Honeysuckle mildew problem

Hi all,

I bought a honeysuckle at Hampton Court this year and planted in an open area with good air circulation against a wooden fence. Although it has put out some climbers and has flowered well and now has red berries, I have been battling mildew from the start.

Unfortunately the mildew is winning, so I wondered if there are any last ditch things I can try or do I admit defeat. Pretty much all I have read is that you need to get rid of a plant if mildew has taken hold.

Keeping my fingers well and truly crossed........


  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    No, there's no need to get rid of the plant.

    Mildew is a signthat it's unhappy as much as anything else. One cause is dryness at the roots (probably not a problem this year) and the other is too much rain.

    Gather up the leaves as they fall, and next year, at the first sign of mildew, spray every couple of days with a mix of one part milk to nine parts water until it's clear.

  • Thanks for this I will definitely see if we can overcome the pesky mildew next year.


    Sad to hear that my plant is feeling unhappy though..... image

  • Think I may have found the problem of the unhappy plant - just went out side to take a look and rake up some leaves.....

    Discovered that the bark I had put round the base of the plant is absolutely rotten and full of mildew too!! 

    I have cleared it all away so the plant might stand a fighting chance with any luck.

  • Denny 2Denny 2 Posts: 4

    My honeysuckle is right across the fence to the right of my patio doors, an ideal location in that the scent hits the nostrils as soon as you step out to the garden. Every year the plant blooms beautifully and looks healthy then half way through the summer it begins to wilt and look half dead, the leaves all get black spot, turn yellow and drop off.  I have taken on board all suggestions and tips from above, thank you guys. Hopefully the problem will be resolved for next year image

  • FleurisaFleurisa Posts: 779

    How close to the bottom of the fence is it planted? I think you need to plant it about 2 feet out and lean it in towards the fence. Otherwise it will be in the rain shadow of the fence. Honeysuckles need moisture at the roots

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,122

    There's never any need to spray honeysuckle against mildew. Just keep the roots soaked, mulched and fed, it's a tough plant and will recover on its own even from a black spot infection which sometimes follows the powdery mildew. If you have real trouble then prune it back hard in spring, mulch and keep the roots moist, spraying is a waste of time and money.

  • BizzieBBizzieB Posts: 885

    I would agree with you there Dave Morgan. My honeysuckle has its roots on the shade as it scrambles up through a Rugosa shrub


     planted on an east facing fence it has finally made it to the sunlight!

    The one below I took when pruning  an overgrown one last year, 'layered'  it by the south facing fence but again in the shade, from a Berberis shrub. It's a bit leggy but actually  growing well


     hoping it will mingle with the clematis.

    Shading the roots and plenty of moisture may be the answer. 

  • Denny 2Denny 2 Posts: 4

    Thank you for those tips, yes Fleurisa my honeysuckle is planted close to the fence and perhaps that's why it wilts half way through the summer. It is quite established now so I would be reluctant to move it but will now shade the roots and keep them moist and see how it goes. Does this also apply to black spot on roses? I have some lovely climbing roses but they also fall victim to black spots on the leaves which I chop these off when I see them but is there something else I should be doing - advice appreciated  

  • I have two honey suckkes, one is fine, the other has mildew again for the 3rd year. I have thinned out made sure it is moist when needed, have cut it right back but it insists in coming back with the mildew. Has no leaves now. Im at wits end

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,754

    Hello Margaret image

    Can you tell us more about the sites where your honeysuckles are planted - sunlight/shade , depth of soil, type of support etc. and the differences between the two.

    Some photos would help too. 

    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in - Greek proverb 
  • I have got 4 honeysuckles (halliana) planted against my wooden fence growing up some trellis.  They are all suffering really badly with powdery mildew.  I have been spraying them with fungus fighter ultra and also trying potassium bicarbonate solution but to no avail.  I think I have made the mistake of planting them too close to the fence.  When I got them I had not got a clue about gardening!!  I water them every day but they seem to dry out at the base really quickly.  Any advice would be gratefully received.  I really don't want to have to get rid of them if I can avoid it.  Here are some pictures...imageimage

  • jjolkaszjjolkasz Posts: 4

    Hello to all!

    I have the same problem with my 2 Honeysuckle, actually i had a lot more with one more than the other one, which after 2 years of battles sadly died. Pulling out the roots i discovered at that time, that the roots where rotten and a bug was eating them actually... I thought.: too much water? Ok let's do different with second one. So I put the second one in a larger deeper container with some stones on the bottom to drain better and do not leave the roots in the water at all the time. 

    It worked well till the end of May, it was grown healthy and beautiful, in June the leaves started to cover of white powder, get yellow and fall down....so sad! I treated with common spray for white meadow, worked at bit, but in July, get worse than before. 

    So I gave up, I let it go, doesn't matter what ever happen. Suddenly in September it started to put again green leaves and very unexpected some flowers (!!).... It kept green till December! Wow! I was so surprise! Into the while we needed to move in another house, I pruned and moved in the new patio. I found a corner well aired with half sun and placed closed to the fence. It looked great, nice and green till one week ago....now is starting again to get sick....some stalks are dry, without leaves and the others are covered of white powder... I am so upset!.. What I can do????!!

    Thank you for any suggestion you would kindly give me. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    Too dry for it probably. Sounds exactly like mildew. They need a lot of moisture at the roots. If it's in a container, it'll never thrive properly. They need to be in the ground. They're edge of woodland plants, so they need some shade at the bottom and will then look for a bit of ligth as they grow. 

    Vine weevil are an issue in pots, so that's probably what was eating your first one. The grubs eat the roots and do all the damage -  the adults just eat notches round the edges of the foliage.

  • jjolkaszjjolkasz Posts: 4

    Ok, thank you.

    I will transfer it in a bigger deeper container,keeping moisty at all the time...and hoping for the best! 

    Thank you very much for your advise! :-)

    Last edited: 24 April 2017 14:35:04

  • Wish I had read this before I hacked at my poor honeysuckle. I knew it wasn't dead but was covered in mildew. It's now pruned to within an inch of its life. Now I've read the tips, I'll clear away leaves etc from the bottom and give it some breathing space. Hopefully it will forgive the onslaught. 

  • Hi  please could someone help with the problem that my niece has with the honeysuckle that is growing from the ground in the corner of her decking.

    It is beautifully green leaved and still has a few flowers on but from the bottom it is just dead wood which comes out about 3/4 feet from its roots.

    We think it is L.tellmannaina variety.

    Should it be cut right back to its roots ,if so when should this be done and will it survive to grow again next year.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.


  • Mari. I would say that what you think is dead wood is actually providing all the green laced growth art the top with water and nutrients. I think that most climbers will not leaf art the bottom of the plant if the top has found the sunshine. If it is actually dead then I would cut it all away but check your cuts as you make them so that you are not cutting wood that supports the top. See the photo of a honeysuckle (not mine). 


    Last edited: 05 November 2017 19:22:37

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