What's eating my pansies?

jamiecrouseFebruary 21, 2009

Shortly after getting my pansies in ground, they almost immediately began dying, looking like they had been trampled by some animal. Upon inspecting, they were covered with tiny black insects, almost like a black aphid, if such exists, and they would eat the stem right at the base so the whole plant just keeled over. I sprayed some insecticide, and I thing I salvaged a few. But what are they, and is there an organic option? I don't like poisons, but the organic sprays haven't done a thing for the mealy bugs that love my hibiscus.

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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

Sounds like cutworms but the "black insects" terms you used make be wonder.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 2:15PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I just noticed teeny tiny black aphids on a little yellow blooming succulent so those may be your black insects. A spray of neem oil will take care of the little suckers. A solution of soapy water will also.

The cut worms are a little harder to manage as they come out at night from under the soil. Look at the base of the wilted pansy stem and if cutworms did the damage you should be able to see where they have chewed it off. I've not had a problem with them so can't suggest a solution, but found the below information on the internet.

Happy gardening, aphids, cutworms, and all!

Here is a link that might be useful: Controlling cut worms ...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 3:09PM
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