Honeysuckle vine problem

Asked June 6, 2016, 2:42 PM EDT

This is the 4th year we have tried a honeysuckle plant on our trellis. The leaves at the bottom turn yellow and fall off. Other higher leaves are being eaten/have brown spots. New leaf growth is being eaten to the stalk. We were told it was fungus caused by too much moisture. The previous plants were covered with mulch and surrounded by shrubs.Last year we moved the 2 plants to the other side where there is less ground moisture; they survived and until now have thrived. We noticed last week that the same problem that eventually killed our previous plants seems to have returned. 2 years ago we used the product in the photo with limited success (healthy for a month, then slowly died) Do we have 2 separate problems - insects/fungus? What treatment do you recommend? The plants are huge and beautiful now but I'm afraid of what is to come!

Ramsey County Minnesota honeysuckle dogwoods

4 Responses

I don't see any leaves being eaten, so I don't know about insect predation. The dead leaves I see in the second photo look somewhat like honeysuckle leaf blight:
http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/1996/7-26-1996/honeyblight.html

If this is the case, good cultural practices (don't water overhead or at night, prune out dead tissue, clean up all debris, etc.) can help. Treatment with a fungicide in the spring may also help.

Honeysuckles need lots of sun and well drained soil. They cannot take standing water. That might have been the problem in your first attempt, and it still might be the problem. If your current attempt fails, I'd suggest paying close attention to soil preparation next time. Work lots of compost into the planting site and make certain the site is not compacted.

Read here about honeysuckle vine:
http://plants.bachmanslandscaping.com/12070012/Plant/248/Dropmore_Scarlet_Honeysuckle



Attached is a photo showing more clearly that the leaves are eaten. I trimmed back what wasn't healthy and sprayed with the copper product......though trying to cover top and bottom of leaves is impossible. Noticed last night that the dogwoods also have small yellow leaves and something is eating them too. I attached that photo too. Please continue to advise. Thanks.

Thanks for the new photos. I'll start with the dogwood, since the damage looks different on it than on the honeysuckle. There are a couple of spring pests that are candidates for this kind of damage. One is the dogwood sawfly, the other is the four-line plant bug. Of course, in both cases, it would be best to actually see the pest. In either case, these insects have already finished noshing, so usually doing nothing is the best strategy. Your dogwood looks healthy otherwise. Read here:
http://blog-yard-garden-news.extension.umn.edu/2010/08/dogwood-sawflies.html
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/fourlined-plant-bugs/

As for the large holes in the honeysuckle, again I'd suggest looking for the pest. Slugs would be a possibility. (They'd also be a possibility for the dogwood.) Read here about slugs:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/slugs/

I am not especially fond of products that try to do several things, such as the 2-N-1 pesticide you've been using. I prefer a pesticide that is more targeted to what you've seen on your plant. Also, most fungicides are effective only at the early stages of infection. Once the infection has spread up the plant, applying a fungicide is not helpful. A better strategy is good cultural practice like I described in my first post. I'm also not convinced that this is honeysuckle leaf blight and not a plant struggling in heavy wet clay soil.

I'd also like to add one final comment. The insecticide component of the product you are using is imidacloprid, which is a neonicotinoid. Neonicotinoids have been associated with bee colony collapse and have been banned in Europe:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_collapse_disorder