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Honeysuckle Woes

Don’t let your sickly honeysuckle vine get you down.  The abundance of beautiful flowers and hummingbirds that the goldflame, dropmore scarlet and other non-invasive honeysuckle vines attract, make it worth the occasional problems.

Powdery mildew is the most common disease on this plant.  Growing honeysuckle in full sun and proper pruning will help minimize this disease problem.  Once it develops you can live with the damage or use one of the eco-friendly controls like the Cornell baking soda mix, Neem oil or horticulture oil labeled for mildew control.

Aphids are often found feeding in large colonies on the honeysuckle’s new growth. A strong blast of water will help manage small populations.  Insecticidal soap and horticulture oil will provide short-term relief.  Weekly applications will be needed to get larger populations under control.

A bit more information:  Make the Cornell University powdery mildew control solution by mixing 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 to 2.5 teaspoons of lightweight oil in one gallon of water.  Remember when using “home remedies,” even those based on University research, it is best to test it on a leaf or two before treating your whole planting.   And if powdery mildew is a yearly problem consider moving the plant to a sunnier location and thin out some of the older canes in late winter. Click here to watch my powdery mildew video.  

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