Real World Gardener Common Container Plant Problems on Plant Doctor

June 28th, 2015

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).


with Steve Falcioni, General Manager

How many pot plants do you have in the garden?

Are you always saying, ‘I’ve got to get rid of all those pot plants, I’ve got too many?”

1-1ststeps.jpgPerhaps you’ve only got a couple of pot plants.

Either way, there’ll be a time when your plant in your pot starts to look unwell.

You plants could have anything from yellowing leaves, to semi-circular holes taken out the leaves.

So what can you do about this

problem and how can you be sure you’re treating the right problem?



irstly, those semi-circular holes taken out of leaves, mainly rose leaves, are caused by a native bee called the leaf cutter bee.

Leaf cutter bees are solitary native bees that nest inside cavities and build their egg cells with pieces of leaves.

They build multiple egg chambers per nest hole and in every one of them they lay an egg with a little bit of pollen, nectar and saliva so that the larvae can grow and develop.


leaf cutter bee photo. theangryblender

Before you get cranky at these bees taking the clean circular bites out of your plants’ leaves, did you know that the leaf cutter bee are very important pollinators of crops like clover, alfalfa, fruits, some vegetables — such as onions and carrots — and wildflowers?


How can you recognize leaf cutter bees?

These bees look like your regular honey bee and to the untrained eye they might be mistaken for one.

But here is the tip: while honey bees carry pollen in their corbicula (special structures in the tibia of the hind leg), leaf cutter bees carry the pollen that they collect on their scopa (elongated hairs on the abdomen).

Also, many times you will see these bees carrying parts of leaves back to their nest and honey bees don’t do this at all.

If you have any questions about problems with your plants in pots, why not write in to or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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