Purple Cone Flowers

Asked May 27, 2020, 7:03 AM EDT

Hello, I have something eating holes in one of my purple cone flowers. By the looks of what I found in the website, it may be do to some sort of a caterpillar. I sprinkled Sluggo around it before I started looking this. Would the dusty of Seven help to keep things off so that the plant will still flower? Thanks

Washington County Minnesota

1 Response

Pesticides should be used exactly according to their label. Sluggo is a pesticide for slugs and snails, not caterpillars and so should not be used for this purpose. In addition, please do not use the Sevin or any other pesticide until you've identified the insect, determined that is is harming your plant, and that the plant is on the label of the insecticide.

You've also not given me much to go on. For instance, have you seen the insect? Photos would be helpful.

Some damage to the leaves is usually acceptable and does not harm the flowers. Four-lined plant bugs are common this time of year and can do a lot of damage. They do not look like caterpillars, however.

Some butterfly caterpillars are about this time of year, but you should not be using insecticides on them. They don't do much damage and the resulting butterflies are great pollinators.

Here is a good diagnostic site:
https://apps.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/annualperennial/echinacea/

Here is information on four-lined plant bugs:
https://extension.umn.edu/yard-and-garden-insects/four-lined-plant-bugs