White Markings on Columbine Leaves - Knowledgebase Question

Grey Eagle, MN
Avatar for marcb
Question by marcb
July 12, 1999
My Columbines has white maze like markings on the leaves. The plants seem otherwise healthy and are blooming. Some leaves have white markings in an oval shape and seem thin. What should I do?

Answer from NGA
July 12, 1999
Sounds as though your Colombines have Leaf Miners. Leaf miners are the larvae of a small moth or fly that feed by removing green tissue from between the upper and lower surfaces of leaves. Since they're between the leaf surfaces, no amount of insecticide will reach them. You can pick and destroy infested leaves to kill the larvae, and to reduce the population of future generations. If you can encourage beneficial predators, such as lacewings and spiders, to take up residence in your garden, the beneficials will help keep the leafminer populations down. If you have a variety of plants in your landscape so that there's something blooming at all times, you'll provide the perfect environment for a multitude of beneficials. In the meantime, just pick off the leaves of your columbines if they develop the tell-tale trails of leafminers

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