Do Stick Insects Eat Hydrangea Leaves?
It’s a known fact that stick insects require a diet consisting of fresh leaves. However, choosing and finding the leaves to feed your bugs is a bit difficult. If you’re looking for Hydrangea leaves, this article is for you!
I’m going to talk about the origins of this exotic plant and where you can find it. We’ll also cover proper feeding and some alternatives for your stick insect’s diet. So, without further ado, let’s get right into it!
Where to Get Hydrangea Leaves for Your Stick Insects?
Hydrangea isn’t actually one specific plant, but a genus of over 75 species. Most Hydrangea species are native to eastern Asia, but there are also native American species such as Hydrangea arborescens (Smooth Hydrangea) or Hydrangea cinerea (Ashy Hydrangea).
They’re sturdy plants and they can grow in almost any location. But in the wild, you’ll often find them in shaded areas with plenty of moisture, such as in mesic forests, along streams, or in rocky areas. If you don’t live in Eastern Asia or North America, you won’t be able to find these plants in the wild.
However, don’t worry about it! Hydrangeas are such popular ornamental plants that you’ll have no trouble finding some for sale. They’re usually sold as patio ornaments or indoor plants. They grow very well in pots and home gardens.
You can find small Hydrangea shrubs for sale in most gardening stores as well as from online retailers. You might even have some neighbors who grow their own already, so don’t hesitate to ask around!
How to Feed Hydrangea Leaves to Your Stick Insects?
If you receive some Hydrangea sprigs from someone who grows them in their garden, be careful! Hydrangea are prone to leaf diseases and there are lots of insects that like feasting on them.
The leaves may have been treated with insecticides and other harsh chemicals. If that’s the case, they’re not safe for consumption for your bugs. Remember to ask your supplier about any plant treatments they use.
If you grow the leaves yourself, then this isn’t going to be an issue. Most Hydrangeas that are grown inside are also safe because they’re unlikely to be treated with insecticides. After you’ve established that the leaves are safe for consumption, feeding them to your stick insects is very simple.
Just place a few sprigs in a small water container. Spray the leaves with fresh water and put the container in your stick insect enclosure. Make sure that there’s no way for your insects to fall into the water. Cover the water with a mesh or use a narrow container. Then, just sit back and watch your bugs enjoy their delicious meal.
Can Stick Insects Only Eat Hydrangea Leaves?
Stick insects can eat almost any type of leaf, as long as it’s not toxic. That being said, they don’t necessarily require a varied diet. If you want, you can feed your bugs solely Hydrangea Leaves and they’ll be perfectly healthy.
However, if you want to diversify their diet, they certainly wouldn’t mind. And there are quite a few options to choose from. In theory, any fresh, pesticide-free, non-toxic plant leaf would do. But not all stick insect species like the same foods.
It’s going to take a bit of trial and error to discover your bugs’ favorites. That being said, some common recommendations work on most species. These are tried and true, so you’re guaranteed your insects will love them. So, let’s see, what are these leaves?
What Other Leaves Can Stick Insects Eat?
In no particular order, these are the most common plant leaves enjoyed by stick insects of most species:
- Blackberry leaves
- Bramble leaves (other than blackberry)
- Rose leaves
- Privet leaves
- Ivy leaves
- Eucalyptus leaves
- Oak leaves
- Hazel leaves
- Hawthorn leaves
If you can’t find any hydrangea leaves in your area and can’t grow your own, there are plenty of alternatives. Your bugs don’t require one special kind of leaves. Any of the above-mentioned plant species make great choices. You can even alternate between them, depending on their availability.
Hydrangea makes a nice and exotic addition to your stick insect’s diet. These plants are hard to find in the wild but very easy to grow at home. You can find Hydrangea shrubs for sale quite easily if you want to go that route.
However, you can also choose from a long list of alternatives. If you have no access to Hydrangea plants, your stick insects will enjoy bramble, rose, privet, ivy, and many other leaves just as much.