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What is eating my lily buds?

Posted by Bearswife11 2b (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 28, 11 at 19:42

Hi everyone,
I am new here and I did search the forums for an answer to my question.
This is the second year that something has been eating my lily buds. Mostly just the buds before they open. What ever it is will eat its way inside of the bud and devour it. They are leaving behind black and orange poop - which is very tiny.
I presume it is some sort of a bug, but have never seen a red lily beetle or any foamy bits or slime - so I doubt it is that.
In fact I have never seen any bug or caterpillar on them ever. Well, I did see a ladybug nymph today but that isn't doing this! ;)
I really am stumped!
I am going to imbed some pics (attempt it anyway!) of the damage and the poop!

TIA, Holly (aka Bearswife)

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What is eating my lily buds?

I checked them again early this AM and didn't see any bugs. I also put out a slug trap and got nothing.

Can anyone help me out? I'd really appreciate it.


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RE: What is eating my lily buds?

Hi there.

I had the same thing last year and I was unable to determine what it was. Someone suggested some type of wormy thing coming from the soil.

If it makes you feel any better, I don't have them this year, at least not yet, and I have about 130 buds on 11 stems, so it doesn't appear to have done any permanent damage.

Please post here if you ever find out what it is.

Maybe someone on this forum will still identify it.


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RE: What is eating my lily buds?

The type of damage and the droppings point to an insect larva and not a slug or a snail (snails tend to graze across a leaf or bud, leaving holes surrounded by undamaged leaf). Since you haven't found any caterpillars it's probably a sawfly larva or something similar. These look like caterpillars, but hide in the soil near the plant during the day. If you go out with a flashlight just after it gets dark you should be able to spot them. If there aren't too many you can handpick them & dispose of them, otherwise I'd suggest a systemic insecticide (and perhaps a preventative spray early next season before the damage gets done).


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RE: What is eating my lily buds?

To kill insects on my lilies, hollyhocks and roses, I made a non-toxic insecticide:
1 head of garlic pureed
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of a non ammonia containing dish soap such as ivory or joy ultra
2 cups of water
Stir, strain and spray. Try to avoid beneficials such as bees!


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RE: What is eating my lily buds?

I've been using Ortho's Flower fruit and vegge insect killer on everything from my roses to my lillies and that seems to keep the damage to a minimum. It comes with an attached sprayer and is really easy to use. Def recommend spraying your lily buds maybe 2-3 times a week...


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