Red honeysuckle has powdery mildew - what to do?

rizzir(z7b TN)June 8, 2005

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?


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sissyz(Z5 NorthIL)

It might sound terrible, but I start spraying everything with Daconil in June. Roses, tomatoes, clematis, hollies, monarda, phlox, everything that gets white stuff on it-gets Daconil!! It's a fungicide that might help.
Is your vine in full sun? That's the way they like it, I think...

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 10:51AM
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Soeur(z6b TN)

Like Sissy says, it may need more sun. Plants are more susceptible to mildew when they're stressed, which could be too much shade, drought, etc. (Unlike the kind of mildew you get in your bathroom, plant mildews often strike when things have been too dry.) I haven't seen a L. sempervirens get much mildew in full sun, but I've seen it get totally covered up plenty of times in a shady setting.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 10:56PM
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rizzir(z7b TN)

The funny thing is, it IS in full sun! Probably the sunniest location I have on my whole property. It could very well be too dry...

but right now, should I cut it back hard, or move it?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 7:36PM
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Soeur(z6b TN)

If you don't want to do something that drastic, you could try spraying it with a baking soda solution to control the mildew. First, make sure the plant is well hydrated by watering well the day before (of course, TS Arlene is doing that for us at the moment). Put 4 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of light horticultural oil in one gallon of water and spray to cover. The oil acts as a spreader/sticker to help the soda stay on the leaves. This recipe works for blackspot on roses, too.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 11:23PM
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rizzir(z7b TN)

I've read on some agricultural extension websites that a skim milk solution might work, too. Thoughts?

Today I watered with a Miracle Gro solution (the kind for flowers.) Will this help it battle the mildew better? Does it have mildew because it is stressed?

I saw three little flower buds on it today. Should I let it flower or pinch them so it conserves energy?

Should I move it?


    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 10:45PM
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No! don't move them. Lots of sun and well drained soil is what they like. The mildew can be controled with a fungicide and raking of the leaves each fall. Humidity is was causes it. Don't cut them back because they bloom on old wood. Hope this helps!


    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 3:28PM
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fglavin(Knoxville, TN)

Powdery mildew is not a reason to cut it back. That will hurt your plant a lot more than the actual fungus! It really isn't a debilitating fungus like some are, more of an aesthetic one. It can be controlled with fungicides also, but you have to keep after it for a while. We have an 'Alabama Crimson' honeysuckle on campus that is in a good amount of shade that has powdery mildew right now, but mine at home that is in full sun has no trace of it. Organic matter underneath the plant, especially the leaves that fall from the honeysuckle, should be cleaned up and disposed of in a trash bag or burned. Next spring, spray the bare stems with a fungicide before it leafs out, and several times thereafter. Meanwhile, it's best to just deal with the ugly leaves for a few more months.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 11:34PM
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Keep the application of miracle gro or any nitrogen based fertiliser to a minimum as it encourages sappy growth which is more susceptible to mildew.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 2:52AM
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I have pretty bad mildew on my goldflame honeysuckle sitting in full sun and only 8' from that is coral honeysuckle with not even an iota of mildew and I only water at base of these vines.

Currently Im trying a mix of 1part milk to 2parts water on both mildew and black spot for roses hopefully that will help.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 12:47PM
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Bayers 3 in 1 will make it go away with one spray.
I use one (1) oz per gallon of water.
The only bad thing about using this product is that Bayers has a chemical that is thought to be one reason that is killing bees.
I used it once earlier this year and havent used it since.
Id like to go all natural in fungal apps but its hard to find a good remedy.

I dont have Japanese beetles anymore after several years of spraying crape myrtles, cannas, bananas etc. with Bayers.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 5:28PM
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