Red honeysuckle has powdery mildew - what to do?
My red honeysuckle has been battling powdery mildew for the past two years. I have not hacked it to the ground for fear the vine would not come back at all. It's infection last year caused it to have stunted leaf growth at many nodules - tiny, hard, misshapen leaves. Other tendrils appear soft and pliable, with full-sized leaves, but these are the leaves this year that seem to be getting the mildew (whitish patches on the tops of the leaves.) I have been cutting the infected leaves off the vine rather than cutting the vine back. It is a scraggly thing to begin with - perhaps only five or six tendrils on the whole plant. I have never seen it bloom since I brought it home two years ago (another Krutch Park rescue.) At that time I cut it way back and it just never has come back well. I have it planted at my telephone pole, which used to be a patch of clay, but now is in my lasagna bed. It had the mildew a year before I started the bed, by the way, so they are not related. In fact, I have been thinking the vine has been growing more quickly since the lasagna bed was built up around it.
Any advice on dealing with this problem is greatly appreciated. I don't want to lose this vine - I really love red honeysuckle! The regular kind is such a weed - you can't kill it hardly! Why is my red honeysuckle so sickly?