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Passifloras: damage by spawn of the Gulf Fritallary Butterfly Deadly ?

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Forum: PassiflorasReplies: 6, Views: 64
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Mobile, AL
(Zone 8b)

September 14, 2012
4:10 PM

Post #9275367

This is the first year my Maypop over wintered, I stopped counting at 35 sprouts some 3' now!! With out leaves the Incarnata leaves a lot to desire.
I have picked & relocated so many of the orange with black spikes caters I don't know what else to do besides the obvious.
I was told to resettle the bugs onto a "Sacrifice plant." Did that. after snacking on the sacrifice they ate every leaf from every Maypop but the mother plant.
The catterpillars do not touch the Hybrid Lady Margaret 3' away. A nice well behaved vine with great red & white colour
By accident I found 1 spray of Glade Air freshener is 100% fatal to the larvae...That is scary. Do the vines recover? Or is it cosmetic?


Delray Beach, FL
(Zone 10a)

September 14, 2012
4:37 PM

Post #9275396

I have the same problem here with the same passiflora vine and the same caterpillars. They eat the leaves until only stems are left. The vine will recover 100%; it will just look pitiful until it comes back in 4 to 6 weeks. I have found that a generous spraying of BT at the first appearance of the dreaded caterpillars helps tremendously. I spray every week, or so. Those leaves are like candy to them there caterpillars. As soon as I find a passiflora the gulf fritillary caterpillars can't stand, I'll rip all the others out because frankly, having our passionflower vines eaten to bare stems is the pits. And so is spraying everything with BT every week.

Mobile, AL
(Zone 8b)

September 14, 2012
9:58 PM

Post #9275668

Lady Margaret Hybrid, The caterpillers didn't take a bite. Some just dropped to the ground heading for the Incarnata. How easy are the new vines to move without injury new ones appear every other day.

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Beverly Hills, FL

September 16, 2012
7:54 PM

Post #9277232

I am having this EXACT problem! My passion flowers are fairly new though (one planted about 2 months ago the other 3 weeks). They were vining beautifully on my chain link and now are just stems. The caterpillars get to the buds before they even bloom. Should the vines be cut back or will they regrow? Will a shot of fertilizer help?


Delray Beach, FL
(Zone 10a)

September 17, 2012
7:12 AM

Post #9277623

Trish, fertilizer can't really hurt, if dispensed in appropriate quantities. No pruning or trimming needed, just patience and faith in the plant's unbelievable resilience.

Keep telling yourself: It will grow another batch of leaves and blooms. Use that last sentence as a mantra.

However, also keep telling yourself: And the caterpillars will be right back and the horror will begin anew. That would be your other mantra.

My passiflora vines are recovering from the last caterpillar onslaught. I hereby vow to spray BT on them as soon as the leaves show up again. I'll buy a 45-gallon barrel of the stuff and get up in the middle of the night for a quick spray. I will become the BT maniac of Delray Beach. Obsessive behaviors are not pretty, but they sometimes bring about positive results. I'm not in this to feed the caterpillars. I want passionflower blooms and the unbelievable scent they provide.

Take care, all.
Mobile, AL
(Zone 8b)

October 8, 2012
3:24 PM

Post #9299888

The vines have all new leaves!!!
The vines have all new GULF F. munchers ~LOL
The catterpillers hate the leaf Blower. "Look ma no wings."
They are now eating the Red bloomer.
I have relocated 25 small vines. And have an hour easter egg hunt ~watching where the adult deposits their eggs. They are a tiny dot with a faint green colouration, they put only one egg per leaf (so far) the adult visits any plant around. Tis quite a bore and requires 1 adult beverage per hit of eyestrain & Bored to tears. Good luck Guys

This message was edited Oct 8, 2012 4:25 PM
Mulberry, FL

October 24, 2012
1:04 PM

Post #9314205

LOL here they only lay there eggs on the ends of the vine the tender stuff. I let them eat I enjoy the butterflys I grow alot of different passion vines I get flowers but some are eaten to nubs

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