage a cane borer would cause. Except for this, the rest of the plant seems healthy. I'd be grateful for any advice about what the problem may be, and how to fix it.

ANSWER:

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) is a popular garden plant that could have problems with aphids, soft-bodied sucking insects that excrete a sugary substance (honeydew) that coats the leaves. A black fungus (sooty mold) then will grow on the honeydew.  Aphid damage often occurs on the new growth. Other problems include leaf spot diseases and environmental damage from drought, drowning and edema reports the University of Illinois extension.

Other problems reported by Edward F. Gilman from the University of Florida extension could include four-lined plant bug causing sunken, round, brown spots on the leaves. Scale insects infesting the stems and branches or powdery mildews forming white dust-like substances on the leaves.

Nancy Szerlag on the gardening.yardiner.com website offers one additional (and more likely) possibility, honeysuckle leaf blight. She has observed that a fungal blight disease attacks new honeysuckle leaves causing them to curl severely and turn brown or black, then fall prematurely. Remove and destroy infected plant parts and spray the vines every 7 to 10 days with a copper-based fungicide from the time buds swell to just before flowers open.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Death of lantana in Bryan TX
March 28, 2013 - I would like to know what killed several new gold lantana in a single bed that died over the winter. They looked quite healthy last fall. I have several other new gold lantana that survived the wint...
view the full question and answer

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

Treating cuts in tree trunks
November 21, 2009 - We have two young trees that deer made bad cuts in the trunks. What can we put on cuts to keep bugs and disease from getting in them.? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Problems with dogwood tree in Jacksonville FL
February 28, 2010 - Sir, I believe I have a Cornus drummondii, a stiff dogwood tree on my lawn which a few years ago was big, lush and full of branches and leaves. In the last 2 years I have noticed about 80% of it drop...
view the full question and answer

Need help diagnosing a problem with Bur Oak in Plano, TX
April 28, 2010 - I planted a bur oak 8 or 9 years ago. It has grown beautifully until this year. When opening, the leaves are very small (a couple inches) and there are lots of seeds (catkins?). I would hate to los...
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