This poor sickly plant is L.gratissima Early Dawn.
I have had it for about 18 mnths and it has grown very well until now...It is dying from the top down...When I cut off the dead parts the stems are hollow as though it is dying from the inside...it is well drained..and in a semi shaded protected spot..I have looked on all the gardening sites and contacted growers
but no one knows anything about it.
Has anyone had a similar problem with another plant maybe?
I had a problem like that with grape vines. It was caused by a "Grapevine Weevil" perhaps it attacks other plants as well or there might be a specialist weevil for your plant. When the weevil reaches maturity it chews an exit hole in the side of the plant which is easily seen but until that time there is no evidence to what is going on other than the plant isn't growing like it should. To check your plant cut down the side of a sickly looking shoot and see if there is a grub or beetle in the hollow piece.
I am sure that you are right Brian...can't find whatever it is but when I cut the top that I photographed yesterday, there was a fine web inside.
So I kept cutting and looking for the Weevil or whatever and every branch, thin or thick had no centre.They have been eaten out.
My 6ft Luculia is now 6ins and still has no centre...so it is doomed...couldn't find an exit hole...but there were a lot of branches...
What did you do to solve your problem?
It only looked sick for a week, but the damage must have been going on for a while...Darn it.
There was no cure when the weevil was in the vine all we could do is watch them die but a Lorsban spray onto the soil prevented further infections. I also saw a batch of vine cuttings from another area that were infected once again there was nothing to be done because the Weevil had already eaten out the centre. Those cuttings were destroyed and the supplier told to inspect the parent vines and the whole patch (some acres) was infected. I never heard what was done there to control the problem, possibly an insecticide spray when the adult Weevils were emerging would break the cycle or at least reduce the numbers to a tolerable level.
Thanks Brian...Thank goodness the Weevil is restricted to a limited range of plants.
It must be devastating to lose all your vines.
There must be other Luculias dying as well as mine because about 8 yrs ago I had a similar problem with a Luculia not the same cv but very like "Early Dawn" in our holiday house.. ...It had started to look sick, so I trimmed it back.
When we came back about a fortnight later it was stone dead...I cut it up and found that it was hollow...I have never had a problem with the white one L.grandiflora...I think that I will contact the supplier and ask if they have heard of this problem...they will probably say NOOOOOOOOOOO...lol
I will post if I have any luck.