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Honeysuckle Disease

Updated April 17, 2017

Those brown, crinkly leaves on your honeysuckle bush could mean leaf blight, the most common disease affecting honeysuckle from the Great Plains eastward and in the Pacific Northwest. Honeysuckle is also susceptible to powdery mildew and aphid infestations.

Identification of Leaf Blight

Leaf blight strikes new foliage first. It causes leaves to crinkle and roll, then turn brown or yellow and drop off. A white powder forms on the underside of leaves.

Prevention/Solution

Regular pruning and keeping the plant clear of dead leaves can discourage fungus spores from growing. In severe cases, you can apply the fungicide mancozeb.

Resistant Varieties

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Plant Pathology Department says these varieties have shown some resistance to leaf blight: Lonicera dioica (wild honeysuckle), Lonicera gracilipes, Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle), and Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle).

Powdery Mildew

Don't confuse leaf blight and powdery mildew, another fungal disease. In powdery mildew, the white powder develops on the tops of leaves near the bottom of the plant. Apply the fungicide myclobutanyl to kill powdery mildew.

Aphids

Honeysuckle aphids can suck the life out of your plants. These insects attack new growth, making the bush look stunted. Regular pruning controls aphids. Use an insecticide such as Tempo, if necessary.

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About the Author

Cameron Delaney is a freelance writer for trade journals and websites and an editor of nonfiction books. As a journalist, Delaney worked for wire services, newspapers and magazines for more than 20 years. Delaney's degrees include a bachelor's degree in journalism from Pennsylvania State and a master's degree in liberal arts from University of Denver.