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PLANT DOCTORLily Caterpillar
The first sign of infestation this next plant pest is the skeletonising of leaves.
In the adult stage the parent (lily moth) lays up to 100 eggs at a time on the tip of a leaf, and the growing (pest) caterpillars then work their way down to the base of the plant.
These voracious pests ( caterpillars) can destroy a clump of clivias or other lilies in record time.
Lily caterpillars are a native pest common along the east coast of Australia but can be seen in other regions. Generally a dark grey to black colour with yellow and white markings down the side.; about 5 cm long.
Let’s find out all about this pest.
I'm talking withSteve Falcioni, general manager of www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au
The Lily caterpillar attacks clivea, crinums, hippeastrums, the spider lily (hymenocallis) and other plants in the lily family.
Young caterpillars skeletonise leaves while older ones can strip leaves or attack the crown of the plant.
Very quickly plants are an ugly mess of caterpillars, droppings and collapsing plant foliage. Attacked foliage dies and leaves the plants looking very unsightly.
Lily Caterpillar, calagramma picta, pupate under mulch and then travel up the stems of many types of lilies, munching as they go - eating leaves, stems and flower buds.
Caterpillars pupate in leaf litter or the soil before emerging as adult moths to start the cycle again. There are several generations a year with the most damage noticed during the warmer months.
Look for the caterpillars on the underside as well as the tops of the leaves.
Damage caused by the lily caterpillar is severe and can result in plant death.
Plants which survive usually take a long time to recover.
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THE GOOD EARTH
PLANT OF THE WEEK
Why this tree is so spectacular is that it has flowers not just at the end of the branches but all along the stems and trunk right down to the ground.
Let’s find out about this plant.
I'm talking with
the plant panel : Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au
- Cercis chinensis Avondale is very small for a tree being 3 x 2 metres, with spectacular flower and heart shaped leaves.
- Does love a good water during dry spells but otherwise reasonably hardy.
- All Cercis have a tap root so that's a no for transplanting and possibly for growing in pots too.