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As a new gardener I planted some new plants in an east facing raised bed folling the instructions and all of them began to thrive. About a month agao I noticed next doors cat peeing next to two of these - an acer shirasawanum ( approx 1 metre in height) and a pieris japonica katsura ( evergreen ) (50cm x 50cm). At the time I thought nothing of it as I didn't think cats harmed plants but now the internet tells me that they can. We have returned from our 2 week holiday and the little acer is now all brown shrivelled leaves and the pieris is drooping badly and has clumps of brown dead leaves on it. Are they gonners or will they come back. Could it be the cat, coincidence or the recent hot weather. Please help.
Could be either, Picksy. Male cats will often leave scent by spraying prominent plants. I would make sure you keep them regularly watered for the rest of the year and hope they recover. The acer sounds as though it dried-out though and may not recover, unfortunately.
Cats can damage shrubs and trees by scratching their bark and letting in infections. Can you see anything like that?
Sounds more like lack of water to me. If they were newly planted, the weather was hot and you were away for 2 weeks it all adds up. You can't leave new young plants that long in hot weather without water.
Thanks to everyone for your help. I have bought a sonic device for the wall near the bed which will hopefully keep any future cat visits at bay. It sends a signal when they are near and they will go away.. Don't really mind cats but I just want to see the bed of plants blossom. I cant see any scratching on the bark. I will also make sure they are well watered. Bizarrely a jasmine and honeysuckly nearby in the same bed are growing like wildfire and they were planted at the same time. I have visited the garden centre and they said sprinkle some lime on the soil as an alkaline as there is acid in cat pee and it will counteract it but pieris don't like lime so I'm reluctant. Will just make sure they are well watered.....Its hard work this gardening!!