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What is happening to my....Sunflowers?

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What is happening to my....Sunflowers?

Post  Cropper2 on 6/3/2010, 8:29 pm

I just started noticing the holes the day before yesterday. I sprayed with Neem oil yesterday evening.





Then there is this newer one that isn't looking at all well.




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Re: What is happening to my....Sunflowers?

Post  camprn on 6/3/2010, 8:52 pm

The top photo plant looks good but for some suspected slug damage. the bottom I would say, pull it and plant 2 more.
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Re: What is happening to my....Sunflowers?

Post  chocolatepop on 6/3/2010, 9:15 pm

I was thinking slugs also
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Birds?

Post  Mom2Four on 6/3/2010, 9:23 pm

My large leaves look just like yours and I've been wondering too! This morning as I knelt by my SFG bed tying a tomato to the trillis I discovered the answer: A Lesser Goldfinch! I have never seen this bird here before. It is BEAUTIFUL bright yellow on the breast and black on the back. Anyway, it sat on the large leaves and ate them right in front of me (2 feet away).

Turns out goldfinches not only love sunflower seeds they love the leaves!

Yours may not be the same bird but since the damage looks identical it may be some species of sunflower leaf-loving bird.

I decided to share. The bird was gorgeous.

Ellen
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Re: What is happening to my....Sunflowers?

Post  camprn on 6/3/2010, 9:46 pm

WOW Ellen, Thats pretty cool! guess you need some bird netting.😢
I love goldfinches. Very Happy
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Re: What is happening to my....Sunflowers?

Post  Cropper2 on 6/4/2010, 7:54 am

Aha!

On the porch just above this SFG is a FINCH FEEDER heavily populated by Gold Finches. Sheesh! I created the problem. I suppose I could put netting over them like I do the blueberry bushes. Do you know if the birds attacking the leaves affects the flower's ability to grow?

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Re: What is happening to my....Sunflowers?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 6/4/2010, 9:23 am

@Cropper2 wrote:Aha!

On the porch just above this SFG is a FINCH FEEDER heavily populated by Gold Finches. Sheesh! I created the problem. I suppose I could put netting over them like I do the blueberry bushes. Do you know if the birds attacking the leaves affects the flower's ability to grow?

Only if they eat too much. I have 7 sunflowers in a narrow bed along a wall and something attacked them -- I thought grasshoppers, but is probably birds as I've seen some finches around. One was stripped down to the stem. It is coming back from the base, but I doubt it will ever get as large as the others and probably won't flower. All the others look pretty much like yours -- only a few holes in several leaves on each plant, so I'm letting them be. Interestingly, the finches don't seem interested in the myrial of wild sunflower growing all over this place, just the specially planted mammoth ones. Go figure!

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Re: What is happening to my....Sunflowers?

Post  Cropper2 on 6/4/2010, 10:14 am

Yeah! They only want the ones that cost you money! Smart birds.

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