Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Case of The Missing Leaves

What do you suppose happened here?  This is my rose bush. I fed it with rose food at the start of the season. I also treated it with a rose treatment that was supposed to keep rose eating bugs away.

Each day I came out to even more leaves missing. Nothing else in the area (lavender, phlox, clematis, snapdragons, lilies, coral belles, basil, tomatos) is affected. I'm amazed that the bud was even able to bloom.

13 comments:

Stripeyspots said...

Do you have deer? They love roses...

Jayne said...

I think it's some kind of critter, too. My mom's rose bushes are leafless too and two of them have been nibbled down to bare nubs of canes by rabbits. A couple of years ago squirrels ate the leaves off her rhodedendrons.

Karen Anne said...

Yikes. I have no idea, but I've heard that if you go out at night with a flashlight, you can sometimes find nocturnal bugs on leaves.

The leaves are totally disappearing, not falling to the ground?

The web says deer like to eat phlox, so I'm guessing not deer.

This year was my first year planting beans, and every morning I'd go out and find another seedling had been made off with :-)

Joe M. said...

I'm home at the Big House in Florida S.H. Be grateful the weather allows you to check on your roses...(also I thought what SS thinks.) The yardman here used Round-Up to kill vines...on boxwood...which turned them all into artful dispays of camoflauge; huge patches of dead browns mixed with green. Ahh, yard stories!

StuccoHouse said...

No deer in my yard, but I have spotted a rabbit over on that side of the house. Or squirrels..would they do that? No leaves down on the ground. When I first started noticing it, I think it looked like bugs eating it....but now I'm not entirely sure. Why only the rose plant. That poor thing. Don't you love how it managed to bloom in spite of it all?

plantingoaks said...

See how the leaf 'skeletons' are still there? That means it's from a bug. A dear would have just eaten the whole stem and not left those spindly little remains.

My roses looked very similar this year, and it was from little green catepillars of some sort. I just picked them off by hand and threw them in the lawn. The only other plant that they ate were some columbines in another bed.

One spray with a treatment doesn't protect you from all the bugs forever - I find it easiest to just check them from time to time rather than follow some crazy insecticidal schedule.

btw, my roses are all putting out new leaves by now, and look like they'll recover fine, even though they were pretty small young bushes. I bet in a few weeks yours will too. If it's flowering, that means it was a healthy plant despite loosing the leaves.

Sometimes these things just happen, normally the plants bounce back. Also, if the culprit is caterpillars, they're very voracious, but have a fast lifecycle, so you don't have to worry about them coming back this year.

Thirkellgirl said...

I really swear by nicotine tea for roses. It's cheap and easy and what do you have to lose, lol? Buy a cheap cigar (like a Swishers Sweet) and crumble it in a watering can of hot/warm water and let it steep until the water's pretty brown. Then use that to water your rose, foliage, stem and all, well.

Karen Anne said...

All commercially grown tobacco in the U.S. is infected with tobacco mosaic virus. If you use nicotine tea, it needs to be kept away from many plants, such as tomatoes, peppers, phlox, etc.

I think Japanese beetles eat rose leaves, and somewhere I heard that some areas had high populations of those this year.

Anonymous said...

That definitely looks like rabbit damage. They eat the leaves off my rosebushes but leave the flowers alone. Did you notice the lower leaves disappearing first, at rabbit level? If you've ruled out deer but seen one or more rabbits hanging around, try spraying what remains of the rosebush (and the ground nearby) with rabbit repellent and give the bush a chance to grow new leaves...good luck...

Northland Stories said...

Looks like the handiwork of a rascally rabbit to me. We also had a nest of army worm caterpillars on an apple tree. There had to be hundreds jammed into a squirmy ball that was fun for the kids to watch grow until they were leaving the nest .. then we had to evict them as they would have made short work of that apple tree.

LeighC said...

My best guess would be rose sawfly larva.

Anonymous said...

If you think it's bugs, Mother Earth Gardens carries 3 different kinds (at least) of beneficial insects - praying mantis, ladybugs and beneficial nematodes. I forget which likes to munch on caterpillars. They might come in quantities too large for your yard but you could split them with a friend or just count on them to strike out on their own for greener pastures.

I think you're near MEG, they're across 38th St. from the Riverview Theater.

If you think it's the bunnies, I've had success burying dog hair in my mulch. Ask a groomer - there's one on 54th St just east of 42nd Av and one at 36th & Lake behind the TV store. The dirtier the hair the better, btw. It's all about the smell. It decomposes and makes high N fertilizer, too.

StuccoHouse said...

LeighC - Upon closer inspection, I think you are right with the sawfly larva guess.

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