missing blooms - Knowledgebase Question

sutherland, Vi
Question by jmkelland
June 18, 2010
every time my lilies & hibiscus start to bloom, something eats the blooms. What am I up against?

Answer from NGA
June 18, 2010


Deer will feast on the unopened buds, as will rabbits, squirrels and raccoons. If the flowers are completely gone, one of these critters is probably to blame. If the flower buds remain unopened on the plant, bud worms are probably the culprits. An adult fly (or wasp) lays an egg on the forming flower bud. The egg hatches into a little larvae that feeds on the inner parts of the flower. It never opens because of the extensive damage. Bud worms are difficult to control because they are protected within the unopened flower bud. You can interrupt their lifecycle, though by cultivating the ground beneath the plants to expose any pupating adults to the weather and to predatory insects. Best wishes with your plants.

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