Saturday, 20 November 2010
Something's eating my cycads
I don’t mind insects having a bit of a chew here and there. It’s all part of the cycle of life and besides, you can’t have butterflies without caterpillars. But this was different. They threatened to kill the plants if left unchecked. They had declared war. Ugly brown little grubs were all over some of the leaves.
PACSAO website and discovered that the lovely little butterflies I had been admiring in the garden were the culprits.
The article didn’t say what spray to use. I will not use insecticides in my garden and risk killing the birds I have tried so hard to attract or the beneficial insects that help my garden stay healthy. Couldn't find a natural remedy on the net or in any books I've got. Meanwhile they were chomping away. No time to lose.
Then I remembered Colin Campbell (a local gardening sage) saying a mixture of vinegar and water sprayed on cycads would kill the larvae of something or other. Worth a try!
I tried it. Every day for a week I sprayed the new leaves and it’s worked. I can't see any larvae on them at the moment and I’ve saved most of the cycads’ new growth.
The butterflies are still around so I will need to be vigilant.