Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - September 04, 2007

From: La Place, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Problems with purple passion flower
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hello, I live in La Place, Louisiana (30 miles west of New Orleans). In March 2007, I planted a purple passion flower (maypop). During the spring it thrived and was covered with brilliant green leaves and many blossoms. But now I am experiencing some problems. My question concerns the leaves. They started out lush and green, but now are pale and have become almost yellow. Some of them have dark spots and holes. Some have dried up and fallen off. The plant is in partial shade, and I keep the soil moist, but not soaked. The vine is in a very large planter and I planted it in Miracle Gro potting soil. It has a trellis to climb. The plant is still growing new leaves and blooming, but the older leaves look really bad. Any ideas why this happened? Could this be some sort of fungus or insect? I'd like to keep the new leaves from ending up like this. I appreciate your assistance!

ANSWER:

The possible causes of the leaf problems you describe are numerous. The yellowing foliage could be caused by too much water, too little water, sucking insects such as aphids and scale, other predators such as thrips and mites, fungal diseases or simply normal aging. The dark spots and holes can be signs of fungal diseases and/or chewing insect like grasshoppers or caterpillars or snails and slugs. Carefully examine the effected leaves (especially the underside) for tiny insects or mite. You may need a magnifying glass to see some of them. Check your plants at night for night-working predators like slugs.

To be sure of what is afflicting your vine you should contact your state's Cooperative Extension Service for a positive diagnosis.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Control of sooty mold from aphids in Crape Myrtle
February 25, 2007 - I have a crape myrtle in my front flower bed that has a sooty black substance on the leaves and trunk. I've done research and understand this is caused by aphids. My question is how do I get the bl...
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

Film growing on prickly pear from Austin
September 28, 2012 - We've just xeriscaped our front & back yards. Two of the spineless prickly pear cacti have a beige film growing on the paddles. The film is now moving further up the cactus, and one of the upper pad...
view the full question and answer

Corona de Cristo, guest or pest?
July 12, 2008 - We have had two recent speakers at the Austin Butterfly Forum with differing views as to whether Passiflora foetida is invasive in Texas. One believes that it's well-behaved and a a great butterfly ...
view the full question and answer

Mildew and rot in navel orange tree in California
September 02, 2008 - I have a great navel orange tree that seems to have two problems. One of them looks like powdery mildew and the other is some kind of black rot. I have sprayed it several times to no avail. I live ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.