Question: I have a honeysuckle in my garden that used to have lots of leaves but few flowers. Now it has hardly any leaves or flowers. I have a hydrangea growing in a pot next to the honeysuckle. Is it a case of overwatering the honeysuckle, or maybe the hydrangea loves water but the honeysuckle needs less water? Help!
Answer: It is quite hard to overwater plants in the ground or in containers, so if the container and honeysuckle had similar treatment, I would suggest that there is a different reason for the honeysuckle's demise. Powder mildew can cause leaf drop, but not quite to this extent. If you scratch the bark of the honeysuckle, and find the wood is green underneath and that there are buds ready to shoot for next year, all may be well for next year. If you are unsure, you could send root samples to the RHS as one of the benefits of RHS membership and we can examine them and look for evidence of disease.
Send your questions for the RHS to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only a few questions per month can be answered. For further advice on handling problems in your garden, visit www.rhs.org.uk/advice.