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What's killing my Chilean glory vine?

Hi, I'm hoping somebody on here is an expert on Chilean glory vine. I have one planted behind the woodshed in a sheltered spot.  It is usually fabulous and indeed has been fabulous this year - but over the last few weeks it has pretty much curled up and died, just gone mostly brown and dry. Can't see any signs of virus or fungus or anything.  It is planted in a gap pretty much surrounded by concrete (public path other side of fence, woodshed base and our garden path, then house wall on this side) and so, though it has been okay every year til now, I wonder if maybe the dry hot weather has simply dried out the earth all around it and our watering through the hole it is planted in hasn't been up to scratch. Not a lot of rain gets in through there.  Also, there's a couple of sacks of salt we keep for winter nearby, maybe they got too close and leaked - what does salt poisoning look like and how much salt does it take to kill something?  Are there any known diseases or anything it could have?  I'm gutted - I had trained it all over the fence and trellis and it was looking the best it has ever looked, the biggest ever as well. Cut it back to within a few feet of the ground every year, it is about five years old now.  Thanks!!




  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520

    This isn't something I grow personally but someone else will have suggestions for you Sarah. That said, I think drought is the most likely issue. A mature plant in that sort of site will need a lot. Check to see if there's still life lower down - scratch the surface of the stems to see if there's green underneath. You might just have to cut it all back and give it a thorough watering to revive it. 

    Salt will kill plants quite quickly but I'm not sure that's the culprit. How near the vine is the salt and is there any other planting nearby that's affected?

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks - pretty sure it isn't dead yet, the leaves at the base look ok.  I left the hose running in there for a half hour on Saturday and will do that again today, but can't be sure how much of the water is actually getting into the ground instead of running off around it and into the drainage channel between the path and the workshop and woodshed.  There's nothing else growing nearby - well, except some weeds along the edge of the fence on the public side, I could look at those but the salt probably wouldn't be getting under the fence, and they root shallowly and are exposed to much more rain than the base of the vine.  I tend to think it is drought myself too, but my other half is convinced it's the salt. We've moved it as far away as possible. You're right, I should cut it back, even if it recovers it is going to look shit for the rest of the year, but it was so gorgeous I can't bring myself to do that just yet.  Also it's raining - not that much of the rain is going to get to the vine roots, but it would get to me!

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520

    I think it's a case of acting now and benefiting the plant Sarah. It's not looking too pretty as it is and removing any dead stuff will allow rainwater to get in more easily. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520

    I just had a quick google of your plant and realised why I would never have grown it - no chance of it surviving here!

    It does seem that moisture might be the issue Sarah. If the soil's very dry further down, any rain or water you put on it will just run off. It would be worth improving the soil round it a bit with some organic matter and grit so that the soil is in better condition for future years. That will help it retain moisture but allow it to drain well during prolonged wet spells. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    I'd cut it back and let it start again. and treat the soil as Fairy suggests,

    I grew one of these when I lived in Essex. One winter the overflow pipe from the bathroom flooded in then froze, it was called the icicle tree by ythe kids. It survived.

    I've just started 3 here , one in very poor dry soil, so will see how it copes

  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,219

    I had one in my old wooden greenhouse, I used to train it up the roof on netting as summer shade, but it grew in the soil with very little attention, though it would have got some water when everything else did.. I cut it back every autumn and it always started afresh in spring. It continued to flourish when the greenhouse began to collapse and I  don't remember if it had died when it had to come out to make way for the new greenhouse. They grow very easily from seed, thats how I got the original one, and seedlings appeared every year in pots in the greenhouse.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,911

    Mine flowered from March. It has set a lot of seed and now  has gone brown. I'd cut it down and give it a drink. I planted it expecting it to be killed by the first frost, but it has lasted three years. I will set some more seed next year.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • Yes I didn't expect mine to get through the winter either, but it is a sheltered location and it's five years now - including those two really cold winters we had.  Difficult to improve the soil because I can hardly get at it; we concreted there for the workshop and woodstore, and then paved the path, and I put this vine into a small gap that was left, hoping to brighten up a dark corner. It certainly does that - if it gets enough water!  I'll cut it back next weekend - its bucketed down here all day, we've been in front of the fire watching F1 (what a race!) and eating crumpets, and I guess I'll take up a paving stone if I can and water under that and dig a bit of manure in.  We were using that corner to chop wood and so I'd kind of fenced off the base of the vine with bits of log and pallet to keep flying chunks of wood off it, that hasn't helped, and we have a chainsaw now, not doing any chopping, so I could take that lot down.  And next year, will make damn sure it gets plenty of food and water.  Cheers folks. 

  • And yes, they're easy to grow from seed. I've grown them from packet and saved seed.  Here's a closeup of thie one from a couple of months ago.  



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