What’s Eating Your Delphiniums?

(This is a modified article from my now defunct blog, Gardening Zone 3b)

"Delphinium  leaf-tier "Beginning in the first week of May, our new up-and-coming delphiniums, larkspur and monkshood plants are subject to infestation by the larva of Polychrysia esmeralda, the leaf-tier moth. They overwinter as eggs or early instar larva and they can infest the plants at the earliest stages of growth. The larva use silk to hold leaves together over the growing buds of the plants. Secure inside this protective cover, they eat away the centre of growth. By June they have disfigured the plant tips, and have destroyed many of the flowering buds.

The simplest method to fight this pest is to open up the tied leaves and pick out the larva with your fingers. Dispose of them as you please…I drop them at the entrance of the nearest ant nest, or I feed them to my goldfish…

Amn’t we cute?

(Moth image can be found at the E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum at the University of Alberta, and in the recent guest post by Ian Maton)


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