Does this sound familiar?........
Sunflower leaves (plants aren't yet blooming) are being eaten by something that
is NOT: slugs/snails, rabbits, birds, groundhogs, leaf-cutter bees. Large
irregular pieces missing from the outer margins of the leaves (some leaves are
almost gone by now). There is nothing resembling teeth marks or
chewed-off/pecked-off bits, and I don't believe it's a warm-blooded muncher at
all. The only other detail that looks a bit odd is that on a few of the leaves
I notice dime-sized dark spots that seem wet or oily.....just one per leaf on
the leaves that have them....but this could be something else entirely. This
all started a day or two ago, and the damage is progressing very fast to
defoliation, I fear. I see absolutely nothing munching the leaves during the
So, does this sound like grasshopper damage? I've seen only one in my yard
this summer and normally this area is fairly free of major grasshopper
populations. But this is the wild and weird Northeast this year....
Thanks and best,
nNJ usa z7
It's possible it could be fungus. If you see dark spots on the leaves
that's a tell-tale sign.
I spray all my plants once per week, one week with Sevin insecticide,
then the next week with Ortho Garden Disease Control.
The Ortho Garden Disease Control used to be called Daconil, for some
reason they changed the name. The active ingredient is Chlorothalonil,
just make sure it contains that.
Sevin has always been Sevin. It contains Carbaryl which kills more
bugs, mainly the leave boring ones that the Ortho chemicals don't. It
also is quite harmless to most birds and mammals in small quantities,
although I'd still wear a respirator and gloves when applying a lot of
it. It *will* kill fish so if you have a pond nearby with fish in it,
cover it with something like plastic paint-dropcloth.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Tyra Trevellyn) wrote:
Thanks for your ideas. There may be some kind of fungus on the leaves (I
usually see signs of powdery mildew late in the season on sunflowers).
However, the real problem right now is whatever is consuming the leaves as
described. I need to identify that before I can take any measures.
(Sorry to hear about the storm damage to your plantings.)
nNJ usa z7
Bill R NO_WEEDS email@example.com wrote:
Thanks for your suggestion, but there are no Japanese beetles hereabouts,
amazingly enough (we seem to have most everything else!). However, I 'm going
to do a light soap spray on one or two of the plants just to see if whatever it
is might find the spray itself distasteful. Since I can't see anything on the
leaves, I doubt if I'll be destroying any insects that way. At this point, I'm
figuring it must be some night feeder and I'll have to do the late-night
flashlight search tonight.
I still think grasshoppers might be a possibillity, but I've yet to see more
than that one a week or so ago.
Thanks again and
nNJ usa z7
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