The Q&A Archives: Rose of Sharon dieing

Question: I have about 13 Rose of Sharon bushes in my back yard and they are all over 6ft tall. Two years ago I noticed one did not get as full as the others and had little green on it. Then next spring it was dead I was able to just pull it up with little trouble and the roots were gone. It looked like ants all in the soil that I pulled it up from. This year a simular thing is happeining to the bush that is next to the one that I pulled up. I have tried some fungiside spray that is for insects and fungus but I don't feel like it did anything. I really want to save these bushes. Please help. Thank you.

Answer: Based on your description of missing roots, I would first suspect voles have eaten the roots during the winter. However, since you are also seeing a quantity of ants, this may be an unusual case of root aphids attacking the roots of the shrubs. Root aphids are hard to control because they are protected from sprays by being underground. I would suggest you contact your local county extension to see if they can give you a more specific diagnosis, and then based on knowing that, decide what to do. If a chemical control is needed, they will have the most up to date information on what to use and how/when is best to use it for maximum results.

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