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Tropical Plants/passion fruit plant


hi - it's me again!  today my problem is big orange and black caterpillars eating my passion fruit plant.  they have practically killed it.  first i tried a mixture of dish soap and veggie oil.  that didn't phase them.  then i tried "seven".  that worked for about 10 days.  now they are back with a vengeance.  what do you suggest

Hi Sheila, I was working the "plant help desk" one day and a nice lady came in and said "my Passion Vine is getting eaten by these caterpillars" and she showed me a couple; now I will be honest with you, I didn't know much about them, but I did know that the cats change into either Moths or Butterflies, so I asked our Cooperative Extension Agent,and he chuckled and said that many people love Butterflies flitting around their garden but then turn around and kill the very Caterpillars that turn into them!...I went back and told her that this particular Caterpillar was from the "Gulf Frilillary Butterfly" (a pretty orange and black butterfly that frequents southern gardens and rewards us with their beauty).  He said that this particular Butterfly lays its eggs on the Passion Vine (or fruit) because its their main food item plant and it was created for this very reason and that it will never die from being chewed on, just looks like it will, and when the hatch is over and they pupate the plant recovers quickly and in fact thrives even better from the experience. It is a symbiotic relationship Sheila, God works in mysterious ways , and this is one of them....It is next to impossible to eradicate them from what everyone says and it is best to let nature  take its course...Nick

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Nick McCann


broad spectrum knowledge in the field of tropical plants;


I am a certified Master Gardner in Florida (8years)

Master Gardner Association of Charlotte County Florida

Master Gardner training....accredited each year with required seminars and educational training.

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