passiflora caerulea (blue passion flower) eaten alive

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by monica buruato, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. monica buruato

    monica buruato Member

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    I have a passiflora caerulea that grew from another that was divided. I also made two from that one. They grew really fast in a short time and already have large beautiful flowers. My question is can I and should I try to get rid of all the caterpillars eating my vine alive? They munch on it till the point of no more plant is left. It grows back but hate looking at it all chewed up!
    Please help if possible!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Hand picking or pesticide (including organic). Garden center will have recommendations.
     
  3. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I had this problem with copper-coloured caterpillars on passiflora. At first I left them because I assumed they would mean lovely butterflies (passiflora is a host plant for butterflies). They ate so much that after a few years the plants were weakened and did not come back as vigorously in the spring. I think you have to make sure that the vines keep enough foliage to make food for themselves.

    I picked the buggers off to get rid of them without chemicals. That can turn into quite a task.
     
  4. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    insecticidal soap

    Some of the effect of insecticidal soap is said to be by suffocation. Would ordinary dish soap have a similar effect? What about an emulsion of oil (vegetable of course) and soap? Any bad news here for the plant?
    Ralph
     
  5. lorij

    lorij Member

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    Ralph, Don't use dish soap. It is to astringent and can burn the leaves. Spend the extra couple bucks for insecticidal soap. There is a difference in the size of fatty-acid chain which make a big different to the plant.
    Monica,You may want to try BTK which is a biological insecticide if your plant to too big or lush for handpicking. BTK is a bacteria that only affects caterpillars...just be sure that their caterpillars (sawfly larva is easily confused).
    Good Luck
     
  6. freida95

    freida95 Member

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    I arrived at this forum while searching to ensure that passiflora caerulea is a good host plant for the passionvine butterflies. I can't believe that people are recommending killing the caterpillers. I thought the reason people grew passionvine was to attract butterflies. That's the reason I bought passiflora incense. If you don't want to encourage the proliferation of butterflies, grow a red passionvine or a similar one that will not sustain the caterpillers. Please don't harm the butterflies.
     
  7. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    People grow plants for various reasons. Maybe they want the fruit from it, the fruits vary in quality from plant to plant. The if the caterpillars are going to destroy the plant is it beneficial to keep them?
     
  8. malcolm197

    malcolm197 Active Member

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    Carol

    Perhaps the answer is to remove sufficient caterpillers to ensure the survival of the plant but leave a few for the beauty of the butterflies which ensue. In any case most action however thorough is rarely 100% succesful.

    I have problems with sawfly larva on my Polygonatum ( Solomons Seal ) and I just let them get on with it - as by the time they have eaten all the leaves it is almost finished anyway. Also by letting them feed on this plant they tend to leave everything else alone. Many plant-specific pests will find an alternative host if their preferred food is not available.

    Malcolm
     

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