Moonglory/Moonflower sickly, dying plants!

Conshohocken, PA


I’ve been having problems with my Moonflowers and Morning Glories. Could you help?

I’ve noticed two distinct problems: 1) Leaves anywhere on the plant develop tan/brown spots then die. 2) Bottom leave turn entirely yellow (without spotting), then die.

I’m in Zone 6b and planted 8 total MF and MG in planters on my porch. There are 2 MF and 2 MG in each planter (about 3 feet wide, 10” deep). I started the seeds indoors and transplanted them into soilless potting mix. There are adequate drainage holes at the bottom of each planter. The planters get full, direct sun until about 1pm, then receive increasing shade from the porch as the day wears on.

Problem 1: I read that MG’s naturally lose their bottom leaves—like losing baby teeth. However, this yellowing and then dying problem has gone beyond the bottom leaves. It’s worked its way about 2 feet up the plant! By this rate, there will be no leaves left very soon! Is this normal? (The last two pics illustrate the prob--including the naked stems at the bottom of the plant)

Problem 2: Leaves (not necessarily on the bottom) develop spots. Some are big brown spots. On these, the leaves eventually die. I suspect sun scorch. Other leaves become spotted with mottled tannish spots (third pic). These leaves don’t die as quickly as the others. (First 3 pics illustrate spotting)

I water daily or every other day. (I read that they like the drier side of things, but when in pots, I gotta keep ‘em hydrated). I only fertilized once when they were little and struggling b/c I read not to fertilize because it encourages foliage without flowers.

Any diagnosis? Any suggestions? What am I doing wrong? Did I put too many plants in one pot? If it is sun scorch—how do I protect ‘em? (I was told they like shaded 'feet' so I put up a small trellis at the base of the planters)

Thumbnail by monkeeluv6 Thumbnail by monkeeluv6 Thumbnail by monkeeluv6 Thumbnail by monkeeluv6 Thumbnail by monkeeluv6
Jacksonville, AR(Zone 7b)

Monkeeluv I'm not sure. Here in the south, I could not have mine in the sun until 1pm. They would burn up as
hot as it is. That 1st pic does look like a scorched leaf. Some of the others are spotted and I don't know what is causing the spots.
Yellow lvs in the last pic could indicate overwatering or underwatering. The dirt/potting mix needs some sun to dry out so the shade at their feet may not be a good idea.
Sorry I can't be more help. Maybe others can give you some good advice.

Gautier, MS

I would encourage you to water them with bloom booster every 2 weeks and also prune the tips to encourage new growth. I heard that potted plants do need to be fertelized b/c they loose nutrients faster than when they are in ground. Have you checked the back of the leaves for any type of bugs? I remove infested leaves on my vines and they seem to grow new ones.

Here's a picture of one of my vines where I found a very tiny worm with web chewing under the leaves. It becomes transperant and with a hole. Still it already has buds. I will remove those leaves. I also sprayed with safer soap in case if there's more eggs. It seems that quite a few of us had to deal with bugs on the vines this year.

Thumbnail by helenahkh

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