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Sep 17, 2015 3:23 PM CST
Name: Chenoa Frazer
Jacksonville Florida (Zone 8b)
I have a question I pulled about 30 eggs from black swallowtails off my one fennel plant l that I had and all the eggs hatched now I have a bunch of small caterpillars and I had had three big previous ones and ran out of Fennel. my husband bought parsley from the grocery store and set it I the there with the three big ones then they were about dead this morning and I was
Wondering if there's a possibility there may have been something like pesticides or something on the parsley that wouldve caused this? I've never dealt with this before so I don't know if anybody might have any suggestions on what happened
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Sep 17, 2015 3:28 PM CST
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
Bromeliad Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Tropicals Plumerias Orchids
Region: Mississippi Master Gardener: Mississippi Hummingbirder Cat Lover Composter Seller of Garden Stuff
You would not have residual pesticides on store-bought parsley, or at least you should not. In fact, in all the years of growing parsley, I don't ever remember having any insect that bothered it. Perhaps we just don't have insects with an appetite for parsley. Shrug!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More

I don't have gray hair, I have a lot of wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
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Sep 17, 2015 3:40 PM CST
Name: Chenoa Frazer
Jacksonville Florida (Zone 8b)
Ok I've never been able to grow it so I wasn't sure. Just not sure how they just went downhill over night when they were to the point of chrysalis.
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Sep 17, 2015 3:47 PM CST
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
Bromeliad Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Tropicals Plumerias Orchids
Region: Mississippi Master Gardener: Mississippi Hummingbirder Cat Lover Composter Seller of Garden Stuff
I don't know a thing about caterpillars. I am sure there are knowledgeable folks out there that will know their relationship with parsley. Parsley should be very easy for you to grow, from the fall until summer. Hard freezes will do it in and extremely hot weather will also. Otherwise, it grows like a weed.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More

I don't have gray hair, I have a lot of wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
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Sep 17, 2015 6:52 PM CST
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Amaryllis Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Orchids Master Gardener: Florida Irises
Herbs Region: Florida Vegetable Grower Daylilies Birds Cat Lover
Let's call on @mellielong and see if she knows what happened. I know she does raise caterpillars to butterflies.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
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Sep 17, 2015 9:35 PM CST
Name: Melanie
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Bookworm
Region: Florida Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Salvias
They could have sprayed the parsley with BT which would kill the caterpillars. I have had good luck with buying organic parsley from Publix. It has never killed my cats. You do have to feed them a lot of it, though, since the nutrition factor goes down as soon as it's picked. I don't know if Publix would use the same distributor in Jacksonville, but it's worth a shot. Unfortunately, BT spray is considered organic since it is a naturally occurring bacteria, but so far I've had no problems with the stuff from Publix. I also used organic dill once from them because their parsley looked wilted.

Ken, do you not get Black Swallowtails in your area? Black ST cats are known as the "Parsley Worm" because it is one of their host plants. I'm surprised you've never seen one on yours.
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Sep 18, 2015 5:44 AM CST
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
Bromeliad Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Tropicals Plumerias Orchids
Region: Mississippi Master Gardener: Mississippi Hummingbirder Cat Lover Composter Seller of Garden Stuff
I don't remember ever seeing any sort of caterpillar on my parsley, Mellie. I lost all of my parsley last winter and did not replant any this year. We don't used much of it. We use a lot of chives, both Italian and garlic, rosemary, and basil, so I keep all of that growing year 'round.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More

I don't have gray hair, I have a lot of wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
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