Have you ever noticed circular areas missing from your leaves? If so, you aren’t alone. The other day I noticed several of my plants with neat semi-circular sections missing. But, was I worried? Nope, and I’ll tell you why in my latest garden video.

Has this happened in your garden? What plants were affected?

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

7 replies
  1. michele
    michele says:

    They practically defoliate our rose bushes & Our peach tree , cherry tree & Almost everything else in our yard . . We get extremely frustrated with the damage these little critters create . In our Arizona sun the plants need to keep their leaves to prevent sun damage .

  2. kate
    kate says:

    Yes! I just noticed some of these circular holes on our pomegranate! I first thought … grasshoppers!, glad to hear it’s the friendly leaf cutter bee.

  3. Sandy
    Sandy says:

    I haven’t noticed any holes in the leaves yet, but thanks. Regarding your ‘Essentials for the Garden’ below, I love Safer Brand products & have been using them for at least ten years. My husband complains “they take longer to kill the bugs.” I don’t care, I know we the birds and other living things are “Safe” from poisons. Another absolute favorite are the Felco pruners, actually my Felco Hand-Saw sees a lot of action, too. I’d have to look, but I think I have either a 2 or 11, it’s made for a smaller hand. We also have the one with the rotating handle, fits a man’s hand.

  4. Emily
    Emily says:

    As someone who keeps honeybees and is an avid gardener, I am always more than delighted when I start seeing the tell-tale circular cuts of the leaf-cutter bees in Spring. They do especially love my roses, which I’m more than happy to share with them – I have plenty – my husband thinks maybe too many! I just had a friend who is a little “gardening-challenged” call me yesterday in a panic about the “damage” that leaf-cutters were doing to her newly acquired roses. I laughed and told her not to worry – I will have to send her a link to your video as well.

    I don’t think that most people know that honeybees are the only “social” species of bee, with every other type (leaf-cutter, sweat bee, carpenter bee, bumblebee, etc.) being “solitary” bees, usually nesting and caring for their young on their own, or sometimes with 1 or 2 other bees of their species. As a result, solitary bees are highly unlikely to sting a person, because it means death and the end of their progeny. They also need all of the help that we humans can give them. Which is what I tell D H every time a new rose bush arrives!


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