My Vinca Is Turning Yellow: What To Do With A Yellowing Vinca Plant

My Vinca Is Turning Yellow: What To Do With A Yellowing Vinca Plant

By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

Annual vinca flowers are a popular choice for home landscapes in hot, sunnylocations. Unlike perennial vinca, which prefers shade, annual vincas bloom only one season.These popular white to pink flowers make a wonderful addition to low growing flowerbeds or any garden space that needs a pop of color. Though extremely easy togrow, there are many issues which may cause signs of distress in vinca plants.

Becoming familiar with the common concerns of growing vincawill help growers keep their planting looking vibrant and beautiful throughoutthe summer season. One of the most frequent issues involving this plant isrelated to vinca leaves changing color. If your vinca is turning yellow, one ormore issues may be the cause. While a yellowing vinca plant does notnecessarily indicate disease, it is possible.

Causes of Yellowing Vinca Plant

Yellow vinca leaves can be caused by a large range ofenvironmental factors. Though vinca plants are hardy and tolerant of a widerange of growing conditions, it is important that their planting site is welldrained. Soil that is excessively moist may cause a yellowing vinca plant.

Other factors which may negatively impact the health of theplant include too much or not enough fertilization. Properly meeting the needsand requirements of the vinca will be an important aspect of maintaining alush, green planting.

When conditions for plant growth are less than ideal, plantsmay easily become stressed. In general, stressed plants are more susceptible todisease. Vinca plants are no exception to this, as diseases like leaf spot androot rot are common. Caused by various types of fungal infections, yellowingvinca plants are one of the first symptoms of the overall decline in health ofyour vinca planting. Properly diagnosing specific vinca plant diseases can besthelp growers in determining how to treat the infection.

Preventing disease and yellow vinca leaves is the mostimportant step in keeping the garden looking beautiful. When purchasing plants,always make sure to choose those that are disease free.

Water the plants in a way to avoid wetting the leaves. Ifdisease does occur, make sure to remove and destroy the infected plants. Thiswill reduce the spread and occurrence of pathogens in the garden.

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What's causing my vinca to yellow and die? Gardening Q&A with George Weigel

A basket of well drained vinca Cora Deep Lavender -- what healthy vinca flowers should look like.

(Kurt Reynolds/Goldsmith Seeds)

Q: I planted 24 annual vinca flowers, and the leaves have turned yellow. The flowering is very sparse, if any at all. Do you think they rotted from the rain in early June? Some have more normal color with new growth and a few flower buds. Do you think these will be OK? For the ones looking bad, should I pull them and replant new vinca? Or is there a chance there's a disease in the soil that will kill new vinca, too? In that case, is there something else I should plant that doesn't get disease?

A: That could be yellowing and rotting from the cool start to spring – especially if the site got soggy at all during the dumpings we had in early June.

Vinca like it hot and dry. They don't like to go out in the garden too early in spring, and they don't even like it too cool under greenhouse conditions. I read once that vinca grown under too-cool greenhouse conditions never really do recover, even once out in the garden in hot, dry weather.

Wet soil also goes hand in hand with soil disease, though. And vinca are prone to at least three wet-soil-related fungal diseases – phytophthora, botrytis and rhizoctonia. They can also get aster yellows, which is manifested by the same kind of yellowing leaves that result from rotting in soggy soil and from cold weather.

My guess is that if we get some consistently warm and dry weather, your OK vinca might improve and go on to have a decent season – although not like they should.

The sad ones are likely goners. You might as well yank those. To be on the safe side, I'd assume there's one of the vinca pathogens in the soil and avoid replanting with new vinca.

Most other annuals aren't going to be affected. Options for sun include petunias, zinnias, marigolds, angelonia, dusty miller, euphorbia, geraniums and celosia.

It's always a good idea to work compost into the soil before replanting anything. That way you're constantly improving the soil, improving drainage and adding organic matter and nutrition that will help any annual thrive.

