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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - March 08, 2009

From: Schertz, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: What is wrong with my cross vine (Bignonia capreolata?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) that has grown and bloomed beautifully for about 7 years. Then last year the bloom was significantly less and the bottom growth almost nonexistant. The leaves developed dark red round spots on them. New growth looked chlorotic. I have given it iron chelate and Gardenville's organic fertilizer, along with some molasses and seaweed. No change. I sprayed it with potassium bicarbonate, thinking it had a fungus or mildew. No change. It gets about three quarters of a day of sun. The only pruning I've done is at the top to keep the vine off the roof. It is planted at the roof dripline, so it gets water whenever it rains, plus I soak around my foundation. This spring it is looking really bad. I don't want to lose it. What is going on?

ANSWER:

One way to approach this is to try to determine what has changed with the plants growing conditions since year seven. Cross vine, Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) grows in moist, well drained soil and in sun or partial shade. Is the soaking of the foundation a recent addition? Receiving too much water could affect the leaves. The red spots sound like a fungal problem. There also could be a pathogen (fungal or bacterial) attacking the  the roots in the soil. I'm going to suggest that you contact your Guadalupe County Extension Agent who can give you instructions for sending a plant and/or a soil sample to the Texas A&M Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab.


 

 

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