Nandina firepower shrubs being eaten?

joshsimpson79April 8, 2013

I live in Southwest Missouri and have five Nandina firepower shrubs. They are a about a year old and have done pretty well, until two of them have changed drastically in a few days. One, which was doing well is almost to nothing now, as if they leaves were eaten off. There are a few loose leaves around, but most aren't there. Then the next plant over looks like it, but not nearly as bad. I just sprayed some bug spray on there, hoping if something was eating them, that it wouldn't like the taste of the spray. It was really just a desperation move.

I see what looks like armadillo holes in the garden, but I can't imagine armadillos messing with those shrubs.


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

deer leave cloven prints..

rabbits leave little piles of chocolate covered peanuts ... [i bet yo might call them goobers down your way] ....

and God help me ... i have no clue what an armadillo leaves ...

any chance at a picture... you really havent told us much more then some leaves are missing..


    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:37PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Rabbits? Deer?

I've had entire plants keel over from voles too.

Nandinas are tough, but nothing's invincible.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:29PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7


    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 8:45AM
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The bug spray might've worked, as not only were there no more leaves gone that I could tell, but I didn't see new holes that I've been seeing most mornings. There were no rabbit droppings, as I'm quite familiar with them. I'll take a picture at lunch and upload it.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 9:51AM
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Here is an example of a shrub looking fine and not "eaten."

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 4:19PM
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Here is the "after" pic of another bush right beside it. There are a couple of bushes like this.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 4:21PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

This looks quite a bit different than I expected. This kind of damage isn't due to an animal and probably not an insect. The 'good ' one looks pretty sick, too.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 8:08PM
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You think the first one looks bad? I thought it looked like several other of the shrubs around here. It does have a white haze because of the bug spray I put on it, but otherwise it just seems like the leaves of winter being red changing for the spring season.

However I'm no expert, so I'm not arguing. What do you guys suggest?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:06AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Could be leaf loss due to winter stress. Not sure. I think a deer might have eaten the petioles along with the leaves.

They haven't been planted that long. How cold did you get this winter? Did your ground stay frozen for a while?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 3:44PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

last pic.. it seems that the damage.. is parallel to the cement behind ...

explain how winter sun hits the cement.. and how it may have dessicated the leaves.. causing them to die ... i will bet.. the sun heats that cement in the afternoon.. and it affected the plants ...

also explain.. what if any buds are formed.. for spring growth....

and explain why your 'bug spray' .. was so thickly applied that you coated the leaves in grey .. did you actually see a bug.. or just go for it [been there.. done that.. dont get me wrong] ... was it properly diluted.. according to the label??? .. and .. spraying an already severely stressed leaf.. usually makes it fall off ... just another stress ....

if it is the sun.. i would suspect.. they are planted too close to the pad ... any reason in particular.. you needed them 6 inches from it???? .. i would have planted them further away.. so they wouldn't infringe on my space ....


    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:42AM
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Thanks Ken for your response. I'm sorry I'm not perfect. Just so you know, I DO now how to properly mix bug spray with the correct amount of water. Secondly, I've only lived there a a year and a half, so I'm by no means an expert at planting. So I"ll plant them further away in the future. I had a tractor dig up 6 feet tall hedges from the same bed, though I admit they are not the same kind of plant, so I can't expect the same results. Although I do have another shrub of the same kind in the back yard not next to any concrete and it looks like it has been eaten as well.

My wife wanted them planted close because we had flowers planted in front of them. I will do it differently next time. As for weather, we had a fairly mild winter. I'm uploading a pic (that isn't great quality) but it is showing one of the prints in the bed and in the yard. I still think deer are having their way with them, even though yes, my location of planting and conditions could have a say in it. It looks like a hoof print to me, rather than an armadillo digging, of which I've seen many. I used to live in Texas and we had them all over.

If leaves are dying, that's one thing, but I'm not seeing that many leaves on the ground around the shrubs. I'm seeing leaves missing.

This post was edited by joshsimpson79 on Fri, Apr 12, 13 at 15:27

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 12:25PM
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wannabegardnr(7 Maryland)

Deer eat mine in winter, and leave the leaf stalks like in your picture. I put bird/deer netting over mine this winter, and they still managed to get whatever was poking through the net and along the edges where I didn't have solid cover - though minimal. So happy I have those nice red leaves this year. Mine are next to a south facing brick wall, and the leaves were touching the wall, but no burns, and I am not generous with supplemental watering - tough plants. I did move them last year so that there is about a foot of gap between the plants and the wall. Mine are Gulf stream, not firepower. And also, they worked on the one closest to the entry to the back yard first, before moving on to the next one over.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 4:10PM
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