Ailing Russian Vine

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cheshirecheese

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Ailing Russian Vine
« on: June 11, 2018, 10:19 »
I lost a mature Russian Vine that had been doing a great job covering a pergola for a decade, replanted the same spot with a replacement Russian Vine, and now three years later, the replacement is also starting to look 'poorly'.  It's not really growing, and there are leaves that are curling at the edges, some with light coloured spots, some patchy brown.  We have a pair of pigeons that sit on top of the pergola pecking away at the leaves, so I wondered whether it was some sort of insect infestation.  However, I can't see anything on it other than the discoloured leaves.  Any suggestions?  I really don't want to lose another one!
Russian Vine 1.jpg
Russian Vine 2.jpg

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cheshirecheese

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Re: Ailing Russian Vine
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 11:22 »
... I should perhaps add that the leaves at the ends of the branches, i.e. those over the top of the pergola, seem to be shrivelling.  It's as though there's a problem with water, but I don't see how that can be.  The roots are so strong, and I've watered it fairly regularly (which you obviously shouldn't need to do with an established, mature specimen).  :(

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New shoot

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Re: Ailing Russian Vine
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 12:36 »
Die off at the ends of branches usually indicates a root issue,  It looks like there has been some insect damage and also some fungal disease, but the former should not kill a mature plant and the latter can be an opportunist attacker of ailing plants.

What is the base like?  It is planted in an area with restricted root space as that would restrict growth.  How is the soil it is growing in.  If it grew the predecessor for years and never got anything done to it, it would be fairly impoverished by now.  Have you ever fed the vine?  It doesn't need anything too rich, but a regular foliar spray of seaweed feed can do wonders for plants.  I used it all the time when I worked in a nursery selling specimen plants as it keeps them green and lush no matter how long they have been in a pot.  You could also use slow release granules.

Russian vine is a real thug, so you were unlucky to lose one.  This one looks a bit peaky, but nothing too serious.  Fingers crossed a bit of TLC can save it  :)

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cheshirecheese

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Re: Ailing Russian Vine
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2018, 13:13 »
Thanks for that, New Shoot - I will certainly try the seaweed.  As for the roots, you may be right that the vine needs water (although I thought they were meant to be pretty indestructible!), but it's at the end of a mixed border in which geraniums, achillea, cistus, lupins, Canterbury bells and day lilies are flourishing, and they're obviously all in the same soil.

I just wonder whether the original Russian Vine had some sort of disease which has lain dormant for a while and now this one is suffering the same fate, because the symptoms are identical.  It didn't look that happy at the end of last season to be honest, so we chopped it right back to waist level.  When it started to grow again in the Spring it looked really hail and hearty, but just in the past couple of weeks it's been showing signs of ailing.  So very frustrating!!  Anyway, I'll go out later once the sun has gone down a little and give it a good dousing.



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