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Problem & Solution
July/August 2017

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Trumpet-Vine Invader
P Do you know of any proven way to get rid of trumpet vine? It came in a next-door neighbor’s plants and has now come into my yard. It has almost choked out my ‘Little Gem’ magnolia next to our common fence.

Sandy Duncan Brewer

Solution: One of the glyphosate products like Roundup can be used to help suppress trumpet vine. However, you probably won’t get a total kill. It may require several applications to get adequate results. Be sure to use a surfactant when you mix it to help it stick to the glossy leaves of the trumpet vine. While not ideal, you can use dish soap for this purpose. The problem with trumpet vine is that is spreads primarily by underground roots. Also, branches that come in contact with soil can quickly establish as new plants. Does anyone see a nightmare evolving here? As with any herbicide, be sure to read and follow all label directions.

Freaky Petunias
Problem: I have planted some beautiful purple-with-white-edges petunias. The leaves are lush, but the blooms will not open. The plants are full of those so-called blooms. Is there some kind of spider or some insect that is causing this problem? I was looking forward to all the blooms. Can you help?

Irene Peterson

Solution: We don’t see any characteristics of insect or disease presence. Have you used any herbicide close to the plants? It is possible that some drift from your sprayer landed on the plants. Just a few droplets could cause the plant to grow in a distorted way. We showed your photos to Tim Hartman, Texas AgriLife Extension horticulturist, and he thinks this may be caused by temperature stress or a micronutrient (maybe boron or calcium) imbalance.

Kiss and Tell
Problem: We’ve enjoyed and benefited from your magazine for years. Perhaps you can help with my search for a ‘Kiss & Tell’ hibiscus. I’ve been trying to find the single-bloom maroon for the last couple of years with no luck. I lost mine to an unusual freeze on the Texas coast. I’d appreciate any information on a company that sells them.

Mary Jo Neely

Solution: ‘Kiss & Tell’ is a Monrovia introduction. Monrovia is a large wholesale nursery based out of California. Our first recommendation is to check with the good folks at The Arbor Gate, Tomball, (281) 351-8851. It may be a bit of drive to Tomball, but it will be worth it if you love plants! Monrovia’s website says they have some in stock. Also, most Lowe’s stores carry Monrovia plants, so you could check there as a second option.