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Help! Something is eating my flowers and plants!

Sprout Registered
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

I have a Rose of Sharon and Hibiscus that are in trouble. They were healthy until something ate all the leaves off.  I thought my husband was overwater the Rose of Sharon so I improved the drainage and the leaves started growing back.  Two days ago, it had all new blooms and buds.  This morning, I woke up and all the buds disappeared and there’s no dead leaves on the ground.  The same with my hibiscus. The tops of the plant have been chewed or snipped off.  Whatever it is, started on the new growth of my beautiful sago palm and that was the last straw!  The sago palm is poisonous, so what in the world snipped the fresh, new leaves off?  We have birds and lizards here in N. Arizona, so it has to be birds.

My neighbors tree is full of little birds. I don’t know what kind they are, but I can’t seem to catch them in the act. There is no window to look out under the pergola where my once lovely plants are.  I am sure it is definitely not mealyworms/bugs on the sago palm.  The new growth is definitely just plucked off, and not chewed on by a fungus or bug. 

How do I get the birds to stop doing this (if it is them) without putting up netting?  Thank you for any help.

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Northern Arizona

Matt Suwak
Sprout Staff Gardening Expert
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10

Where about in Northern AZ are you? Could mule deer be a possibility? They are notorious for nipping flower buds and leaves from plants selectively, and that clean snip on the sago palm makes me suspect them again. Looks like it was a test bite to see how this new green thing tasted before the deer (or whatever) decided, quite promptly, that it does not taste good.

Deer can be pretty darn crafty. I can't imagine many birds in AZ that would do this unless they're stealing material to make nests? I don't think ringtails bother much with plants, but they could be another crafty culprit.


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