The perennial passion vine can suffer from fungal pathogens that lead to cosmetic damage as well as severe decline and death. Protect your prized passion flowers and fruit from attack with proper care and an understanding of fungal diseases and how they function. You can avoid the marring of plant foliage and root decay with the maintenance of a healthy home garden.
Healthy, vigorous vines are more likely to resist fungal diseases than ill-maintained plants in decline or under severe stress. Grow passion vines in full sunlight, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Passion vines thrive in subtropical and tropical climates, requiring warm temperatures and well-drained, slightly acid soil.
Target spot is a fungal infection of passion vines caused by the fungal pathogen Corynespora cassiicola. This disease inhabits plant debris and spreads on the wind. Southern blight is a fungal disease of passion vines caused by the fungal pathogen Sclerotium rolfsii. These pathogens live in soil and on plant debris and spread easily on contaminated gardening tools and equipment.
Target spot results in the appearance of tiny yellow spots on foliage that change to a light brown color with dark borders. As spots expand and join, they create large, abnormally shaped areas of dead plant tissue that often falls from the leaf, says the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Target spot leaves your plants cosmetically damaged and stressed. Southern blight of passion vines results in wilting and collapse; though the plant may seem to be regaining health after symptoms appear, infection leads to a quick reversal and rapid death, notes the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
To prevent spread of fungus, avoid planting other susceptible plants in an already infected site. Other common, susceptible hosts of target spot include, but are not limited to, papaya, hydrangea species, yellow squash and cantaloupe, says the University of Florida IFAS Extension. For southern blight, other susceptible plants include bachelor's buttons, basil, ginger, hydrangeas, sunflowers and violets, says the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
For control of target spot on passion vines, maintain optimal health of your plants and consider employing a chemical spray program of appropriate fungicides. Since diagnosis of target spot is tricky and fungicide requirements change, contact a licensed professional or your local county extension agent for reliable assistance and application, recommends the University of Florida IFAS Extension. For southern blight control, prevention is essential. Maintain new potting soil in fresh, sterile potting containers, remove and destroy affected plant parts, and always sanitize tools between each cut and each use from one plant to the next. Consider soil fumigation with the fungicide containing the active ingredient dazomet as a protective measure, suggests the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.