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Etoile Violette leaves missing

guttiesgutties Posts: 224
I bought an Etoile Violette during last winter; it has been going great guns, but recently I've noticed that the top leaves are disappearing (being eaten I assume):

You can see that the lower leaves are OK, it's just the top leaves that are missing. Any thoughts on what is causing this?


  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,363
    bit of a mystery , the new growth is more tender and more vulnerable to slugs. I have seen the odd bird peck at some plants. Have you got any closer pictures of the damage.
  • guttiesgutties Posts: 224
    Sorry @Perki, I don't have any closer images than this and it's pretty dark now.  I'll get a closer pic tomorrow.
    However, what I would say is that it looks like the entire leaf is gone, so that, combined with the fact that the lower leaves are OK, makes me think that it's not slugs.
  • guttiesgutties Posts: 224
    @Perki, Here is a closer pic as requested:

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,864
    It’s either slugs, tiny caterpillars or tiny snails or passers by. Slugs love the new soft shoots. Try looking at night with a torch you may catch a few. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • LTobyLToby Posts: 224
    Are there pheasants that visit your area? This bird like eating clematis leaves. My neighbour was so mad at the pheasant that visited her garden last Spring as her beautiful clematis that about to bloom were all eaten by the visitor. She saw the bird having a great time eating ... she had to go and chased him out of the garden
    Aberdeenshire, Scotland
  • guttiesgutties Posts: 224
    No pheasants that I've seen.

    I assume it's a bird of some sort as I think slugs would have done damage to the lower leaves, not just the ones at the very top.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,006
    Not clematis, but I have seen snails climbing and even abseiling from nearby plants to get to the juicy top shoots of dahlias, while leaving the older bottom leaves alone, Gutties, so maybe worth an investigatory torchlit night patrol!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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