Wednesday, 12 of August of 2020

Rose caterpillars

 

In general these are called rose caterpillars. They make naturally nutritious snacks for garden birds and with their stools produce an equally nutritious byproduct to enrich the soil on ground level under your rosebushes

In general these are called rose caterpillars. They make naturally nutritious snacks for garden birds and with their stools produce an equally nutritious byproduct to enrich the soil on ground level under your rosebushes

In general these are called rose caterpillars. You need not worry about them. They make naturally nutritious snacks for garden birds and with their stools produce an equally nutritious byproduct which enrich the soil on ground level under your rosebushes.

The rose bushes I had picked them from provided a beautiful show of flowers at least twice last summer and some flowers in the autumn  and few during the winter as I do not prune them down fiercely  as is the custom for some gardeners. These sweet little caterpillars almost never eat into unopened buds or feed on the petals of flowers.

On the foliage though there has been considerable “damage” detected at least twice during the season here in Mallorca. In some cases leaves get eaten right down to their veins and as I mentioned converted into a rich manure by these loyal servants of mother nature as opposed to have to drop off to the ground uneaten in autumn colors.

One of the reasons an authentic organic garden need not depend on the addition of more animal manure.

Keep in mind that the masses of leaves you prune off during the autumn could be left for these caterpillars to feed on, if you would leave the pruning for a little later, which is if you want to help encourage the local bird population.

 

If left alone in peace these lovely creatures will do the same as silk worms and spin a small cocoon around them, hidden among the fallen leaves

If left alone in peace these lovely creatures will do the same as silk worms and spin a small cacoon around them, hidden among the fallen leaves

 

If left in peace these lovely creatures will do the same as silk worms and spin a small cocoon around themselves, hidden among the fallen leaves.

Having done no permanent damage to your lovely scented rose bush nor interfered with flower production, these lovely small multicolored caterpillars could be left to complete their valuable life cycle and fulfill their important role in the garden eco-system.

I am still waiting for the moths to appear. Do not try this at home. The caterpillars I saved had nowhere to go, they are quite vulnerable and are best kept on the live plant. Their diet is very specific. They only eat fresh leaves of rosebushes and do not make suitable pets as silkworms might.

I’ll keep you posted.

PS: Rose caterpilars will appear once only during the apreciating fase of when Specialized Organic maintenance sets forth. As for the update these small cacoons tragically never hatched.

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