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Ilex Crenata defoliating

i planted a hedge of bare root ilex crenata last February. The foliage yellowed over the year and a lot (but not all) of the plants are now quite defoliated. There are also caterpillars “nested?” In some of the plants. Pics below show an example of a defoliated plant, a cocoon and one of the caterpillars. I don’t know if the caterpillars are related to the plants issues. 
They’re planted in full sun/semi shade in a damp but reasonably well draining site. I don’t know the soil ph but I think it’s close to neutral. 
Would any one have any idea what’s going on?


  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 4,968
    Ilex create needs much more water than box hedging.  I would guess the caterpillars are a big issue.  If they are active now I would spray with a contact spray such as Provado. If not wait till they are active then spray. 
    AB Still learning

  • thanks Allotment boy - I would think they’ve had plenty of water, can ilex tolerate fairly wet conditions? There’s a bit of moss in the lawn adjoining the hedge so it might be wetter than I think. 
    Caterpillars don’t seem to be active yet - haven’t seen any outside the cocoons
    would the yellowing foliage indicate a nutrient deficiency ?
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 1,698
    Does anyone know what the caterpillars are of, I wondered if they are the box blight moth but they have black heads?
    I have 2 ilex crenata in pots that have slightly yellowing leaves and suspect a nutrient or mineral deficiency so advice is needed for me too, please.
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