What is eating my hydrangea leaves, is a worry as the bites are seen on the leaves, and garden keepers are interested to find out because no one likes their hard work of planting to vanish overnight.

What Is Eating My Hydrangea Leaves

If your hydrangea genus plants are attacked, you are reading the best article because we have prepared a list of the most common culprits as well as easy methods to keep your plants pest-free. Read this article for everything that you need to know about pests on hydrangea plants.

What Pests Are Eating Your Hydrangea Plants?

💥 Common hydrangea pests eating them are ones that you should watch out for including spider mites, white flies, gastropods, deer, scale insects, powdery mildew, beetles, caterpillars, and aphids. You would see little holes on them or patches of bites from the edges.

– Spider Mites

Spider mites are among the most common pests of hydrangea plants, as they eat hydrangeas; their leaves, and other parts of the plant as well. If you see the leaves turning pale and cannot find bite marks in the leaves, check the surface below for red dots covered in silk. Those red dots are spider mites enjoying the taste of the leaves.

Spider mites do not show their bite marks as they suck nutrients off your hydrangea leaves. However, What you would actually notice is that the plant is becoming weaker and the leaves will turn yellow or pale and slowly degenerate. Before you start treating your plants with spider mites, you first need to find all the leaves and branches with the pests.

– Beetles

Beetles such as rose chafers and Japanese beetles are major threats to your hydrangea plants as they prefer to live on the plants and constantly eat the leaves. They make circular bite marks on the leaves, especially around the edges. Some beetles also lay eggs on the plants and their larvae eat the leaves, flowers, petioles, and even roots of your hydrangea plants.

– Deer

You may love hydrangea plants because of their beautiful flowers, but deer love them because of their flowers, leaves, and other edible parts.

Deer eat hydrangeas, so you want to make sure that the plants are not growing in a spot where deer pass through or can visit at will. If you expose the plants to deer, you may not see any leaves when you check your plants in the morning.

Note that while deer can visit the plants at any time of the day, they are more likely to visit them at nighttime when they search for food. This means that you may not see them in action. However, you can tell that they are responsible for the loss of your hydrangea leaves when you see their waste close to the hydrangeas in addition to their bite mark.

– Powdery Mildew

Whenever you see spots colored white or gray in your hydrangea plant’s leaves, know that the plant has powdery mildew. This is a fungal pest that attacks your plants and feeds on them until the plants become weak and die. Before a plant dies, the fungi must have infected another plant, so you want to make sure that you treat the plant as soon as possible.

Pests are Eating the Leaves on My hydrangea

– Whiteflies

Turn your leaves to reveal their undersides. If you can see some little, moving white insects underneath the leaves, they are whiteflies. These insects feed on the leaves from the under, so you may not quickly notice them. However, they can make the plants sick and die, especially if there are so many of them.

– Caterpillars

The caterpillars would then turn either into butterflies or moths, and both are dangerous to your hydrangea plants. These caterpillars need to eat as many leaves as they can so that they can transform into adults.

While you may be taking pride in the beauty of your hydrangea plants, moths and butterflies may love the same plant because they have seen the perfect place to lay their eggs and feed on your leaves.

You would need to constantly monitor the hydrangeas and examine their leaves and flowers if there are caterpillars. If you can find one caterpillar on your hydrangea leaves, it means that there are surely more as they increase quickly. Note that caterpillars make bite marks with irregular shapes and sizes on the leaves and on the edges of the leaves, making them easier to spot.

– Aphids

Aphids are insects that occur in groups on the leaves of your hydrangea plants. While you may not see bite marks on the leaves, your plants will surely become weak and pale as aphids continue to suck the nutrient-filled sap from the leaves. Aphids can be green, orange, or black depending on the species.

– Scale Insects

Can you see clustered scale-like organisms on the petiole of your hydrangea leaves? They are scale insects and, like other pests, they eat your plant’s leaves by sucking the nutrient-filled saps. These insects are very dangerous, especially if they are quite a few, so you want to always examine your hydrangeas and remove them as soon as you see them.

– Gastropods

While you are struggling with the mammals and insects that attack your plants, you also need to check for snails and slugs as they do not just eat your hydrangea leaves, they can also destroy the beautiful flowers in a hasty manner. 

Just like some other pests, you may need to check the plants at night before you can see snails or slugs in action. Note that if you do not live near damp places, you do not need to worry about slugs.

Do slugs eat hydrangea leaves? Sure, these gastropods may be slow, but they quickly create holes in the leaves of your hydrangea plants, and these holes would be random bites on the surface. To know if they are the culprits of the holes in hydrangea leaves, check the plants early in the morning. You will either find them on the leaves or you will see their slime.


How To Protect Your Hydrangea Leaves from Being Eaten?

To protect hydrangea plants from garden pests you must isolate the plant, remove the pest with gloves, protect it from natural predators, make use of natural pesticides, kill the snails with beer traps, use natural insect repellent, and build a fence.

