The leaves of my datura are being eaten, leaving the veins untouched. I
have examned the plant and cannot see any of the usual pests (spider
mite, mealy bugs, aphids or caterpillars). I suspect earwigs but would
like some help please.
Place a pan or trash can lid of soapy water beneath the plant, the
culprit will fall in and you can begin to decide, rule out aphids,
spider mites and mealies because they eat by piercing/sucking. Think
Japanese beetle/ caterpillar or other CHEWING insects.
Tomato or tobacco horn worms are eating the folilage. They turn into
magnificent hawk moths which have a six inch wingspan and pollinate
your plants. Please just let them be. They are important insects.
If you must kill them, or get rid of them, you can gently remove the
leaf they are on and put them somewhere else in the garden or yard. I
don't kill them and never will. I earn money producing datura and
brugmansia so have them frequently. I remove them and put them on
something else in the yard. They eat foliage of solanacea aka
Datura has some pretty good chemical defenses, but I am not surprised
that the tomato or tobacco hornworm has defeated them. Around here they
seem to leave the jimson weed alone, preferring the tomatoes and tobaccos.
I have not yet seen them on my Datura inoxia. The adults visit my moon
flower vines frequently, and are not at all shy:
On Thu, 17 Jul 2008 18:32:27 -0400, "Wuensch, Karl L."
I have so many D. wrightii and D. inoxia if they started eating them
now it would take all summer to get through the entire collection. For
some reason, probably too hot at night, my Brugmansia's are having
foliage problems, some stunted, some yellowing, etc. I do have to
repot them, but that is a major project seeing most are in no less
than 30 gallon tubs.
For many years I have allowed Jimson Weed to grow here and there, but I
have not had another Datura until this year. My son got into seed
exchanging last year, and got some "moon flower" seeds that did not look
like what he expected (he expected Ipomoea alba). He started one and gave
it to me as a "mystery plant." The young plant looked similar to an
eggplant to me, so I put it out in the garden at the end of a row of
eggplants. Adjacent was a double row of green beans. While picking beans I
brushed up against the moon flower and recognized the (unpleasant to me)
odor of Jimson weed. An Internet search confirmed that the plant is Datura
inoxia. Next year I shall place one closer to the house, where I can enjoy
the enormous nocturnal blossoms with ease.
So far I have not seen a single tobacco/tomato hornworm here. Very
curious. On a couple of occasions I thought I saw the adult, but then it
turned out to be a hummingbird.
I grow my Brugmansia alongside the branch that runs through my lot. The
only problem I have had with them is that they are so late to bloom, close
to the time we get killing frost here in eastern North Carolina, that I have
little time to enjoy them.
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