chewed zinnia leaf

Asked May 27, 2020, 6:03 PM EDT

I have zinnias in pots on my balcony and they leaves are being chewed - as if a rabbit or deer might do. I just purchased the plants, and I don't see any insects (except for a few ants) What could be causing this? And what can I do to stop it?
Thanks for your help!

Montgomery County Pennsylvania

2 Responses

If a rabbit is eating the zinnia leaves, all large sections of the leaves are cut off, leaving only a stem. The angle of the cut is clean, not ragged. Droppings may be seen near the plant, and the damage happens suddenly and overnight.

If a deer is eating the leaves, they would be missing and the cut would be ragged. Again, droppings might be near the plant, and the damage occurs suddenly.

If your plant shows some of the above, the damage most likely is from a rabbit or deer.

Control will be difficult. I’ve included 2 websites with information on deer and rabbit-resistant plants.

extension.psu.edu/RabbitResistant Garden & Landscape Plants.

ecosystems.psu.edu

Insects, such as mites and aphids, can also cause damage to zinnia leaves. As long as there in not an infestation on the plant, a strong stream of water can get rid of them. The following website contains information concerning insects that you might find helpful.

Thank you for contacting us.

Sorry. Here’s the website: missouribotanicalgarden.org/Problems Common to Many Perennials and Annuals.