Worry is like a rocking chair, it's gives you something to do but gets you nowhere!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Know this Cat ? & Devastated Hibiscus....

Saturday my husband says, "Look at the size of that worm on the Banana Peppers!"
He had done some serious damage to the foliage and now was working on the pepper itself. You can see his head through the pepper here. I plucked the stem he was on and took some photos. I then cut some more stems, placed in a jar of water and put them in the butterfly cage to see what he is going to turn into. Any idea?

Luna Moth maybe?
I have been watching the Hibiscus in this garden at one end of our driveway. My first thought last evening was skeletal remains...sigh. Talk about bones in the garden!
I have sprayed those pesky worms, plucked them off as a gently as I could and SQUASHED them on the pavement. In the end, I and the Hibiscus plants were devastated.

Should I just cut them all the way to the ground or pull them up?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today I am Thankful for all things in nature, although I don't always like them. There must be a reason for them.

34 comments:

Dar said...

Oh, Darla, I'm sorry to see the devastation caused by the Sphinx larvae on its way to a beautiful hummingbird-like moth. It may be a Carolina Sphinx or the Pink-Spotted Hawk Moth.
As for your Hibiscus, I think I would just cut it back since it doesn't appear that the root system was destroyed.
I'm curious to see what your saved larvae turns into.
Good luck with the rest of your garden. These boys sure have a ravenous appetite.
BlessYourHeart and Week

Susie said...

Girl I can't stand those caterpillars. They just turn into moths that leave eggs that turn into those caterpillars again. Then they eat your veggies again!

As far as the hibiscus goes I would just cut it down. The roots I would imagine are fine.

Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

Wow. Those cats can cause some damage. I think I would cut it down to the ground and see if you get any regrowth. The lacy leaves aren't doing any good now.

Amy said...

EEEEK...that is one big caterpillar. Hope the rest of your garden is doing well. I planted my tomato plants way too close to each other...oh, well, live and learn. :)

Roses and Lilacs said...

Some type of hawk moth. Good for you, I'm so glad you put it in the butterfly cage! I always grow an extra plant for them. Such lovely moths.
Marnie

Dawn said...

My first thought....egads that's a huge cat! Wow!
I' d cut the hibiscus back, it will probably return.

Chandramouli S said...

Bah! Hibiscus and pests are a a really bad combination. I had five varieties in my terrace initially and slowly started losing four of them with only one survivor. Somehow it's very difficult to save them from bugs if not noticed at initial stages of infestation.
I really hope your plant survives. Try Neem Spray on them - it works magic but you gotta spray it every alternate day for a week or two.

Regina said...

Wow awesome captures.
Happy new week.

RainGardener said...

Yes, they were put here for a reason - so we could go ewwwwwwww or eeeeeeeeek!
That is too bad about your Hibiscus and like everyone else said it can't hurt to just cut it back and hope for the best.
I get the deer, chipmunks, squirrels and rabbits - prettier pests maybe but still flower destroying machines!

Alison said...

Ah, what a bummer, Darla! I'm sure the hibiscus will return from the roots if you cut it back. And in your climate it will probably have time to flower.

If you have tomatoes, keep an eye on them, those cats love tomatoes even more than peppers. They do turn into hummingbird moths, or so I've heard. Hope you can provide enough fodder to keep it alive.

Marydon said...

G'morn Darla ~ Don't you dislike those little stinkers ... we plant for beauty, they eat for food ...

Have a beautiful day.
TTFN ~ Marydon

Lois said...

That is one huge caterpillar and really quite beautiful except for the damage to the pepper plant.

Dorothy said...

That's a huge one!! Looks like the kind that cut tomato plants down. I'm not good with gard advice so I'll leave that alone.
Hope your week is good!

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

I can't believe that hornworm ate a pepper! It must not be a hot pepper. :-) It should make a hawk moth. They are so fun to watch when they flit from flower to flower in the evening.

I don't know about the hibiscus. I'll bet it resprouts though.

perennialgardener said...

Yuck, that is one big caterpillar! I would try cutting it to the ground like Dave suggested, it couldn't hurt and will probably regenerate new healthy growth.

Cher' Shots said...

Here's a great link on green caterpillars that may help you identify yours. http://www.pbase.com/crocodile/caterpillars2004&page=1
As for the hibiscus, just cut it off and it will come back next spring.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

You sure get all kinds of visitors in your garden. It'll be interesting to see what it turns into. I hope your Hibiscus will be okay, I can't believe how badly they chewed it up.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Wow, hungry thing wasn't it. It will be fun to watch to see what it becomes.
Girl my hollyhocks look just like your hibiscus.Just stems and skeletons.
BTW. if I never answered your question, that was the flower poke of stake that you sent from your giveaway. I liked it so much I had to search to find some more to go with it LOL!

imac said...

They sure can devour a plant in short time Darla.

Shelley said...

Sorry about your poor hibiscus! I hope the rest of your garden is doing well! I think you need some bird feeders nearby (like I told Patsy w/her poor flowers) so the birds will also feed on those worms.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Darla: This is the first time I remember you showing a damaged plant. You always have beautiful flowers.

bennie and patsy said...

Looks like you are having same misfortune as we are with the worms. We lost our tomato's to those hornworms they look like your pepper worm. Now a little green worm is eating my peace rose.
Guess this is just the year for them to be bad on our gardens.
Patsy

Noelle said...

Hi Darla,

What fun to find out what your mystery caterpillar turns out to be. Better in your butterfly enclosure then on your plants :-)

I agree with many of the comments that I would cut the plant to the ground...chances are that once it grows back the pest eating them will have moved on.

Deb said...

I guess that's part of nature...how are you doing since your surgery?

George said...

I don't know much about worm identification, but I'm glad he will no longer be munching on your peppers

Twisted Fencepost said...

That looks like one of our hornworms that like to eat my tomato plants. I don't know what he'll turn into physically, but around here he turns into squash.

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