General Discussion:

naked columbines


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
26-Jun-02 12:08 AM EST
Susan26-Jun-02 07:15 AM EST 6a   
Mort26-Jun-02 02:42 PM EST 3b   
Susan26-Jun-02 02:58 PM EST 6a   


Subject: naked columbines
From:
Date: 26-Jun-02 12:08 AM EST

I read the previous messages about columbines, but I am not sure they are leaf miners.My plants have the leaves stipped clean. I could not see any bugs or worms on them. Do I need to look at a certain time of day? I have several columbines in a bed. Will they just move from one to another and then start over again? Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Subject: RE: naked columbines
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 26-Jun-02 07:15 AM EST

The most likely culprit is the larvae of Columbine Skipper butterflies. Apparently they are particularly abundant this year. The larvae are small (about 3/4" long at maturity), green caterpillers with black heads. When not eating the leaves, they roll leaves aound themselves so look for rolled leaves. They should be turning into butterflies soon and the columbines will usually recover. So, if you like small, dusky butterfies in your garden, hold off on insecticides and have patience...


Subject: RE: naked columbines
From: Mort
Zone: 3b
Date: 26-Jun-02 02:42 PM EST

Hi Susan & , I have had great success getting rid of the caterpillars/worms and saving my columbines using a mixture of detergent & water. Two tablespoons of detergent to a regular size spray/misting bottle. Shake it up and carefully spray away!! It may take a couple sprayings but it definately kills the worms. I understand the detergent coats and suffocates them. It is amazing how quickly they can decimate a columbine!!! Good luck and good spraying!!


Subject: RE: naked columbines
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 26-Jun-02 02:58 PM EST

We're into parallel threads here, I think...

Mort - I obviously wasn't very clear... I never spray or kill the caterpillars because I want the butterflies and am willing to pay the price of some temporarily chewed-up columbines! You don't get butterflies unless you tolerate the caterpillars...


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