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Pansy flowers munched

(15 Posts)
HaveYouSeenHerLately Sat 18-Oct-14 00:13:54

Hello! Does anyone know what could be munching my pansy flowers? I can't find any evidence of pests on the plants angry

They're in a pot on the table at present. No evidence of slugs (I've painstakingly checked the plants and there are no trails). The foliage is untouched.

The flowers are almost entirely devoured, only the centre is intact. I've noticed some of the buds are getting scoffed right before they unfold, so what's left is a frilly mess upon opening.

I thought googling would offer an obvious explanation but I'm stumped!

Lagoonablue Sat 18-Oct-14 00:16:38

Got to be slugs. Total bastards they are and good at hiding.

PurpleWithRed Sat 18-Oct-14 00:17:47

deer. believe me.

HaveYouSeenHerLately Sat 18-Oct-14 10:09:08

I wish it was deer! I shall go on slug patrol sad

grannymcphee Wed 05-Nov-14 19:32:19

It could be sparrows. I have seen them, from my conservatory, eating pansy flower heads, especially the yellow ones.

dreamingofsun Wed 05-Nov-14 20:20:11

deer, or do you have a lovely young child like mine was once, who watched me deadhead them but didn't realise you should only do the dead ones and took heads off the whole lot when i wasn't looking

Stopanuary Fri 07-Nov-14 11:14:39

We had this problem with mice when I worked in a garden centre.

HaveYouSeenHerLately Fri 07-Nov-14 13:33:41

Thanks all! I definitely have a problem with caterpillars in the garden. I thought they'd have died off by now wink The pansies that are getting scoffed are up high on tables, window ledges and baskets so I'm tempted to rule out mice and deer.

Incidentally what's the best way to be rid of caterpillars next year? They are too numerous and well disguised to be picked off. I noticed new growth glued together on a lot of different plants this year, which the baby caterpillars munched their way out of sad

HaveYouSeenHerLately Fri 07-Nov-14 13:43:10

No young children in the vicinity dreaming grin

I wish I had more bird life but the cat plus assorted neighbourhood cats rather discourage it. A couple of fat pigeons visit but they stay at the bottom of the garden. Before long a cat appears and they depart. No sparrows despite hedgerow and tall trees in the immediate garden boundaries sad

tywysogesgymraeg Fri 07-Nov-14 13:46:18

Don't get rid of caterpillars!!!! Our butterflies are in great decline in this country.

HaveYouSeenHerLately Fri 07-Nov-14 15:09:13

I feel bad, I've got by without using any chemical intervention but the caterpillars are just a nuisance! The main culprits are a plump pale green variety. Bigger than the cabbage white (had those before but they've not invaded this garden yet).

I don't like to disturb the food chain but I don't seem to attract many birds to scoff them (-cats).

Funnily enough I don't see many butterflies grin I've planted lots of bee and butterfly friendly plants and have lots of varied trees and hedges. Lots of sunny patches too.

I definitely haven't killed many caterpillars (I don't like squishing them!) so theoretically the butterflies should be abundant! My neighbours' gardens are quite wildlife friendly (e.g. a bit overgrown/ out of control flowering perennials) but not so amazing they'd entice the butterflies away from mine iyswim! I do get that they have wings grin

tywysogesgymraeg Fri 07-Nov-14 16:49:42

Chuck the caterpillars over the hedge or something. But please don't squish them.

funnyperson Fri 07-Nov-14 20:20:32

caterpillars can be butterflies or moths. You could keep a patch for the caterpillars and/or you could grow a nettle patch or some holly (for holly blue butterflies)
have you looked underneath the pansy flowers and their leaves to see if there are any midgy thingies?

funnyperson Fri 07-Nov-14 20:22:17

If there are then wash them off gently with lukewarm soapy water (ie fairy liquid)

HaveYouSeenHerLately Wed 12-Nov-14 23:01:34

Solved!

It's an angle shade moth caterpillar shock

Active all year round, they hide during the day and come out to feed at night!
No wonder I was having trouble locating them in daylight.

I stuck my head out the back door to locate the cat and spied one lazily chewing on my newly planted basket of dianthus!

Best of all, I brought it indoors to ID it and it's pooed on my laptop. How uncouth.

The RHS article says it likes unopened flower buds and young growth. I'm amazed it's left my chrysanthemums alone as it apparently favours those too.

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