something eating the flower buds

tomkaren(z9 Citrus Co FL)December 15, 2012

My camellia bush was loaded wiTh buds in all stages of opening. Now most are gone and look like the buds are just cut off. What could be the culprit?

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Size of the buds when they went missing?
Squirrels? Birds? Drought-stress?

Any chance of pictures of a damaged bud?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 3:02PM
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Not sure what your area is like, but here (northern VA) we're overrun with deer and they LOVE to gnaw camellias (esp smaller plants) all the way back to the branches--some of my younger camellias get entirely stripped if I don't protect them.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 11:41AM
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sounds like deer to me, too.
some years are worse than others around my yard. they usually don't bother the leaves or branches on mine but they will take almost every flower bud, open or tightly closed, from the shrub.
i have had success in years past by putting out strongly scented bar soap shavings wedged in the branches. have to do that before they discover the flowers, though.
irish spring is a soap i used which kept them away. if you cut the soap pieces large enough, they will stay there through several rains and melt into the branch crotches.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 12:42PM
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tomkaren(z9 Citrus Co FL)

No deer here, only squirrels. This plant has been growing here many years and never before been bothered. Have no idea what has changed.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 1:20PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Squirrels will eat the buds here. I see bits and pieces lying on the deck rails where they 'sit and eat'.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 11:42AM
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