Bush suddenly losing lleaves

Asked July 11, 2017, 11:19 AM EDT

I have bushes for privacy around my patio. At the beginning of the summer they all had curled up new leaves. I clipped off the affected leaves and they looked fine now the end bush is half bare and a large swath of leaves left are brown and dried up. What could it be and how can I save the Rest?

Grand Traverse County Michigan

3 Responses

Would it be possible to upload a picture so we can look closely?

Here are 3 pictures the first two are the Bush you can see where the leaves are gone and then the area of brown dried leaves and then leaves stil on with shriveled up new growth. All the bushes had the curled up new growth at first. There were little flying bugs around the bushes. Flowers and hydrangea bush have something eating up the leaves and flowers too. Help what can I buy to spray or what do you recommend?

Thank you for sending the pictures. It's not clear that the two problems are related. Let's start with the Zinnias - the leaf damage could be the result of earwigs which feed at night. Below is more info about earwigs which you could look for at night when they are active and then determine the next course of action.

As for the shrub, you'll need to look at the shrub(s) closely to better determine the cause for the decline. Take a close look at the stems and leaves to see if there are any insects that you can see. Spider mites are sometimes a problem on this type of shrub so look closely to see if there is fine webbing. Shake the foliage over white paper and if there are any spider mites, you can usually see them as they drop onto the paper.
There are other insects that could be affecting this shrub which are included in the following article.

If there is no visible sign of insects on the leaves or stems, then cut off a stem close to a spot where the foliage is dying back and verify that there is no hole in the center of the stem (which would indicate a boring insect). Also, look closely at the base of the shrub to see if any of the bark had been chewed away by insects over the winter.
Depending upon what you find, you may need to prune back the shrub to below the damaged area which should stimulate new growth (sorry about the loss of privacy for a while). Make sure the plant stays healthy by giving it consistent water in periods of drought and monitor it for new growth. You may want to apply a fertilizer which will also help new growth.

Hope that helps!