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2 year-old Choisya ternata

I am wondering whether to give up on this Choisya ternata.  It was bought 3 years ago and after the first year there was no growth and something was eating the leaves.  Dug it up a few days ago and there is hardly anything left of the roots at all.  Also the leaves look as if they are being eaten but I haven't seen anything 'living' on it at all.  Had decided to throw it in the garden collection bin but wanted to try again.  Have now removed it from the garden and put into a pot - but even more holes are now appearing in the leaves.  But - it looks like a few new leaves on top are coming out.  It has not grown at all compared to the other Choisya I bought at the same time which is now about 3 foot high - doesn't flower though.  Does anyone think I am fighting a losing battle with the one on the photo or give me any advice?  Would be really grateful.  Thank you.




  • could it be vine weevil>adults eating the leaves and the grubs eating the roots?i treated some of my shrubs and plants with a systemic vine weevil killer and my problem seemed cured, plants recovered well, it needs to be done every so often and kill any adults you find..they particularly like plants in pots

  • Amy0824Amy0824 Posts: 20

    pls don't give up...

  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 782

    rosie plum and Amy0824.  Thanks so much for responding.  I don't want to give it up Amy so will take rosie plum's advice.  I suspect it must be vine weevil and take the point about the pots.  There seemed to be no evidence of anything around the remains of the roots when I replanted it into the pot but I'm sure those nasty weevil's seek out what they want very easily.  I've also moved it from the back garden to the front hoping a different environment with little in the surrounding soil would work.  I will get some 'vine weevil killer' and see what happens over the next few months. 

    Many thanks.

  • great stuff, i found no real evidence either..iv rarely seen the grbs and i suspect that a lot of the vine weevil ive accidently imported from garden centres where the pots have been lying around...the yellow balls in the compost can be the eggs a lot of the time, not slow release fertiliser, if you squash them and they crack like an egg leaving a shell then they are the eggs, but the killer which you simple dilute and water on is great, it may seem a wee bit expensive but what you potentially lose on infested plants makes it well wothwhle...good luck!!!

  • As Rosie says, the killer, a predatory nematode, works really well on vine weevils.

    Emma team.

  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 782

    Many thanks rosie plum and Emma.  I'm sure investing in vine weevil killer will be a worthwhile spend.  Rosie - I have fallen for the yellow balls not being slow release fertiliser before and will attempt to be vigilant with what I spot, particularly in pots.  I've been digging up the area where the failing Choisya was and have sadly noticed that not a single tulip has come up this year and that other plants in the same bed are failing.   I'm thinking it might be worthwhile putting in a few hours digging up the soil and probably removing a lot of it.  (It's a very small garden and this slim section of a side border is only about 8 foot long  x 2 foot wide).  However, last autumn I had dug-in manure and in Feb this year I added leafmould.  The soil mix looks lovely and dark and is fairly light textured after thorough digging.  But with an overall small-sized garden I don't want to lose this area of it if there's an infestation in the soil.  I can't see anything obvious in there which is working away but will be contemplating what to do over the next week or so.  Thanks so much for giving advice.  This is only my third year gardening and it's a steep but joyful learning curve!

  • try watering the vine weevil potion onto any plants already there, as removing the soil now is not likely to help much, rather like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted, in my own experience any plants not too badly eaten were all fine after persevere but get it down quickly as iv spotted adult weevil in my garden already, i found mature plants to be largely unaffected by the weevil, and there are plenty of other critters, quite often a combination of them attacking our plants!!!let us know how you get on wont you??

  • A note of caution - the soil temperature should be above 5 degrees centigrade when using these nematodes, it's not worth doing it in low temperatures as it won't work and will be a waste.

    Emma team

  • BorassusBorassus Posts: 16

    Hi yarrow2,

    The leaf damage doesn't look like vine weevil, as these bugs tend to chew into the leaf from the edge, rather than making holes. This is not to say that there aren't weevil larvae in the soil. Your plant doesn't look particularly robust and I suspect that it hasn't been growing in ideal conditions, making it much more susceptible to pests. Look out for caterpillars and slugs on those new shoots and put the plant in a warm, sunny spot and hopefully, it will produce some healthy new growth.

  • Hello Borassus,

    It's the damage to the roots that points to vine weevil, not caused by the adults, although I agree that the leaf damage could be in another category!

    Emma team

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