Caterpillars dying on new plants


  • Creator
  • #55966


    Hi there

    We are a New Entrant class in Invercargill and we are hoping someone might be able to explain to us, why our caterpillars died when they swapped on to a new, bigger swan plant. We had new swan plants ready for when our plants were getting close to stripped, however when our caterpillars made the move they didn’t survive. We found them at the bottom of the plants. They weren’t dead initially, they continued to twitch for another day. The only one that survived was the caterpillar who stayed on the initial plant.
    We would love to know what might have happened so we can make sure we are prepared for next year.

    Looking forward to hearing your ideas.
    Matai students at Myross Bush School

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  • Author
  • #55983


    I have always hosed new plants, washing all the leaves thoroughly and had no problem. Now I grow my own plants with seed saved from previous plants. I also spray my plants with garlic water or citrus water to kill aphids. (Soak citrus skins in hot water, when cold, strain into spray bottle). Good Luck with your next group of caterpillars.



    that’s really sad. There are a few possibilities .. Where did the new plant come from? a lot of us have had problems buying plants from garden shops that have been sprayed. Another cause might be the plant has been fed with a fertilizer, I had a problem when I fed one of my plants with thrive and the outcome was much as you describe. And apparently plants can have a variation in its own chemicals that can cause problems. I got 12 plants from a supplier last year and caterpillars moved themselves onto them and they all died after a day or so. I kept the plants aside for a year and now they are just fine. It pays to water your plants well and keep any new plants you acquire aside for a couple of weeks even if the supplier says they are safe. I hope you have happier experiences coming your way. Good luck.

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