Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What is eating my angel's trumpet leaves?

Q. Something has been eating the leaves of my angel's trumpet plant, but I don't know what. Do you have any idea what it might be? How can I treat it?

A. More than likely your Brugmansia is being eaten by cabbage worms of some sort. They can be hard to find because they are green like the leaves they eat. Furthermore, they often go into hiding during the day. Wait until after sundown, then look for them with a flashlight on the undersides of leaves.

There are three ways you can deal with them. If you can find them, pick them off by hand and drop them in a bucket of soapy water. If you can't find them, apply Bacillus thuringiensis (aka BT) to the entire plant, especially to the undersides of leaves. You'll have to re-apply after rain or overhead irrigation. If all else fails, treat with pyrethroid insecticide. Always follow label instructions when applying pesticides.

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