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Magnolia leaves getting eaten- picture to help identify

Hi everyone,

New to the forum. I have a magnolia in the corner of my garden and it’s getting eaten all over the leaves. I have attached a picture to help identity. Can anyone let me know what it is?

thank you! 


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    That looks like snail damage (which are excellent climbers) although the irregular notches at the leaf edges could be adult vine weevil.  Small caterpillars are also a possibility.  All are mainly night feeders, so worth going out with a torch after dark and inspecting, especially the underside of the leaves.  Snails and caterpillars can just be picked-off and disposed of but if you find vine weevil then nematodes are an option which wouldn't involve digging it out and checking the roots for damaging vine weevil grubs.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thank you, I did go out at nighttime with a torch I couldn’t see anything underneath the leaves. I did see one slug so got rid of that. Are vine weevils big enough to see by eye? As I have no idea what they look like, I’ll have to google them. Thanks for your advice, how would you suggest getting rid of them if it is them? Thanks. 
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    The adults are hard to find unless actively feeding but if you google 'vine weevil nematodes' you will find one possible remedy.  Kill any adults you find (they are horrible looking things, about 1cm or so long.) 
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks Bob! They sound horrible!! Is it going to spread around the rest of my garden or do they just take a liking to certain plants? Luckily my magnolia is in one corner of my garden out the way of the other plants. Thanks for your help. 
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