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 Vines Questions

Problems with non-native Potato vine from Morgan Hill CA
June 13, 2011 - Greetings from Morgan Hill. CA. I have moved into a home that has a fairly mature (10 years +/-) Potato Tree which has some blue/purple flowers but very few new leaves, it looks almost barren. It gets...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen vine for wall and long-blooming shrubs in San Antonio TX
May 04, 2014 - What is a good native vine that stays green all year to plant along a rock courtyard wall? Also what are native bushes that flower for the longest period of time? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Non-flowering deciduous vine for Phoenix AZ
March 27, 2011 - Are there any non-flowering deciduous vines native to the Southwest? I'd like to plant them to shade our windows in the hot Phoenix summers. If only perennials are available, can I cut it back each w...
view the full question and answer

Want a vine, non-toxic to dogs, for Reno, NV.
September 11, 2012 - I want a non toxic (to dogs) vine for Reno, NV
view the full question and answer

Vine for limited space, part-shade fence in N. Texas
June 14, 2009 - I have a narrow strip of yard (about 3ft) between my covered patio and privacy fence. Since the fence itself lacks visual interest, I'd like to find a vine to grow on the fence to give the backgroun...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center