Pruning Passion Vines & Dormant Spray With Fruit Trees

Question:

 I’ve noticed that my Passion Vines are not looking very good, as the foliage is sparse and brown. They were planted several years ago. I’ve never pruned them, so when is the proper time to do so?

Answer:

  •  Passion Vine is an evergreen that is sensitive to cold temperatures. The cold causes the foliage to turn brown, and if it gets frigid, we can see some significant structural damage. It’s too early to know if that is the case this year. We’ve had several cold spells this winter, and there still may be another so I wouldn’t be in a hurry to prune off the damage as yet.
    • This would be the same advice for citrus, bougainvilleas, hibiscus, Mandevilla, and other frost-sensitive plants.
  •  The damaged foliage will act as an umbrella to protect the undamaged leaves underneath. The last date we would expect frost is March 15, but it does vary from year to year. You could prune off the cold weather damage anytime after this point.
  • Personally, I’d wait until April when I saw the new growth. I’d then know exactly where to cut back.
    • Passion vines are an aggressive grower so they will take a severe trimming. This is necessary to keep them contained. Ultimately, how far you trim them back is a judgment call on your part.
    • I’d also pay attention to the growth on the backside of the plant. All too often-aggressive vines are planted on a fence, and unfortunately, they intrude into a neighboring yard. Your neighbor may not be thrilled with the unwanted intrusion so cut this growth off.
    • Another containment technique is to prune them off at the ground every three to four years. They’re fed annually with Dr. Earth All-Purpose Fertilizer after pruning. I would recommend similar pruning with Jasmine polyanthus, Hardenbergia, and Trumpet vines.
  •  With evergreen vines such as a Passion Vine, you need to be proactive in maintaining them each year; otherwise, they can get out of control

Question:

What is the best spray plan for peach and other fruit trees? What if rain prohibits on scheduled dates?

Answer:

  • Peach Leaf Curl is the primary concern with Peaches and Nectarines with a Copper Fungicide being the dormant spray. I suggest you apply a Copper Fungicide dormant spray. You need to start with one application in the late fall after fifty percent of the leaves have dropped off. The next application is around mid-February. You want to wait until the buds are about to open. This is called the pink bud stage or popcorn stage.
  • Rain is a big problem as it will wash the Peach Leaf Curl spores into the open buds and infect them. But It shouldn't be an issue this year. Hence, you want clear dry conditions when the trees are in bloom. You can spray now, but your first application is best made in the fall.
  • With the other fruit trees except for citrus, one application of a Copper Fungicide made in January-February is sufficient.