rhodie buds gone

mudrnner(zone 4/5 NY)April 25, 2009

Last fall my beautiful Nova Zembla had tons of buds on it. I couldn't wait until this spring to see it all in bloom. Now, almost all the buds are gone! It looks like they have been eaten, but they looked this way before any bugs were out. Could it be birds? Or could the horribly cold winter we had have something to do with it. I think there are still 2 viable buds left, but that is it. Any suggestions?

Dyan

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mainegrower(Z5b ME)

Rhododendron buds are frequently irresistable to deer. They can neatly nip off the buds without leaving a trace of any other damage.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 4:28AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Squirrels are another real possibility.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 8:30AM
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mudrnner(zone 4/5 NY)

More likely squirrels than deer where we are, but you never know. I sprinkled some red pepper on the few remaining buds in hopes of detering the little munchers so I can at least still have a couple of blooms. Pretty upsetting seeing as this was the first year I was going to have more than the 3 buds I have had for the last 2 years.. it was pretty well loaded up this time. Oh well, maybe next year.

Thanks

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 9:26AM
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bekcgarden(5b)

Squirrels eat rhododendruns?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 7:25PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

bekcgarden, yes, squirrels will pick the buds and eat them.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 10:17PM
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bekcgarden(5b)

Oh no...

We have three, the names escape me. Two bloomed the first year. Last year, lots of leaves, lots of buds, but no blooms. This year, they have what looks like rust in their leaves, and they do not appear healthy. I realized, too late, that they we planted them within the drip line of several black walnuts. And, of course, we have a ton of squirrels.

There is no other spot for them in our yard. :(

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 6:10PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Could it be azalea sawfly? Last spring all the buds on my Percy Wiseman Rhododendron were eaten and then some leaves. I saw a little green caterpillar on one stem. I think I used permethrin and the devastation stopped, but it was too late for flowers.

I looked today and the buds are all gone again. There are other rhododendrons on either side of Percy and they're OK.

Claire

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 8:55PM
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