worms in monarda

capecodder(z6 MA)July 4, 2010


Both my Jacob Kline and Raspberry Wine mondarda, both blooming beautifully, have some kind of white worm in the flowers. It isn't in every flower, thank goodness. I don't spray, so have been killing them right on the flower. Any idea what this is? Thanks.

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Any chance of a photo? It's most certainly not a worm, but a caterpillar, and, if it's not doing a lot of damage, it might even be something you would not want to kill.

People plant butterfly gardens all the time, and then go around massacring the caterpillars that would have turned into butterflies. Go figure!

If a photo is out of the realm of possibility, can you give us a more detailed description - length, width, skin texture, any markings.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 2:56PM
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capecodder(z6 MA)

About 1/2 inch long, white. I really try not to slaughter the caterpillars, but am suspicious about this one!They are in the flowers, not eating the leaves.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 8:09PM
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capecodder(z6 MA)

I read on the Perennials forum that they are horsemint caterpillars. Not desirable, I think. On the topic of caterpillars, this year I was delighted to find monarch cats on the fennel I planted years ago for their enjoyment.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:24AM
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capecodder(z6 MA)

Meant to write they are about 1/2 inch long or less, white and skinny. If I could figure out how to post a pic from my iPad, I would!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:25AM
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ctlady_gw(z6 CT)

I suspect capecodder's fennel-loving caterpillars are black or anise swallowtails, not monarchs. I believe monarch caterpillars will ONLY eat milkweed (in fact, can only survive on milkweed), whereas the very, VERY similar looking black swallowtail caterpillars will eat fennel, dill, parsley, Queen AnneâÂÂs lace, and parsnips. Both are wonderful to have, but unless you have milkweed, you will not have monarchs.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:34AM
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capecodder(z6 MA)

Thank you, CT lady. I think you are right. I do have milkweed right next to the fennel but I don't think I've ever had any monarch cats. I'm happy to have swallowtails too.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 4:34PM
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