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Moths killing my plants

Help! My beloved balcony potted plants are under attack. Small green caterpillars are nesting in various plants and killing the plants. They hatch into small grey moths. I’ve tried Bug Clear but no joy. It’s heartbreaking to watch. Any help much appreciated. Thank you. 
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Posts

  • stephentamestephentame Southwest EnglandPosts: 193
    I'm confused - why not just pick them off?

  • cgriffiths9cgriffiths9 Posts: 2
    Or why not leave them and know your patch has successfully helped to breed biodiversity? Plant a few different types of plant and by next season the problem will have sorted itself out.
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,120
    This is one surreal thread 🙄
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 6,364
    Tortrix moths maybe. The caterpillars are leaf rollers and make a small web that encloses a group of leaves to protect them while they eat and grow. They don't do much harm in small numbers but I've heard they can be a real pain getting into the crowns and stems of some succulents. What plants are being affected?
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,693
    For Heaven's sake! There's enough biodiversity without encouraging tortrix moths. And they will infect almost every plant. If they have natural enemies, I have never found one. Set aside a little time and pick over each plant, unrolling the leaves and squishing the caterpillars - they will try to drop into the compost, so get your hand underneath as you unroll - and remove very damaged leaves. You will have to do this several times because you won't get them all but your plants will soon recover.
  • sgravillesgraville Posts: 4
    I'm confused - why not just pick them off?

    Impossible to get them all and they just come back. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 28,515
    sgraville said:
    I'm confused - why not just pick them off?

    Impossible to get them all and they just come back. 
    squish them inside the leaf roll and they won't come back.  ;)
    Devon.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,693
    They WILL come back, from the same place they arrived from in the first place. However,  plant care is never a one off, it has to be done as needed for the lifetime of the plant.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 28,515
    Posy said:
    They WILL come back, from the same place they arrived from in the first place. However,  plant care is never a one off, it has to be done as needed for the lifetime of the plant.
    The ones which have been squished wont.  ;)
    New ones might well arrive , but those squished  " will NOT come back"
    Devon.
  • sgravillesgraville Posts: 4
    Or why not leave them and know your patch has successfully helped to breed biodiversity? Plant a few different types of plant and by next season the problem will have sorted itself out.
    Or why not leave them and know your patch has successfully helped to breed biodiversity? Plant a few different types of plant and by next season the problem will have sorted itself out.
    Or why not leave them and know your patch has successfully helped to breed biodiversity? Plant a few different types of plant and by next season the problem will have sorted itself out.
    Tortrix moths maybe. The caterpillars are leaf rollers and make a small web that encloses a group of leaves to protect them while they eat and grow. They don't do much harm in small numbers but I've heard they can be a real pain getting into the crowns and stems of some succulents. What plants are being affected?
    Tortrix moths maybe. The caterpillars are leaf rollers and make a small web that encloses a group of leaves to protect them while they eat and grow. They don't do much harm in small numbers but I've heard they can be a real pain getting into the crowns and stems of some succulents. What plants are being affected?
    Posy said:
    For Heaven's sake! There's enough biodiversity without encouraging tortrix moths. And they will infect almost every plant. If they have natural enemies, I have never found one. Set aside a little time and pick over each plant, unrolling the leaves and squishing the caterpillars - they will try to drop into the compost, so get your hand underneath as you unroll - and remove very damaged leaves. You will have to do this several times because you won't get them all but your plants will soon recover.
    Thanks everyone. I'm going to carry on squishing and spraying. I'm afraid I agree with Posy, there's enough diversity without encouraging plant-killing moths. In better news, I have managed to attract bees to my high rise, urban, wind tunnel balcony, so I do feel I'm doing my bit! Saska 
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