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Rabbit ate my azaleas!

Posted by steph_oshawa z5b/6a ON (My Page) on
Wed, May 25, 05 at 14:47

I planted four azaleas (not sure what variety - maybe Northern Lights?) last fall that I picked up at a nursery for $5 each. I was really excited to see what would happen with them this spring/summer.

Unfortunately, a rabbit came and ate them all almost to the ground! I was so disappointed and hadn't even thought that this could happen.

Fortunately, I noticed that all four are sprouting leaves. However, there are only a few leaves on each azalea.

Has this happened to anyone else? If so, did your azaleas eventually recover?

Thanks,
Steph


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Rabbit ate my azaleas!

Steph,

A few weeks ago I planted five Exburys: three 'Berryrose' and two 'Satan', and each morning I noticed some branches had been pruned. The cut ends were at about 45 degrees, almost like they were intentionally knifed by someone! After some on-line research, I found an IPM article that said rabbits prune plants in exactly that fashion.

So I went back to the Depot and replaced the worst 'Berryroses' with more $5 versions, and built a chicken-wire fence around this bed. So far, no more damage has occurred, and the damaged plants I left in the ground are sprouting some new leaf buds, but they have a long way to go before they look respectable.

By the way, a 'Klondyke' I planted last year is looking pretty healthy with lots of new leaves sprouting, but the flower buds are only now starting to swell at all. Have any other Great Lakes area folks found their deciduous azaleas to be extra-late this year?

A.J.


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RE: Rabbit ate my azaleas!

Thanks for your response A.J. So, it seems that this is quite a problem for those growing azaleas.

I noticed that the rabbit ate them all winter but come spring he didn't touch them. I guess this may be a combination of having more to eat come spring and having almost nothing left to eat of the azaleas!

I forgot to ask whether it would be a good idea to prune the really short brances that are dead now or to wait and just leave them as is. I am worried about setting them back any further since they have barely recovered.

A.J. - that's great that the wire fence you built is doing the trick. I will for sure protect mine this winter too.

Steph


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