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Honeysuckle with dark brown spots, disease or weather?

Crista1Crista1 Posts: 14
It is in the garden facing west, a new plant so is watered every 2 days, base sheltered, head in the sun. It was growing well then started going brown where the veins are and has now lost a considerable amount of lower foliage. I bought it from Thomson and Morgan early this year, planted it in spring, mixed in compost and we'll rotted manure and gave a slow release fertiliser. 
I have contacted the supplier to ask their opinion but no reply as yet.


  • ChrisWMChrisWM Posts: 214
    I’m new to all this, but put in a honeysuckle a few months back that developed dark spots.  I was guided on this forum that it was mildew probably due to a lack of water.  I upped the watering, and it hasn’t reoccurred. 

    I’m no expert though, and yours may be down to something else. 
    If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,875
    edited July 2018
    Think you've got it @ChrisWM .... most honeysuckle problems are down to too little water, or being potted in a container with multi-purpose compost.

    As the honeysuckle in the picture appears to be planted in a border, as long as the soil is deep enough the problem is likely to be insufficient water.  I would give it a bucket full of water every other day in this heat/dry spell. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Crista1Crista1 Posts: 14
    Thank you for your replies. I will try the extra water and make it a bucket full each day as it already gets = to one bucket a day. It has a Virginia creeper and clematis in the same large garden plot not a border about at least a metre either side and I know clematis need lots of water and it is thriving and they all get the same.
    It could be I have a greedy plant on that side that's taking all the water.
    I also have another honeysuckle bought and planted at the same time in the opposite side of the plot that gets the same amount of water and is growing well and healthy. That's why I wasn't sure if it was a sick plant.
    I will let you know if it works
  • Thoml1Thoml1 Posts: 1
    One of my honeysuckles in a sheltered part of our exposed garden obviously has the same problem with brown patches on the leaves which then fall, leaving it almost leafless. It’s certainly not a shortage of water here on Skye! I have pruned it back and collected all the dead and affected leaves as I am worried that it will spread to neighbouring honeysuckles. Should I spray it with a fungicide bit I’m worried about how this will affect our many bees.
  • Crista1Crista1 Posts: 14
    My honey suckle is against a fence in quite a large plot but gets full sun. There are a couple of shrubs one either side and I think they were taking all the water. I started giving it a watering can full each day and it does seem to be improving. Mine was leafless around the bottom and has lost some in other parts but I could not find any sign of disease. So for the time being I think my problem is water but only time will tell. I also had a clematis on that sane side that failed with no sign of disease.  But another one further along is thriving, so I am at a loss as to the exact reason.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    Thoml1, if your plant has too much sun/heat or you water when the sun is out, you could scorch your leaves, and they tend to look like the ones seen in the photos from Christa1.

    If you say you are watering more than enough, I would not worry too much. Even if it is a fungal issue, you can limit spread by carefully raking out all dead and fallen leaves around the base. Once cleared, lay a nice new layer of mulch to seal in moisture. It is also not at all unusual for plants to be shutting down earlier than normal in very hot weather. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,350
    Crista - I'd agree with the advice re the honeysuckle, but your failing clematis could be down to other reasons other than water. Slug damage, for instance, on new stems, or too much competition for the available moisture. Once a plant gets dried out, it can struggle to get rehydrated. The one farther along your border might be getting enough of everything it needs to do well, and if it's more established, or a bigger, more mature plant, it can shrug off difficult conditions and pests more easily  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Crista1Crista1 Posts: 14
    Fairygirl I also thought the same but after investigation found a poor root system on the one that died which was an expensive buy from TM, no other damage. The other one bought for a few pounds is thriving. Both planted at the same time in the same way, both in full sun, rpots in shade.
    Got in touch with supplier who provided a replacement that I kept in the pot just in case there was a problem with the soil. That too is almost dead. Again poor root system and far too much top growth for it to survive. I suspect the way they have been raised is the problem. I have never until this had a problem with clematis. There is just one thin spindly stem going into the soil.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,350
    To be honest Crista - I wouldn't buy something like clematis from T&M. Clematis need to be grown correctly from the start to ensure they have good root systems. - ie, potted on until the rootball is a good enough size for planting out. Many clems don't do very well in pots long term unless they're a suitable variety for pot culture. There's not enough room for the roots to do their thing. 
    If you know what variety you have [the one that's struggling ] that will help with advice though. SOme have very different requirements.
    If it was mine, I'd get it out of the pot it's in, cut back the top growth to a decent joint, and re pot in a pot just a bit bigger than the rootball. Make sure there's also adequate drainage, because although they like plenty of moisture, the roots also need air.
    Keep in tucked somewhere in the shade - not sun - and keep it watered until it gets some new growth and the roots are filling the pot. Pot on to overwinter - again just going up a size but make sure the pot has depth. It helps if you have proper clematis/rose pots - not too wide but about 8 - 10 inches in depth - which encourages the roots down.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Crista1Crista1 Posts: 14
    Thanks Fairygirl I have just done that but I think it's too late, all the foliage is brown. I will leave it until next year and see if there is any growth but doubt it.
    T&M have just said they will refund me.
    The clematis is Broughton star.
    I had originally though the problem was to do with the soil because this is a newish property and there was only lawn before but everything else is doing well and I did add lots or organic matter and slow release fertiliser.
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