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Hornworms chewing your tomatoes? Try this..

Posted by dottie_in_charlotte z7-8 NC (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 31, 10 at 15:43

Datura..
In my back yard, one side of the sidewalk is tomatoes,doing fine. Heirlooms came up by themselves as did the grapes and cherries.
On the other side of the walk the daturas came up by themselves along with sproutings of that So. American tobacco plant I tried last year.
The dats are huge. Too many candles to count and at least 30 blooms after each rainfall. Handsome shrubby sized plants and the leaves are the exact same color as the hawkmoth larvae. It grows and grows and doesn't seem to mind the pruning by the larvae.

Not a one on the tomato plants.

Datura blooms (the ordinary type) pop open(unfurl) in the early evening and stay open til around 10 AM..like moonflowers.
Very fragrant after watering with rain, less fragrant when there is drought.
Related to brugsmansia it has similar growth habit but branches sooner and more frequently and the flowers bloom upwards where brugs bloom headed down.
There are lots of dats varieties in varying colors and doubles but the plain old white is easiest to grow and dropped seeds are persistently viable in the soil for at least three years.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hornworms chewing your tomatoes? Try this..

Here's a picture to go with Dottie's story:
datura
When I took this un-retouched photo, my digital had gone from inside my air conditioned house to outside's very humid air. I believe that's why i got such a neat "halo" around the flower.
Here's the fully opened version. The fragrance is exquisite.
Just opened Datura blossom


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RE: Hornworms chewing your tomatoes? Try this..

What a lovely addition, thank you!
I've let the hornworms eat to their hearts content and the dats merely resprout new leaves.
The largest two hornworms have dropped off to pupate in the soil (somewhere) and emerge in the moth form in a few weeks.


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