Answer: It sounds like cutworms. Known for "felling" plants, they will also eat leaves and flowers. They are usually about 1/2 inch long and grayish. They don't move far and you can usually find them by digging around in the soil at the base of the plant with your finger to a depth of about 1 inch. (Protective collars should also be at least one inch deep.) Another way to trap the culprits is to lay something around the plants, such as boards. The cutworms will hide under the boards during the day and you can squish them. It's hard to say if the plants will survive, but if there is some new, fresh growth it's worth the try. Good luck!
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