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May 7, 2020 6:21 PM CST
Victoria
Hi garden lovers

Two days ago I planted two very young convolvulus into planters on my fence.
I woke up this morning to discover that possums had eaten all the leaves off them.

Should I cut back the little branches or leave alone?

I'm so gutted about this, do any of you have any tips for keeping possums away?

Thanks a lot

Susie
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Avatar for SoulReaver009
May 7, 2020 7:16 PM CST
Milpitas, CA
Are you sure it was possums?

Just leave it. The half eaten leaves will trigger the plant to grow more, more vigorously.

I don't know of anything, besides some kind of chicken wire.

I wouldn't recommend spraying the plant with anything.

Maybe someone can give you ideas...
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May 7, 2020 7:23 PM CST
Victoria
Thanks @SoulReaver009
I am fairly certain it was possums as it happened over night and a family of possums live in two olive trees on either side of the fence. They run up and down it at night and I inadvertently gave them a little snack stop along the way Rolling my eyes.
I definitely dont want to do anything to hurt the possums so any other options would be good Smiling
Avatar for SoulReaver009
May 7, 2020 7:31 PM CST
Milpitas, CA
I would say to scare them, it worked with my squirrels, but then I thought about... it might not be a good idea to scare the possums.

I cornered a squirrel and made it run past me... i sacred it good. I feel bad, but it was eating my plants. And I didn't hurt it. Haven't seen it since. And my plants are growing!

Maybe get a nighttime light. Or motion sensor. Doesn't have to be bright. Can be a solar powered (not extreme) light. And put it shining on the plants. Possums like the dark. And feel exposed in light. Maybe that would deter them.
Avatar for WAMcCormick
May 7, 2020 7:40 PM CST
Bryan, TX
I have not known of possums eating plants, but they are crazy about fruit. My impression of them is that they are dumb. I really don't know how they survive in the wild with predators.
If it takes a long time to grow, remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.
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May 7, 2020 7:44 PM CST
Victoria
@SoulReaver009 a light is a good idea!
I might see if I can source a few solar ones. That might at least deter them from coming down the fence and near my potted plants!
Thanks Smiling
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May 7, 2020 7:47 PM CST
Victoria
@WAMcCormick I believe it is owls that are their natural predators. Since society has cut down so many trees that owls live in its meant the possum population has grown without check really. Cats will also go for them but a lot of Aussie suburbs now have an indoor only cat policy!
I actually like the little critters but sad my plants have been their latest snack
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May 8, 2020 2:07 AM CST
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Australian possums are entirely different from the ones here, they are actually cute. Ours look like giant rats.
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May 8, 2020 2:25 AM CST
Victoria
@Calif_Sue I've never seen an American possum!
I love the Australian ones, they are very sweet looking (but I am a huge animal lover).
A lost baby one latched onto my dogs belly fur and rode around like it was her mom!
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Avatar for Shailsusi
Oct 22, 2020 6:12 AM CST

Misssueky said:Hi, did you find who the culprit was because I had the exact same problem yesterday. I put some convolvulus in a vertical garden pot on a fence yesterday and today quite a few leaves were missing completely. Definitely not an insect or snail. Would be interested to know if you solved the mystery and the solution as well.



Thanks

Shailsusi
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Oct 22, 2020 7:02 AM CST
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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American possums eat mainly dead things, although they will eat fruit and love dog and cat food that is left out. I'm sorry to say that a motion light will not prevent them from coming around. I have personal experience with this.
The plants could have been eaten by rabbits, they do eat plants, and at night.
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