Hyacinth Bean Leaf Spot and Refusal to Bloom
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Sonja
Posted on: August 5, 2001

I planted Hyacinth Bean seeds, and have nice vines. However, the leaves are getting rather spotted. It looks like it might be a fungus. Do you know what it may be, and what to do about it organically? Also, does it spread to other plants? (My morning glories seem to be getting it).

There are many fungi that attack beans and without seeing the leaves and examining them under the microscope it is hard to guess which one is attacking your plants. Most fungi are quite genus or plant family specific and only some can spread to plants of other families of plants. To get rid of an infection organically is a bit of a problem. Try spraying the plants with a suspension of flower of sulphur after cutting off as many of the infected leaves as you can find and burning them. Do not put them on your compost heap, because unless they are thouroughly buried, they could easily produce more spores to infect other plants than while on the plant. neem oil at the rate of one teaspoon neem oil plus one quarter teaspoon dishwash detergent in one liter of water makes a good organic spray to control both insects and micro-organisms. It is available in some East Indian stores and some garden centers. You may have to phone around to get a source. You can also use hydrogen peroxide 3% solution as a spray, or make yourself a spray from cinnamon. Soak powdered cinnamon in rubbing alcohol (do not use ordinary alcohol since it is quite toxic to plants) strain and thin the resulting solution 50% with water and use as a spray. It will smell wonderful! A commercial preparation, trade-named cinnamite is available in the USA but I have not seen it in Canada yet.

Also, how long does it take for hyacinth bean and cup and saucer vine to flower? The C&S vines have grown profusely, but no flowers in sight yet.

Both vines need a long season to bloom and we recommend that you start them indoors six weeks before they can be planted outdoors in the spring to extend the season. Hopefully with the hot summer we are getting (after the cold start in the spring) you should get flowers in the fall. Use plastic covers during the nights in the fall to extend the season to get some fruiting. Using a high phosphate fertilizer such as wood ashes would also encourage flowering.

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