Grape problem & native vine suggestions ?

topieJuly 15, 2009

Hello, just wondering if anyone recognizes this strange problem on these grape leaves. Looks like tiny white pustules all over the leaves. I'm wondering if this is Grape Phylloxera, or Grape Blister Gall?

Haven't paid much attention to this grape vine before now and haven't formally identified it yet. This vine may be native, but it may have invaded our yard from somewhere. I think I remember it having rather small, possibly green grapes. The grapes right now are only about the size of a pea, and are currently green.

If you know what this problem is, can it spread to other non-grape plants?

I know it's probably hard to tell from just looking at one leaf if this is a U.S. native grape or not. I can take more photos if that would help. If this is a non-native grape, I was thinking of eradicating it, and planting an alternative vine, but am not sure what would be best vine for this spot.

Was thinking of American hogpeanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata) which I know is definitely native to our area, or Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)?

Thought about Virgin's Bower (Clematis virginiana), but am a little concerned about the skin-irritation factor and aggressiveness. Have also considered Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) but am concerned about the poisonous berries aspect, as well as the aggressiveness.

Right now the grape vine is supported by a small shed. The area the grape vine is in gets partial shade due to the small shed, and has fairly moist soil due to partial shade plus growing on a broad downward slope that leads down to a stream. Note: We do not have humus-rich, woodland soil in this spot. Our soil is clay/red-shale, and there are no trees in the immediate vicinity of this grape vine.

Has anyone had any experience with these vines, or can anyone recommend some alternative native vines or even a shrub that would tolerate clay soil and like the support of a shed? We are in the Mid-Atlantic region, Northern Piedmont, Zone 6.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

I don't have experience with Hog Peanut, so I won't comment on that one. Trumpet Honeysuckle is a great vine for your region - probably the least aggressive spreader of the bunch, and also probably nearly evergreen, which is nice in the winter. It is a twining vine that needs something of small diameter - like a wire fence, bushes, small pole, string, etc. - to climb. It cannot climb a shed wall. Virgina Bower does tend to be aggressive, I think. I have never grown it, but see it wild frequently. In my opinion it isn't as nice a vine for the garden as Trumpet Honeysuckle. I have a ton of Virginia Creeper here, and have never heard about the berries being poisonous. I wouldn't be concerned about the berries, which are a favorite food of many birds. Virginia Creeper is a little aggressive, as are most vines.

Another choice I like is trumpet creeper - Campsis radicans. This is an agressive spreader, but has very showy flowers most of the summer and fall and attracts hummingbirds, making it a really nice addition to a yard that has roon for it. If the shed is surrounded by lawn or other open space where it will be easy to contain the root suckers of Trumpet Creeper, then it sould be my first choice. Another option is Carolina jessamine,which has yellow flowers in early spring. Also Cross Vine, which is another flowering vine. Jessamine is a vigorous, evergreen vine. Cross vine tends to be a little more sparse in growth habit, but is an interesting addition to the yard.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 11:27AM
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Thanks so much for the suggestions ladyslppr! I really like the Campsis radicans a lot. Our neighbor has "Flava" (yellow blooms), and it looks quite healthy, so I think the original native species with the salmon-colored blooms would do well in our clay soil. There is lawn surrounding the area where we would plant it, so I think we could just mow the root suckers.

I don't know much about Hog Peanut either, but I know it grows wild in a nature preserve near us.

After doing some research, I'm pretty sure the insect infestation on this grape is Grape Phylloxera. I'm getting the feeling this grape is some kind of foreign grape, possibly intentionally planted by the previous owner of our house. I will take some more photos and see if I can identify it. Not looking forward to stripping the grape off the shed, but it will be satisfying to "re-vegetate" with a native, if indeed the grape is non-native.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 2:34PM
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Update: I posted some more photos of this vine on the "Name That Plant" forum and someone on there thinks it may be a Heartleaf peppervine (Ampelopsis cordata). I looked it up and it does sound very similar to this vine.

So, I won't be able to eradicate it since it turns out it's probably a native. Hopefully, the phylloxera or whatever insect is infesting it won't come back again next year!

In the meantime, I'm going to plan on planting some of these other suggestions for native vines in a different area once it's springtime again.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 1:31AM
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geoforce(z7a SE PA)

Look into the American native wisteria (Wisteria fructescens) it has lovely flowers , nice scent and is not nearly as aggressive as Chinese wisteria.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 5:45PM
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