American Cranberry Bush - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago, Il
Question by crsinnerspac
June 11, 2010
I purchased a beautiful, full American Cranberry from Home Depot and planted it during our late March warm spell. It is losing alot of it's interior foliage. Sometimes it appears to be cut off and I find it on the ground. The plant receives 1-2 hours of sun daily. I mulched it very well. I have slugs in the garden, have not seen any on bush. Fertilized with an all purpose granule fertilizer.

Answer from NGA
June 11, 2010


American Cranberry Bush is quite adaptable to most garden conditions and is relatively pest free so I'm not quite sure what might be happening with yours. If you planted it in March it has had plenty of time to establish its root system so transplant stress probably is not the cause. I wonder, though, if leaf cutter bees or other flying insects are actually cutting off the leaves? If the shed leaves look whole and intact, they may be being naturally dropped from the shrub. If they look as though they've been cut off, some insects are at work. Try going out at night with a flashlight to see if you can find anything feeding on the foliage. I'd rule out slugs and snails. They won't usually climb up a shrub - unless there's nothing else in the garden to eat. The most important thing is that your cranberry bush is putting out new growth and is flowering as it should. If so, the foliage drop probably isn't anything to worry about. Hope you figure out what's going on with it, though. It's very curious!!

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