Some vinca varieties do better than others and are also more disease resistant. The Cora® series is touted as being the most disease resistant, and most colors of it have tested out well at Penn State's flower trials.

The Titan® and 'Nirvana' series also have done very well in Penn State's trials.

If you want to nail down whether you've really got a disease in your soil or whether it was just plain rotting from excess moisture, you can send off a few of your sad vincas to Penn State's disease lab. The lab offers free disease testing and diagnosis for Pennsylvania homeowners.

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What Causes Yellow Vinca Leaves – Reasons For Vinca Leaves Changing Color - garden

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Why Are My Plant's
Leaves Turning Yellow ?

There are 9 possible reasons why
your plant's leaves are turning yellow

1. The "Good News" reason is that leaves naturally turn from green to yellow then brownish and dry and shriveled

In the two pictures at the top, each of the yellow leaf areas are the lower, OLDER leaves whose time is over. Nature re-captures the nutrients from the old leaves into the main plant and the leaf color becomes yellow

Nothing, except relax, Nature is in control

If a plant is used to suitable conditions then cold comes in, leaf yellowing and leaf drop is common

Usually nothing, except with potted plants. If you expect more cold, shelter your plant indoors in a warm, bright area where people are comfortable

But . you should have taken your plants to shelter well before the cold came in. Here is our article on how to successfully winterise your potted plants to bring indoors for the winter

Many plants comfortable in moderate temperature conditions can "complain" by dropping leaves with ongoing excess heat. The time from green to yellow to drop can be very fast

Consider if a better location is possible for this plant. For example, rather than a full sun location, a spot with afternoon shade could be your permanent solution

Too much water chokes roots and very often causes leaf yellowing

In the case of potted plants, you control the water

In the landscape, your sprinklers may need adjusting

If water is needed and not available, a plant can not "hold" all its leaves. In defense plants shed leaves. In this case the green to yellow to drop process can be very fast

What plants want is consistent water for best growth and daily happiness. Of course, that amount varies by the variety of plant

Plants which are native to swampy areas may need to be constantly moist to be happy, so ANY fall off in available water = instant leaf complaints (yellowing)

On the other hand, our desert rose plants can go a long time between watering. Cactus and succulents in general require excellent drainage and no standing water, otherwise, you see yellow leaves and leaf drop

5. Your new plant suddenly is getting sick fast. Yellow leaves are developing rapidly and leaf drop is scary

This situation is very common. We call this "decline" and yellow leaves are the first symptom. We have a separate article on this subject

Virtually 100% of the time, if you move a plant to a new location, you will see leaf yellowing. Unless the new location is more suitable than the old location, your plant needs to adjust/adapt to the new location so leaf yellowing is part of the process

For example, if you move a plant into more sun, the leaves may be stressed. The plant "knows" the current leaves can't withstand the increase in sun sun and so, in defense, grows new leaves that can handle the new exposure

Moving to a location with less light//sun/hours/intensity, the plant can no longer "hold" the same amount of leaves so starts to shed leaves trying to balance light and leaf quantity

7. Fertilizer, especially liquid chemical fertilizers

Folks tend to use fertilizers in excess. Too much fertilizer, especially liquid chemical fertilizers, create a toxic situation and rapid leaf yellowing (burn) is the result

Fertilization is a very important subject and so we have a separate article on fertilization

There is virtually no technology for plant diseases. Scientists study causes but the "cures" side of the equation is almost zero

Your best defense is promoting plant health especially with proper feeding

Improper maintenance, often via your lawn man, can cause plant damage, like when using a weed whacker. You may not see (because you don't look closely) where equipment may have hurt your plants. Be sure you know how to manage your lawn man for starters

Damaged plants may be able to heal themselves. You may be able to do some pruning to assist. The main point is to avoid the damage in the first place

You may be interested in receiving great tropical plants mail order from Master Gardener. If you want to be on our e-mailing list to be notified of plants, please click here for details of our special plants. Thank you.


Watch the video: LEAVES TURNING YELLOW? Here are 5 tips to fix the issue