The Q&A Archives: dropmore honeysuckle

Question: I have a couple of these vines that did well for the first few years but in the last couple of years they get black spots on the leaves, turn yellow and fall off. Is it a fungus and if so what can I do organically as to not harm the humming birds that come to drink the nector?

Answer: Leaf spots are caused by fungi or bacteria. Brown or black spots and patches may be either ragged or circular, with a water soaked or yellow-edged appearance. Insects, rain, dirty garden tools, or even people can help its spread.

Prevention and Control: Remove infected leaves when the plant is dry. Leaves that collect around the base of the plant should be raked up and disposed of. Avoid overhead irrigation if possible; water should be directed at soil level. For fungal leaf spots, use a recommended fungicide according to label directions.

If you use the fungicide early in the season, before the flowers appear, the hummingbirds won't be affected. Fungicides are preventatives so once your spray your plant in the early spring, it should remain disease-free all summer long.

Best wishes with your honeysuckle!

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