– Isolate Sick or Pest-Infected Plants

The first thing that you should do as soon as you see a hydrangea plant infested with pests such as spider mites and powdery mildew is to isolate it from other plants if you are growing them as potted plants. If they are growing in plain garden soil, you should treat it quickly so that the pests do not move to the next plant.

Prevent Leaves on Hydrangea To Be Eaten

When you have isolated your potted hydrangea, you can start removing the spider mites from the leaves and branches. For other similar pests, you may choose to prune off the branches with damaged leaves. Please ensure to sterilize the shears before you use them for healthy plants.

– Remove the Pests With Gloves On

If you find caterpillars, beetles, and other pests you can remove them with your hands because they are slow and easy to be removed. If you are afraid of the pest, you can wear a glove. However, note that most of these insects that eat your plant’s leaves will not hurt you in any way.

When you remove the pest, be sure to dispose of them so that they do not retain and stay near the plant to get closer and eat again. If you cannot kill them, take them to a faraway place, far from people’s houses or gardens, and leave them there, or else they will return to your hydrangea garden.

– Employ Natural Predators

One cool predator of spider mites and other little arthropods is the ladybug. Ladybugs are beautiful carnivorous insects that prey on smaller insects, so if you have a pest infestation in your hydrangea garden, you can introduce ladybugs as they would devour them and your leaves will be at peace. You can get these insects from some gardening stores or even order them online.

You can also make use of regular farm birds like ducks, pheasants, turkeys, and chickens to control your pest population. These birds will eat snails, insects, and insect larvae. They will also drop nutrient-rich or organic droppings for your plants. However, be sure to prevent them from scratching your hydrangea leaves at any cost.

– Make Use of Natural Pesticides

There are natural and homemade pesticides that you can use for your hydrangea plants. For example, you can extract the oil of neem seeds and use it, as this oil is very effective against insects. You can also get the oil from stores if you do not want to extract it by yourself.

You can sprinkle eggshells around the plants to repel slugs, as slugs do not like eggshells. Also, you can sprinkle pepper paste (pepper powder mixed with water) on the lower leaves of the hydrangeas to prevent rabbits and other similar mammals from eating them. Most of these homemade natural products are completely safe for your hydrangea plants, and won’t harm them in any way.

– Kill Snails and Slugs With Beer

A beer trap works like magic for trapping and killing snails and slugs. The pro of this trap is that it works and in no time, your garden will be free from these gastropods. However, the con is that you need to replace the attractant as well as dispose of dead snails regularly. If you are okay with it, make use of this trap.

Here’s how to stop slugs eating hydrangea leaves: You only need to go to a store to get any beer of your choice. Pour the beer into cups or bowls and then keep them around your gardens, especially near bushes and other places with snails. When you look at them in the morning, you should see the caught gastropods.

– Make Use of Insect Soaps

If most of the pests that you have seen so far around your hydrangeas are insects, you do not need to spend so much on repellents. You only need to go to your kitchen, get the soap that you use for dishwashing, mix it with water, and make use of this product to repel your hydrangea insect pests. This is effective for insects and insect larvae.

You only need to spray the water on the leaves during the day or in the evening, depending on how active the pests are, and soon they will be dead, and your plant will be safe. 

– Build a Fence

You should build a deer resistant fence in your garden so that the deer around your home will not have access to your hydrangea plants.

Get rid of pest infestation on Hydrangea Leaves

Unlike other pests, deer can eat your plant’s leaves completely, so their damage is severe. You do not need deer near the plants.

A fence is also effective to repel other mammalian pests like rabbits, groundhogs, and mice. You just need to adjust the size of the space in the fence to match the animal that you are keeping out of your garden.


How do I treat holes in Hydrangea Leaves naturally?

For natural treatment of holes in Hydrangea leaves, try a mixture of neem oil and water, or handpick and dispose of affected leaves.

Should I cut off Hydrangea Leaves with holes in them?

It’s advisable to cut off Hydrangea leaves with holes to prevent further damage and promote healthy growth.

What is stripping my Hydrangea Leaves?

Possible culprits for stripping Hydrangea leaves include pests like caterpillars or beetles. Inspect the plant for signs of infestation and take appropriate action.


Now that you know the popular pests that are eating hydrangeas, you can easily keep your plants safe.

Here are some useful reminders:

  • Watch out for whiteflies, fruit worms, beetles, and moth and butterfly caterpillars as these insect pests are very dangerous to hydrangea plants.
  • As soon as you see pests on your plants, you should try to isolate the plants with pests so that the pests do not attack others.
  • If you can, you should introduce ladybugs into your garden as the insect helps to reduce the spider mite population.
  • You want to check your hydrangea plants at night and during the day so that you can tell the exact pest that is attacking them.
  • Not all pests will cause bite marks, so you do not need to wait until you see holes in the leaves before you can tell whether your plants are attacked by pests or not. You can sometimes tell by seeing the leaves turning brown or yellow.

Now it is time to help your hydrangeas grow pest-free, first identify the one that is eating the leaves, and then you can take any of the actions.

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