My 2 witch hazel – mollis and virginiana – get a very large beetle – about 3/8″ to 1/2″ this time of year that eats the leaves. I’d like to find out what they are and if there’s anything aside from hand picking to get rid of them.
One of them, maybe va – presently has leaves that are turning brown, dry and leathery. Any ideas about what it is and what to do about it?
Don’t know about the beetle, but my witch hazel also had some dry, brown leaves in early summer. It was near a callicarpa that had the same. Took off the affected leaves and used that blue copper fungicide. Also cleared mulch and debris away from the base of the plants. Problem solved.
I did a bad thing. Hamamelis was neglected and parched for first winter in its container, yet managed to thrive when set at last into a hole (where an old crabapple had been). Lo, behold: lovely January/Feb show of maroon then yellow. But then because it was out of the way, because the summer here on Long Island got ridiculously hot, because I was neglectful, it died (9/28/10). Leaves browned in August.
Would any belated care foster regrowth? I’ll clean up mulch and debris around it, first thing. But what about cutting it back — way back (it reminds me of my vitex, that liked severe leveling)? Bad idea for a witch hazel?
I would wait until next spring to make any decisions on what to do. If you prune this time of year it may stimulate new growth which wouldn’t have sufficient time to harden off before winter. You may find that next year it buds out as if the drought never happened.
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.