??Tulip LEAVES - what's eating the tops off??

brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)March 11, 2010

This is my first year planting tulips so IÂm pretty naïve as to what to expect. IÂve searched the forum and see that squirrels like bulbs. IÂve had no problem with that. But do they eat the newly sprouted leaves??? Mine are about 2" high now and it looks like someone went across the top of them with a weed-whacker, taking off just a little bit.

And if they do eat them, are they so particular that they go after only one type of tulip versus another -- since IÂve got two other areas in the same small garden that isnÂt being bothered? But not with the same type tulip.

And if not, then what ELSE would be eating the tops off my leaves? (IÂll try to post a pic tomorrow if necessary.)

I donÂt live in the country, IÂm real close to a street and donÂt have lots of critters around (but I will say, in summer there are raccoons and possums at night). No deer and never see bunnies.

Only have a couple squirrels and they seem quite content with eating the fallout from my feeders plus what I put out for them. BUT -- the seed fallout IS in pretty much on top these leaves -- where this problem is happening. Could there be a connection to that? The seeds on top of the new growth and something trying to get to the seed???

Could it be the birds??? My mom says maybe itÂs my cat???

bonnie aka brit5467

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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Do you have any rabbits in the neighborhood?
Mine are always chomped off every spring by these hoppers.
I wish they would stay cute away from my spring bulbs.
That reminds me; I need to spread blood meal around the sprouts pronto!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 8:21AM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

Honestly, I've never seen one bunny, BUT - with the way I described it to my mom, she said the same thing. RABBITS !!

So, my question is - why are they picking on just one type of tulip leaf? Some sprouted WAY before these, still all green & lush and not one nibble. Then others came up after these. Same thing. Still beautiful and untouched. But they're giving this one area a fit.

They are all in the same small garden, just in three different spots. But these ARE a different type of tulip than the other two areas. What's the deal?

Do you think the fact that since birdseed falls down inside the growth, it makes them more yummy?? Do bunnies even like birdseed? That might be a naive question, but I'm no critter expert :) (PS - moved feeders last night :)


tks !! bonnie aka brit5467

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 9:57AM
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socalgal_gw Zone USDA 10b Sunset 24

Based on what my pet rabbit likes to eat, I'd say bunnies would like birdseed.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 11:47AM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

Well then....that all makes sense now. Even tho I must have 'stealth' bunnies (since I have never, ever seen one), the fact that the seed was all down inside each of the sprouting leaves, that must by why they picked THOSE particular ones.

Tks guys !!
bonnie aka brit5467

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 6:46PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I find the rabbits in my yard consistently like some tulip varieties more than others. And I don't have birdseed!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 11:41PM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

Well....so far no one's mentioned any other critters who like to feast on tulip leaves, so I guess I'm just gonna have to set up a 'bunny cam' -- just so I can enjoy watching the little fellas chowing down. I just find it amazing that I've never seen one in the 5 years I've lived here. NEVER !! Maybe they know I have a cat and only come when he's in for the night, huh?

Pitimpinai never said if the bloodmeal is to deter them? Am familiar with bonemeal but not bloodmeal. Will have to google it.

But tks to all who've enlightened me to those " scwewy wabbits."

bonnie aka brit5467

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 11:57PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Blood meal does deter rabbits and squirrels. I use it around new shoots every spring. Great fertilizer too. :-)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 7:28AM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

GREAT !! Gotta get some !! I love my couple of squirrels but they do tromp thru my garden and I don't really want them doing so while new growth is coming up so this will help with that as well.

Thanks so much !!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 10:20AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I usually don't see them either. When summer comes, maybe, but for now, they are "Stealth wabbits". Once you have buds the rabbits will get even more aggressive.

Blood meal is easy to find, luckily. Walmart, all the home improvement stores. It seems to be the same price everywhere: about $5 for a box.

I had a group of coyotes in my yard most of the winter: I'm hoping they got lots of them, or have scared them off by their scent. My kitty can't go outside anymore. I have heard that if you brush the cat, put the cat fur in the yard too.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 12:10PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I can say with certainty that it isn't a cat.... slugs mow my tulip leaves down as they emerge. I had a lot of damage on my iris reticulatas this year too and my daylilies all have chewed tips.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 1:29AM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

Well....I DO have the slug problem on my hostas, but this isn't from them. Always know by the shiny 'slime' trails.

Nooo, this seems to be more of what others have been saying. The "stealth" bunnies.

BUT - I'll tell you a trick I learned somewhere. If you have access to gum-balls (can't even say what kind of tree they come off of)...I was told to create a circle around my hosta plants as they sprouted. The slugs don't like the prickly parts. And as they grew last year, I just expanded the circle of gum-balls around the leaves so they could not crawl up onto them. It worked GREAT. So I guess it would work with anything else???

Just an idea. Don't know about other plants but seems it should work for anything??


    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 1:52AM
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I saw a squirrel run with what looked like a piece of bread in his mouth. I stalked him. He ran half-way up a tree and stopped. That was no piece of bread in his mouth, that was a tulip head! I had seen three other tulips with their heads snipped off cleanly...and other tulip plants had been carefully shredded. If there is any doubt about it, squirrels DO eat tulip heads! Blood meal be my revenge!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 7:06AM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

Wow!! This is crazy. This is my old post from 2010 but what's even more crazy is....I saw the same thing. Was on phone talking to Mom and said,
"Hmmm, I didn't know squirrels like bread. There's one running across the street with bread in his mouth." And he ran up a tree.

NOW I know it was not bread. And he had just come from direction of my garden. Little boogers...lol.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 11:23AM
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