Sawfly larvae on Columbine

coolplantsguy(z6 Ontario)May 14, 2010

My native Columbines (Aquilegia canadensis) have been completely defoliated by Sawfly larvae, for the second year in a row.

Any suggested control methods for this pest?

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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

See if there's anything helpful here...

Here is a link that might be useful: organic control for sawfly larvae

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 1:04PM
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I successfully handled sawfly caterpillars here w/ *Cornell Univ. formula*. They skeletonized a few of my rose bushes last season, almost over-nite. My many Columbines were attacked by *leaf-mites* that create trails on foliage - also bombarded them w/ the same formula & seemed to work!!!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 3:19PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

It was said "My many Columbines were attacked by *leaf-mites* that create trails on foliage"

Call them leafminers. Very common on columbine. Can squish them in the leaves. Or if many leaves are affected, cut off all the leaves, discard, then the plant will re-grow nice & new.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 12:31AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I've been cutting off the f*oliage on columbines that have leafminers in them for a couple of years. So far this year, I haven't seen any yet. I have cut them just about all off and thrown them away, not in the compost, and it amazes me that they grow back all new f*oliage and look great.

I am still checking to see if I have any sawflys. I seem to be getting more and more caterpillars lately. Some of them are Winter Moth caterpillars e*ating every thing. Last year I had something eat most of the foliage off an Hibiscus. I am finding some caterpillar like insect in stuck together leaves on Annabelle Hydrangeas and some caterpillar is eating rose leaves, but I suppose it could be a sawfly. I'm going to try to get a photo this week to get it identified.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 5:00AM
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I just discovered several of my rose bushes are starting to be victimized once more ... it was in Jun last yr but everything is early this season! Thanks for a cooler/cloudy today I was able to douse the bushes w/ *CU-Formula* that proved effective last year.

Columbine foliage in the same bed, eaten up as well but but no signs of culprits could it be slugs? (Hostas are untouched tho). Also signs of *leafminer* trails (thanx for correction & advice, Jean!).

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 10:37PM
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arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

i CANNOT imagine a slug passing up hosta!!! so i don't think it is they.
great to learn about leafminer; alw wondered about that and now i know what to do! th youall.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 11:15AM
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bean_counter_z4(Zone 4, Rkfd,IL)

Spinosad for organic control. Sometimes hard to find.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 4:46PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

One year, I had a lot of leaf damage on a number of different perennials and no sign of a bug, so I went out at night with a flashlight and it was those darn earwigs. Those can do a lot of damage and you never see them in the day.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 9:14AM
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G'morning - in removing all the leafminer-affected Columbine foliage, I found the munchers as well - not sure but suspect could be little moths. The caterpillar I found red-handed, looks very much like sawfly ones but twice as large (about half an inch, light green). I followed the trail of dustings of the famous black droppings on foliage of neighboring plants they don't find yummy ... voile, there he was!!!


    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 9:22AM
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I thought I had sawfly larvae on my columbine and was going to wait it out - but there are still there eating all the new leaves my columbine send up to try to recover! Shouldn't they be gone by now? Visually they look just like sawflys...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 9:27AM
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Mine also seem to be larger than I think the sawfly larvae are - maybe half an inch...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 9:35AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

The sawfly larvae which munch on my mugo pines can grow to close to an inch long.

A 50/50 mix of water and isopropyl alcohol, with a bit of mild dish soap (not detergent) as a sticker kills sawfly larvae immediately.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 9:56AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the bugs on columbine.. will eat every single leaf... leaving just a skeleton ... they finished one of mine just last week ...

fortunately.. they finish.. days before the first pod ripens ...

ergo ... its useless to spray them.. IMHO ...

C are extremely short lived as to bloom ... no matter how much you deadhead ...

and in fact.. the skeleton structure.. continues to photosynthesize... regardless ...

i just dont know.. if this would be a circumstance... to encourage total nuclear warfare as to bugs in the garden ...


    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 10:28AM
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Ugh, they totally defoliated my columbine so I thought I was safe - but now that the columbine has grown back, there is a new crop of baby critters on there, eating away at all the new leaves! I thought sawflies were just a once a year thing so maybe they aren't sawflies. I'll try the alcohol/dishsoap approach.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:02AM
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Every year, it's the same two plants affected the most in my garden...columbines with leafminers and sawfly...and roses with sawfly and leaf cutter bees. I pick off and destroy the sawflies I see but they've already done lots of damage and it looks really unsightly.

I stopped growing nasturtiums because they got chewed by cabbage worms, but not sure if I want to resort to digging up the perennials.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:51AM
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