Riverside Hybrids


Passiflora leaf roller caterpillar

Leaf roller caterpillar


 

Leaf rollers, the caterpillars of some Tortrix moths, can cause a great deal of damage to small Passiflora.

The life cycle is:-

Moth ® Eggs ® Leaf roller caterpillar ®  Pupa  ® Moth.

Damage is easy to spot as the leaves are rolled up into a tube, or if too stiff flattened as in the P. actinia leaf above. The caterpillar will turn into a small brown pupa hidden in the leaf which will then emerge as a small brown moth. Best policy is to tear off the rolled up leaves if the plant is small and suffering badly from the damage. You have to be quick though as otherwise the leaf rollers will bale out and absail down their silk threads to vanish into another part of the plant. Larger plants with just a few rolled leaves need no treatment at all.

I accidentally found one effective treatment when I gave quite a strong foliar feed to a young Passiflora and the next day found a dozen leaf rollers in the surrounding saucer-they clearly did not like the taste!