Something Eating Leaves and Flowers of Bouganvillea - Knowledgebase Question

Miramar, FL
Avatar for CGPabon
Question by CGPabon
June 8, 1998
My bouganvillea was blooming beautifully, until recently. One morning, all the leaves had little black pellets on them, and two days later, all the flowers fell off! Then it seemed that a nocturnal insect was eating the leaves. I used Soap Mytes Detergent, but I stopped when all the flowers and leaves were gone. It?s been a month and the leaves are now returning, but no flowers yet. How can I avoid this situation in the future?

Answer from NGA
June 8, 1998
Your vine was likely attacked by the bouganvillea caterpillar - a long name for a small creature! These caterpillars feast on leaves and stems most heavily in the warmth of spring, though there can be several generations per year. The adult is a small moth. To protect your vine, spray with a light summer oil such as Oil-Away from (Gardens Alive (5100 Schenely Rd., Lawrenceburg IN 47025; ph# 812/537-8650; e-mail [email protected]). I believe their Bt kurstaki would also work. Best of luck to you!

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