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Cabbage Butterflies & Nasturtium

LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

Until yesterday, when I noticed my Nasturtium was covered in Cabbage caterpillars, I had no idea that they particularly liked muching away on it's leaves. I then read about growing a companion plant to Cabbages (which I have at the allotment) to tempt the Butterflies on to the Nast. instead.

I'm slightly confused though as wouldn't growing both increase the number of Cabbage Butterfly & caterpillars overall on the cabbages? Or is it a case of using the Nast. to tempt them in so they can be, ahem, dealt with?


  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619
    I think the idea is that the nasturtiums are a sacrificial planting. They also work well to lure blackfly away from a susceptible edible crop.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,843

    When my daughter was little she had her own little garden and one year she grew nasturtiums - the caterpillar invasion was worse than usual and she had very little ofher plants left - she was sad so I explained that the caterpillars who had eaten her plants would grow up into butterflies.  She gave me a big grin and said, 'Mummy, it isn't a garden - I've got a butterfly farm!' image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    Lovely tale Dove, this year I think I've mostly been a slug farmer. image

    They are pretty Hollie, it's just a shame they are so hungry. But then we all know the story of the very hungry caterpillar!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,843

    They've been munching away on my Sweet Rocket image but they're not there now image

    But there was one cabbage white caterpillar all on its own on a honeysuckle leaf at the other end of the garden image  No toothmarks to be seen!

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    Sorry to hear that Dove, hope they didn't eat too much. If it's one thing I can't deal with it's caterpillars, I'm fine with slugs and snails, but caterpillars just creep me out too much. I let the OH know that dealing with them was one garden job I was not going to do.

  • i just spay spinosad on Nasturtium and it kills catapillars before they turn into butterflies and attack my cabbages.


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