The Q&A Archives: Problems with Manettia luteorubra (Candy corn plant)

Question: I purchased a manettia luteorubra (or candy corn/ firecracker plant) this summer and it was living outside doing okay until this fall. I was told by my local nursery that the plant can be cut back and brought inside for the winter and about 1 month ago I did this. Now, as I look at this plant on a daily basis I realize that something is wrong with it. The tips of the leaves (new ones and large, older ones) will turn jet black. After a few days, the entire leaf will turn black and will dry up. I believe that this problem may have been happening outside (this summer) but I just wasn't paying as much attention to the plant then. Overall, the plant is still alive but it does not look well. Please help me with any tips as to how to grow this plant successfully.


Answer: When leaves turn black it nearly always is due to overwatering. I'd prune everything back again to remove the affected leaves and then allow the potting soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Manettia is a vigorously-growing vining plant that will grow very rapidly under the right conditions. In fact, it can easily outgrow its space. The best way to manage excess growth is to keep it tightly potted (being root-bound will also promote flowering), and to prune it back sharply. Lots of new growth will come in to replace that which you prune off. Manettia does best in a sunny, warm, humid place indoors. Best wishes with your Candy Corn plant.

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