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Plant of the Week
|Scientific name||Lobelia erinus|
|USDA Zone hardiness||1 - 8b|
A low growing perennial generally grown as an annual. Grown in full sun to shade, does better in the cooler weather and often goes out of bloom when it gets hot. Look for heat tolerant cultivars. Cut back after first bloom, fertilize and water to maintain flowering in the summer.
Why is the foliage of my Honeysuckle turning brown/yellow and the leaves are falling before the flowers have started to bloom? The shrub which is several years old, lives in a container. Thanks for guidance
It could be possible your honeysuckle (Lonicera) has out grown its container and the nutrients in the soil have been used up. Some sings of a plant has out grown a pot are; when you water and the water quickly exits the drain hole because there is more roots than soil, the soil is crumbly and light brown from loss of organic matter, unhappy plants. Honeysuckle tends to do best in garden soils rich in organic matter that can hold water and keep roots cool during the hot summer months. Hot roots or drought stress can cause many species of Lonicera to be more susceptible insects and disease. It could also be as simple as lack of nutrients, how often do you fertilize? Lonicera should be fertilized monthly with a balanced formula liquid or a time-release. Common diseases that effect honeysuckle are powdery mildew, leaf spot and blight these can be the caused by a vector or environmental factors. Powdery mildew is as it sounds a thin white powdery film that generally covers leaves, caused by poor air circulation and extremely humid conditions, may cause leaf drop in extreme cases. Leaf spots are commonly attributed to fungi that decay the leaf tissue, generally more of an aesthetic issue but in some cases may cause leaf drop. Blight is a rapid and complete browning and death leaves and step (Can effect all plant parts), often starts from the tip down and is caused by pathogens spread by organisms or mechanical means. It does not sound like you have blight from your description. Honeysuckle is prone to a few insects; aphids on new growth, some scale insects and leaf roller none of which sound like they could be causing the leaf drop but it may be worth doing a close inspection of the leaves and stems. If insects are not the culprit I would suggest transplanting the honeysuckle to a larger planter using a good humus-rich potting soil and fertilize using a balanced liquid formula once a month during the growing season. Happy Gardening! Plant Life Online