Did someone take a hole punch to my Rhodi? Or is it weevils?

empecotJune 13, 2008


I recently received a Northern Hi-Lights Rhododendron from a well respected mail order site and after returning from a long weekend getaway I've found neat round holes all over the leaves. It really does look like a hole puncher was taken to my plant (see pics below).

I have another rhodi that has been completely healthy and pest free for the 2 years I've owned it. I've moved the infected plant away from the clean plant.

Can someone please tell me what this pest is and how best to treat it. My current theory is that it's Black Vine Weevil and I'm thinking of purchasing some nematodes. But I'd really like to be sure about it before I try any treatments.


Thanks in advance for your help!

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

That is the work of leafcutter bees. There's not much that you can do about it, other than admire their handiwork.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 3:13PM
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A ha! That completely makes sense now. Thanks!

I have not seen the bees at work, but now that I know what to look for I am very interested to see them cut these perfect little circles.

So, besides messing up my foliage, they aren't harmful to my plant, are they?

Do you know how long their mating season lasts (ie when they'll stop eating my leaves)?

Thanks again! I feel very relieved now!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 3:53PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Hi empecot,

I have never seen leaf cutter damage on a rhododendron before. May I use your photo on my website below?

Here is a link that might be useful: Rhododendron and Azalea Troubleshooting

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 7:32PM
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Thanks, I've got a few small native azaleas and a rosebay rhododendron with this kind of pattern, and I was wondering what it was. I'm assuming that it isn't serious damage, and am just ignoring it.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 11:13AM
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