Petunia Budworm Problem - Updated

June 20, 2012 – 08:43 am

Petunia Budworm Treatment Options: Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew (left) and Eight - Yard and Garden (right) by Bonide

My petunias weren’t flowering well.

Knowing that petunias don’t like the heat, my first thought was to blame the few hot days we had. Then, because petunias like regular feedings, I wondered if perhaps I didn’t feed them enough before I went on vacation.

But when I looked more closely I noticed chew marks in the tender foliage of flower. Then I saw black dots* all over the foliage. Finally, I found the insect - the infamous petunia budworm.

If you see similar damage on your petunias, look for the budworm caterpillars during dusk when their larvae are most active, or during daylight hours, check around the base of the plant where they hide. They start really small and get bigger as they get older.

The bad news is budworm caterpillars can devour all your petunia flowers in a couple days. The good news is that there are two treatments that work great.

How to treat for Petunia Budworm

Petunia Budworm Treatment Options: Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew (left) and Eight - Yard and Garden (right) both by Bonide

If your petunias are really infested, another option is called Eight Yard and Garden, also by Bonide. Eight is water-based, but not organic. It works a little bit quicker, but in most cases Capt Jack’s is just fine. Whichever you choose you’ll need to re-apply every couple weeks or as needed.

Then try to feed your petunias with some water-soluble fertilizer. Do this and your petunias will bounce back to full bloom in about three days. Neat, huh?

Preventing Budworm from Returning

The budworm can survive winter as a pupa in the soil unless the soil freezes deeply. So if you overwinter potted plants in a protected area, such as garage, you might be helping the buggers survive. If you are going to keep potted geraniums or other perennial host plants between seasons, remove the soil to eliminate pupae and repot the plants before overwintering.

Source: www.mahoneysgarden.com


Petunia Pickle Bottom I Belong to Tag Midnight in Malmo
Apparel ()
  • Blush, light coral, vanilla and chartreuse floating flower design on Glazed coated cotton canvas with a coordinating dark slate trim.
  • Simple and sleek ball chain attaching mechanism for your diaper bag
  • Customizable mommy card for contact information
  • Prints coordinate with diaper bags from the Petunia Pickle Bottom Glazed Collection
  • Dimensions: 2.75 L x 4 H

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Day 3 (cont)

I think these things as Yosif worked his long, broad strokes: Should it be today? Should I knick his throat as we stroll through the flowers, watch him fall like a bewitched prince among the tall irises and the Japanese anemones? Or should I kiss him, nip playfully at his eager lips; open a tiny wound so he might receive a poisonous relief to his constant burning? Let him slide gently down into the twilit lake of the Tuileries. Yes, I like the sound of that. It is poetry. It will be a consummation of sublime romance.
"Ah, Inge!" I finished the young sheikh with a combination of subtle moves guaranteed to maximize his pleasure, and he fell back on the seat

Petunia Pickle Bottom I Belong to Tag Happiness in Hamburg
Apparel ()
  • Blush, light coral, vanilla and chartreuse floating flower design on Glazed coated cotton canvas with a coordinating dark slate trim.
  • Simple and sleek ball chain attaching mechanism for your diaper bag
  • Customizable mommy card for contact information
  • Prints coordinate with diaper bags from the Petunia Pickle Bottom Glazed Collection
  • Dimensions: 2.75 L x 4 H


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  2. Meaning of Petunia Flowers
  3. Description of Petunia flowers