Sunday, June 26, 2016

What's eating my rose, this time?

Lack of rain this June has made our roses suffer. Having chosen Rosa glauca for its drought tolerance, the heat these past few weeks has stressed the bush inviting so many pesky insect issues.

Two weeks ago, I dealt with the Rose Plume Moth eating the flower buds and now I see this:


More webbing and another green larvae. This one skeletonized older leaves and punched holes in new leaf growth.


Ah-ha...here's another "caterpillar" that folks know to feed off roses.


This is in fact not a caterpillar, but a Rose-slug Sawfly Larvae (Edelomyia aethiops)So you say: what is the difference and who cares?

There is a BIG difference.


I learned in school: the Sawflies Larvae have enough prolegs to spell S-A-W-F-L-Y (6 or even more). Caterpillars have usually 5 or less. Here is great website page that explains prolegs  and their differences.

Here's the Rose Plume Moth Caterpillar to show you a comparison:

Rose Plume Moth Larvae (Caterpillar)


Rose-slug Sawfly Larvae

Sawflies tend to have rounded heads, with visible eyes.

Knowing the difference helps to ascertain that BTK  as a pest control, will be ineffective against the sawfly larvae.

Hand removal has done the trick in this instance, but I would use neem oil and or oil based pest spray control in early June as a preventative. It coats larvae and any eggs that hatch on the underside of the leaves, where the adults have strategically placed them. One to two applications would do the trick. Thankfully, this European introduction, only produces 1 generation per year.


At least the Koi will enjoy a light snack!

Let's see what else our roses will endure this summer. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth: Hemaris thysbe

I was filling my bird bath, when buzzing caught my attention.  My little garden attracts a lot of insects and birds, but this one is a first.

I grabbed my cell-phone quickly and snapped some shots:

I wish I had my other camera, but these are the best I could do.


I have always wanted to see a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth. About the size of my thumb, they are incredibly beautiful. The noise they make with their wings is quite similar to hummingbirds.


Take a look here to see the varying colourations of this amazing moth.  This fella was feeding off every flower of my Amsonia 'Blue Ice' and the flowers on my Lamium.


Note to self: keep a camera by the garden, ALWAYS!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Through the Garden Gate, Where The Hostas Grow!

Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE Hostas. Er, um - Hostas placed just right, that is. I really don't have a passion for the rare, the newly introduced, but the well utilized and well situated ones.

This post demonstrates all that.


These are ALL hostas and from afar, one would think you have varying different kinds of perennials achieving this look. Placed in dappled shade, under a canopy of a Norway (Acer platanoides) Maple, these hostas are in the right spot. Slightly elevated to show their mounding form. Not overcrowded and not too close. Nicely mulched with shredded cedar bark to help lock in moisture and well weeded to keep them flourishing. They are so well situated and happy. Don't they look great?!


I'm so blessed to photograph and enjoy them that I had to share. I had an amazing privilege to help co-host a Through The Garden Gate Tour 2016 at a most lovely home in The Kingsway area (Etobicoke) this past Sunday. The best treat - it was hosted by my wonderful friend and home owner, Elizabeth (Beth) Endean.

I have seen this garden come alive right from the onset of the original planting and know the hard work it took to accomplish this result. I am so proud of what Beth and her two helpers have achieved.


One of Beth's gifts, is her eye for colour. She amazes me in all her accomplishments. Especially her love for the colour GREEN. Her use of lime green Hostas like "Paul's Gold" and "Guacamole" really brighten more shaded spots in her garden.  With the more white variegated varieties like "Fire and Ice" Hosta, she grouped them in areas closest to the walkway. They certainly pack a punch and really draw your eye to stop and have a closer look. Her 'green' thumb shows up in all areas of plant selection and placement.


Who needs any other perennial when you create a colour palette like this?


Even great back drops like Euonymus fortunei 'Coloratus' and Vinca minor Periwinkle show them off even more.


I am truly blessed and thankful to have been able to take part and see all the wonderful people enjoy Beth's lovely garden. So many onlookers commented on the choices, placement and variety of what was displayed.

You go-grow, Girl! Great job!

Here's a video of the TBG tour and more info regarding Beth's delightful garden!

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Cnaemidophorus rhododactyla Larvae Eating Rose Buds

As soon as I walked by this rose, I noticed webbing and some caterpillar frass (poop) nearest the tips of new buds. Uh-oh...

It took me a while to ID this critter, as there is so much misinformation out there.


But the evidence of what I am dealing with, is in the classification of the insect's shape, form and colouration.


It looks as though we have a Cnaemidophorus rhododactyla larvae feeding on these Rosa glauca flower buds.


I've seen posts naming this same larvae as Rose Budworm, Leaf-roller, Sawfly and Rose Chaffer larvae.


Something was amiss. The shape and colouration of the larvae didn't match the information I looked through. Thankfully, the tapered - semi dotted red stripe behind the head was a true help in trying to ID it.


It's a alien Moth, originating from Europe. This saddens me, as I hate to see non-native insects devouring my plants. For now, the control I am using is hand removal. I collected about 7 off this rose bush alone. They fed on nearly 20 blooms already, starting from the base of the bush. They make huge puncture holes in the rose buds and eat the entire contents, leaving only the sepal leaves (rose bud outer casing leaves).

One positive outcome: I tossed the larvae on the patio near by and a lovely Robin came and had an easy meal. Yum!


I love Rosa glauca for it's simple, open faced flowers that pollinators adore. I am really vigilant in trying to remove the larvae as much as possible. We had such a prolonged cold spring, and now to see potential blooms withering from damage, is rather disheartening.





Just note: It is important to get specific info in dealing with larvae, especially if you want use biological controls like BTK sprays.

Caterpillars can fall under several classifications based upon leg appendages, segments of their abdomens and for some, prolegs. So because sawflies, beetles and fly larvas are different, they will not be affected by BTK controls.

Use this great site to help you pin-point and ID what you are dealing with before you choose a spray control or removal.    ---->   Bug Guide Website  Don't forget, there are many beneficial insects that are a gardener's best friend.

Click on this link for more info and photos of the Cnaemidphorus rhododactyla larvae and moth.

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