Rhododendron Woes - Knowledgebase Question

providence, RI
Question by mcapp
May 9, 1999
Something is eating the leaves of my Rhododendron. Whatever it is, it does not seem interested in neighboring plants, including azaleas, tree peony, and wisteria. Any ideas about what it could be, and how I might control it?


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Answer from NGA
May 9, 1999

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Rhododendron are favorite hosts of root weevils. The adults hide in the soil during the day and crawl up the plant at night to feed on the leaves. They prefer the newest leaves, and generally take notches out of the margins of the leaves. The grubs (immature weevils) feed on the roots of the plants. If the rhodie leaves have notches in them, it's the work of root weevils. You can handpick them (go out with a flashlight at night), or put a sticky trap on the main stem of the rhodie to catch the insects as they try to climb up the plant. Tanglefoot is a product that's effective in trapping crawling insects. Be sure to read the label and follow all the precautions.

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