problems with petunias - Knowledgebase Question

Boonton, Ne
Avatar for philbea
Question by philbea
July 1, 2010
Why do I get caterpillars on my petunias, which are in window boxes, every year?
Also, why are the petunias so leggy? Usually I have full window boxes. They were planted in Miracle grow potting soil. I am checking the plants daily and removing any seeds. What can I do to solve these problems?

Answer from NGA
July 1, 2010
Caterpillars are the larvae of moths or butterflies. I am optimistic that they will turn into butterflies so I don't kill them off. If you are more inclined to think they are moth larvae you can use Dipel or Thuridcide to control them. Petunias tend to get leggy unless you regularly pinch out the growing tips of each of the stems. Pinching encourages the development of additional flowering stems so you'll have a bushy plant with lots of flowers if you pinch on a regular basis and if you remove the spent flowers along with some of the stem. Best wishes with your petunias.

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