Yellow flowers getting eaten

Asked June 6, 2019, 2:18 PM EDT

I believe these are potentilla flowers- they get these tiny bites/holes over a few weeks, and then the flowers completely disappear. What is eating them? There is no way that rabbits are putting holes in the petals- has to be an insect or fungus? We do have slugs that eat our hastas and coffee grounds have been keeping them away. Could it be slugs? How to protect the flowers?

Wayne County Michigan

3 Responses

It is a buttercup, probably Ranunculus repens, the creeping buttercup. It is probably an insect feeding on the flowers. Not sure which insect is feeding on the flowers but the green spiky balls are the fruit or seed pods. I would not recommend spraying a blooming plant to prevent poisoning bees and other pollinators

Hi Mark- Is there anything that can be done to prevent this from happening next year? A non-chemical solution? This is the second year in a row this has happened.

No, I am not aware of any non pesticide way to make the bugs go away. A spray of Sevin just as bloom begins should kill any leaf feeding insects on the plants for about seven days. Keep the flying bugs down for a while. Some beer in a shallow dish would kill slugs and knock them back.
Sorry, pretty poor answers.