What eats Lobelia cardinalis greens?

learn2turn(6)February 21, 2012

Last year something really munched on my Lobelia cardinalis. Much of it survived but it sure did get a knocked back. I'm curious what it was.

I live next to wetland and woods. There are overpopulated deer but I've read L. cardinalis is deer resistant. But, deer will eat plants they are not supposed to when hungry. There are also plenty of muskrat in the wetlands as well as the usual assortment of eastern woodland critters like coons, squirrels, etc.

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Unless it looked like a critter chewed it, bugs would always be my first guess. Any pictures?


    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 9:19AM
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Cabbage Loopers can strip a plant quickly, and they blend with the leaves very well, making them hard to spot.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 8:26PM
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Would insects eat down the stems too? The plants I had that were munch had the leaves, veins, and stems gone is if a critter gnawed it from the top down.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 8:49PM
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Both woodchucks and rabbits have bit plants off near the base here to eat the plant on the spot or drag it off with them to eat elsewhere. Of course sometimes they decide after biting off the plant that they really don't want to eat it. The rabbits did that with my gas plants. Left the nipped off plant carcases for me to find.

You'll need to watch or examine your plants more closely to determine exact causes. You can protect them with barriers of some sort to discourage the non-insect pests. Insect pests need hand-plucking and squashing (what I do) or some sort of insecticide.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 9:57AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Japanese Beetles ate my cardinal flowers to the ground last year. They also ate all my jewelweed too. After they ate everything in my rain garden, they moved over to the milkweed flowers and the roses.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 9:37AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Snails ate mine.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 12:58PM
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