Canna leaves infested with caterpillar.

Discussion in 'Plant Pests, Diseases and Weeds' started by Tina, May 16, 2007.

  1. Tina

    Tina Young Pine

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    I have been noticing that my canna leaves (all rolled) are turning brownish with what appears to be eggs. They also have some holes in them. I opened up the rolled up leaf yesterday to find a green caterpillar. It seems to have affected more than half the leaf. I removed the half of the leaf along with the nasty creature. A new leaf had also comeup and when I checked that, it has some holes in it too :( .
    What can I do to prevent this? My cannas are in huge barrels and are just sprouting. I am so frustrated.
     



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  2. zuzu's petals

    zuzu's petals Silly Old Bat

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    Coastal N.Carolina ~zone 8~
    The Canna Skipper (Calpodes ethlius) moth lays her eggs
    on Canna leaves and glues them shut until her babies hatch out as caterpillars,
    at this stage they are commonly called "Canna leaf rollers", :rolleyes: you can see why.

    The caterpillars then feed on the Canna leaves.

    The good news is that Cannas are the only food source for these critters,
    they will not disturb your other plants.

    More info here including this:
    If you can tolerate the damage,
    you will see the interesting "Hummingbird Moths" when they mature.
     
  3. Tina

    Tina Young Pine

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    Ellie,
    Thanks for your response.So what should I do to protect the leaves? If I leave them as it is, will it not destroy the whole plant gradually and will it not prevent the blossoms?

    I have another unrelated question - do the cannas bloom the same year they are planted?

    Thanks again.
     
  4. zuzu's petals

    zuzu's petals Silly Old Bat

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    Last question first, *lol*
    If you planted fair sized Canna tubers, say even as big as your thumb,
    you might very well expect to see flowers the first year. :-D

    As to the leaf rollers, I'll tell you what happened to me;
    my Cannas were very chewed up a few years ago,
    I enquired about the problem online
    and an expert told me (words to the effect) "not much you can do, live with it". :(

    Being basically lazy, I chose not to do anything, and boy did they get ugly, :rolleyes:
    but it didn't do any long lasting damage to the plants themselves,
    which actually recovered pretty well later in the season,
    and even bloomed in mid to late summer.

    I was afraid that I'd be plagued by the little boogers every year,
    but ( :-? knocking wood here) they never came back.

    If you just can't stand 'em :scheming: ,
    then I'd go to a good nursery or farm supply store
    and ask them for BT and instructions on how to apply it,
    otherwise, maybe just hand pick 'em :smt118 ,
    but I don't know how effective that would be.
     
  5. Tina

    Tina Young Pine

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    Thanks again, ellie.
    Well my tubers were as big as my palm - so I am hoping they will bloom.
    I did hand pick the caterpillar yesterday :-|
    I love the foilage of the canna. So hope this annoying things don't come back again.
     
  6. Jo

    Jo New Seed

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    Hey Tina, Curious how things are going with your canna? I have this problem also, but only with my red one. I have a dwarf salmon colored one they don't seem to bother. So if you've come up with any solutions to this problem, I'd love to hear about it. I had the problem on mine last year and am having again this year. Thanks Jo
     

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