P.' Lady Margarete'...Caterpillars... HELP!!

aveo5June 22, 2010

Ok. I know everyone love the orange butterflies that love to lay its eggs on the passion vines, the ones that have orange caterpillars with black tufts of 'fur/spines'? Sorry i cant spell the name of that butterfly. But its caterpillars are defoliating my vine. It isnt big enough to loose so much of its leaves. It HAD so many blooms when I planted it, only 2 months ago. It WAS growing like a weed, it was so pretty. Now it looks like it has been through a windstorm,the leaves look like Swiss cheese, no buds or blooms in sight, and it looks like it is barely growing.

The moment any new growth is on the vine, it is covered in tiny baby caterpillars. SO, it is either control these caterpillars, or pull up the vine.

I know most people are against pesticides, and say,'let the caterpillars eat the vine and turn into the pretty butterflies'. Well...there is almost no vine left!

So..can someone please tell me what CHEMICAL I can spray on the passion vine, I think this variety is fairly sturdy,not a very dainty one, what can I spray on it to control the caterpillars?

A FEW is ok..but hundreds of them is to much!

And 'Safers Soap' isn't cutting it. BT isnt working. I need to know if Malathion or some other chemical will work and not kill the vine in the process. I have tried to be 'ECO-friendly' to no avail, ...well now its time for the big guns.

PLEASE help. Once the vine is bigger and can handle SOME caterpillars, I will let it be a feeding site. BUT right now, it is on the edge of life or death. So, what can I use?

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Can you get an inexpensive incarnata or caerulea somewhere and transfer the cats to that? I hate to see them killed but do understand your concern. They will eat it to the ground. If I was close I'd take them but I'm too far for the cats to survive shipping.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 6:46AM
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Guess i go to Lowes and ask them what to use. I cant wait any longer. sorry guys. This Gulf Fritillary...(I found how to spell it)!, is all over my yard and it only lands on this passion flower. Its no Swallowtail or Monarch, I dont understand the 'passion' for this orange little butterfly. If it were a Swallowtail or Monarch, that I could understand, but it is so plain. If it were one of the others,I might let it stay,but I want this passion vine. The incarnata gets eaten even faster! My last one WAS destroyed to the ground, after searching for one for like 6 months last spring.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 8:37AM
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I think GF's are beautiful. Their host plant is the passion vine, all but the reds, save for Lady Margaret. Incarnata grows wild in many places and shouldn't be difficult to find. Did you try posting on the butterfly forum?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 10:10PM
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One thing you can do is wash the eggs off the leaves also. Then they won't hatch. Gulf Fritillarie's are in great abundance,and very much like the Lady Margaret. You might have to do it twice a day. I do that until the Zebra Longwing's show up. Then I let them eat it, but by then it's gotten rather large.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 7:33AM
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