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something eating columbine flowers, plus leaf holes

Posted by arylkin 5a (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 20, 13 at 21:18

This is my first year in a house and the first with a garden. I’ve been reading a lot about plants and feel like I’m becoming somewhat educated about them, but when it comes to garden pests I know very little.

I’ve been noticing holes on my hostas, which I attributed to slugs (although I can’t say I’ve ever seen one). I tried doing a ring of coffee grounds on top of the mulch around them, but I can’t say that I’ve noticed a difference. I think it’s time for some more drastic measures.

Also, I’m noticing that something is eating other plants in my garden, from coneflowers, to black eyed susans, even a bit on a geum, lupine, and goldenrod.

Today, I saw that one of my columbine flowers had been eaten and there was a little green bug perched on top of it. It was one that was nearing the end of its lifespan, but the eating damage was clearly caused by something bad.

When I went to look at it a couple hours later the bug was still there.

Here's a pic:

 photo DSCN5299.jpg

Then leaf damage on coneflowers:

 photo DSCN5305.jpg

 photo DSCN5304.jpg

 photo DSCN5302.jpg

black eyed susan:

 photo DSCN5303.jpg


 photo DSCN5306.jpg

dwarf shasta daisy:

 photo DSCN5307.jpg

then the assorted hosta damage:

 photo DSCN5315.jpg

 photo DSCN5314.jpg

 photo DSCN5313.jpg

 photo DSCN5310.jpg

 photo DSCN5309.jpg

I’d really welcome any advice, as well as what to do to control these problems in my garden. I am not averse to using chemicals as long as they won’t harm someone if they touch a leaf a day or two after application. I don't really want to harm the bumble bees I get though, would a regular insecticide hurt them?

This post was edited by arylkin on Thu, Jun 20, 13 at 21:21

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: something eating columbine flowers, plus leaf holes

I have found that spraying cold caffienated coffee on the leaves of my Hostas helps if the slugs get to bad. I have not found coffee grounds spread around those plants to be much of a deterent. Diamotaceous Earth, fairly expensive, has done more then the coffee grounds.

RE: something eating columbine flowers, plus leaf holes

Here's my philosophy on the subject :-) Bugs eat plants, mostly foliage, sometimes flowers. 99% of the time it is cosmetic......mildly affects the appearance but does NO harm to the plant. Unless it is something that is very visible/showy - like a container planting or an entry planting - I generally do nothing. A few holes in a few plant leaves is not the end of the world. I do bait for slugs and snails, of which I have huge populations, otherwise I'd never be able to grow hostas or dahlias. Or many annuals.

RE: something eating columbine flowers, plus leaf holes

columbine should be near peak.. ignore that..

and i agree with gal ...

you have incredible MINOR damage..

short of building a conservatory.. and going operating room sterile and clean.. just enjoy nature for the diversity of things in it ... including the leaf munchers ...

the hosta forum peeps have all kinds of remedies on various damage ... visit them.. though i have never heard of cold coffee ..

the biggest lesson a newbie should learn in the garden.. is to share it.. learn.. observe..

but rarely is it requisite.. that action has to be taken ...

though things get ugly.. RARELY will a bug or two kill things ...

yes.. cyclically there are marauding hordes.. and even those dont kill... but MIGHT require some action ...

but nothing you show.. really requires much of any reaction... IMHO ...


RE: something eating columbine flowers, plus leaf holes

Thanks, I guess I was just worried since it was only June and I was having these problems (I was envisioning an August garden without a leaf left on the plants).

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