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 author, horticulturist, 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."
8 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!

  5. MJ
    MJ says:

    I’m with you – they are killing my trees and nothing is working to stop them. The cuts leave the leaf exposed to the heat and sun, so it dies and falls off leaving no protection – two days is all it took to have 10 trees without a leaf left.

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