What could be doing this & how can I stop it ?
Check for tiny little caterpillars,I found some on mine when I noticed a few holes. I squished them and it has been fine since. I have lost some to fungus or mold,but still have some thriving,so no biggie. Will start more later in the season! :)
Thanks Angie, I'll check first thing in the morning ")
I read that you can use Baccillus thuringiensis to kill the little caterpillars. My hollyhocks get hundreds of the cats, and I gave up on squishing them. If you buy Mosquito Dunks, the doughnut-shaped things that fight mosquitoes in ponds, they have B. thuringiensis. It will kill any caterpillar, so watch where you spray it!
Thanks stagerat,I will be using that method on my poor petunias,every year I get these annoying moth cats that eat all my blooms! I was going to just give in and have no petunias,but I will apply the dunks this year. How should I dilute them? Are there instructions on the pack of dunks?
I'm trying it for the first time myself, but I think filling a container with water and soaking the dunk in there overnight is what I read. I've been doing that indoors for the fungus gnats in my houseplants/seedlings, and it's helped.
Thanks! :) I am assuming the instructions will tell me how much water per dunk....those little jerks are in for it this year!
what is a cat? I've seen a couple of inch worms around but nothing on the seedlings themselves.
LOL, I did not have much success with the hollyhock seeds I planted. I planted lots of seeds of 3 varieties and only had 2 seedlings. The funny thing is, I am trying to create a butterfly and hummingbird garden, and I planted the hollyhocks so that the butterflies would lay eggs on them - in other words, in my yard, they are meant to be caterpillar food.
Apparently lots of insects eat hollyhocks, but the ones I am trying to attract are called painted ladies.
If these were butterfly cats,I would leave them alone,but these are some sort of moth caterpillar that just loves having me around! Not too many garden around here,some have pretty yards ,but mostly shrub gardens and lawns. So when I started putting out my annuals and perennials ,they all came to dinner at Angie's. I keep my milkweed for the Monarch's and dill for the swallowtails,and hopefully I will see many more throughout the summer with all the new stuff I am introducing. But these guys are just hungry little monsters that eventually will consume the entire seedling and leave none for the butterflies!
I checked my Holly's this moring & I saw little tiny green grasshopper looking bugs ???? I think I'll try dustin them with Seven dust. Yes/No any suggestions ??
I have munching holes on my hollyhock leaves also. I started spraying the leaves with neem oil last week. It seems to be helping.
I'm having the same issue with my hollyhocks in the front ... my Summer Carnival. I haven't seen any bugs yet, just the holes. My Hollyhock Majorette in the back seem to be doing fine. I purchased some Neem oil ... just haven't gotten around to using it yet. Maybe I should give it a shot.
I think the caterpillars you might be looking at could be the Hibiscus Sawfly/Mallow Sawfly larvae....
Do they look anything like this?
Here is a link that might be useful: Hibiscus/Mallow Sawfly
If it is a painted lady cat(erpillar) please don't squish him(or her)! They are rare up here so much so that I have ordered eggs just so we can release some butterflies here. They will also eat thistle and cudweed, which is, well a weed!!LOL!! I'll send hollyhock seeds to whoever doesn't squish 'em!!(holding up seed packet and shaking it!!) -B
Nope,those aren't the cats I have. Mine are moth cats,I put one in a bug shelter last year and it turned into one of those brown cocoons you find in the soil. Later it turned into some sort of brown moth.These are brown or green,seems they get greener as they get older and they are smooth,no hairs.I find them on lots of stuff,but mainly petunias.
Hmmmmmmmmm then are they some type of Hummingbird Moth? Are the adults getting nectar from your Petunia? I'm asking because the HB moths here LOVE the petunia in bloom
No,just a plan old brown moth,we have tons of them here. I do have sphinx moths that hang around when my butterfly bush is in bloom,but have never had any issues with them. I used to pick them off and toss them in the yard for the birds,but have resorted to checking for them when they are tiny and squishing them,I really hate to do it,but they are destructive.
Here's a list of a few moths that feed on Hollyhock:
See what you find with a google search of those...I'll look on my end too :D
every year my hollyhock get so many holes the leaves look
like webs any avice now so i can neb it the bud.
I am a butterfly gardener, researching the Hollyhock as a host plant. As gardeners, aren't we supposed to be caretakers of the environment?
It really sickened me to come onto this site & read about gardeners killing cats. Chemical pesticides poisen the entire food chain. Butterflies are beautiful, & are being affected by climate change/global warming. Their food supplies have been destroyed by building homes, strip malls, & argiculture. I'm doing what I can to ensure their survival, while some are squishing & poisening them. If you don't like them, then why bother to garden? You plant their host plant, their food supply needed for survival, then kill them. Many are declining in numbers & need our help to survive. I found some of these posts to be upsetting & disturbing. If there are any butterfly lovers, please visit my page, I'm not selling anything, just sharing the beauty from my small butterfly garden, hoping it will inspire others to plant for the butterfly.
To the poster who asked, "What are cats?"
Gardeners refer to caterpillars as cats.
I read the thread again, when I posted my comment, I thought I had read a post of a person spraying a chemical pesticide, not the oil, so perhaps I was mistaken. I get a bit defensive of the butterfly. I'm trying to do what I can, as their numbers have decreased in my area, so I may have come on a little strong. Be careful what pesticides you are using, as they will kill the cats & butterflies that feed on the flowers.
cougarvamp: This is a friendly forum, where we share thoughts, information, and ideas. We're nice to one another. No matter what point you want to make, there's a nice way and a not nice way. Your way was not very nice. It's not your place to lecture or reprimand another member. To be clear, I keep my yard more organic than not, and I don't use pesticides. It's not your message that's offensive, it's your tone.
e.g. If I wanted to be rude, I could ridicule you or your intelligence for so readily accepting left wing hype about global warming... but... that wouldn't be nice, would it?
kqcrna: I am always looking to educate myself and did not feel the least offended by cougarvamp's post. You, on the other hand, became blatantly political and offensive. We are all on here to learn about how to nurture a beautiful garden. Please understand that political barbs really don't have a place here.