Holes in the middle of leaves are often an indicator of slug activity. Try nesting a saucer in the ground and filling it with beer to see if you catch any.
Hmm, I find the slugs in my part of the world ( and we have a lot in the rainy PacWest! ) leave a mess behind. There is almost always slimy trails and they chew indiscriminately.
Some pests known for holes in the middle of leaves are caterpillars, japanese beetles and leaf miner bee's ( the last not being a pest... just a borrower :)
looks similar to my Zinnias http://www.hometalk.com/1543396/zinnias-for-lunch-apparently-so I know it's not slugs or snails eating them..at first I thought maybe 'inch' worms, but I've always seen them on the plant in the past (underneath the leaves usually) Perhaps whatever is eating yours is the same as what is eating mine..looks like it! Hope someone has an idea?
Japanese beetles, aphids or mites and white flies.. It looks like Japanese beetles. They leave a lacy design as their eating them.
You can also try some insecticidal soap and add some cayenne pepper or tabasco sauce to the mix. Just make sure you "test" the soap on a small area first.
I'm with Douglas on this one!
Thanks everyone. I think you're right Leah what ever is eating your Zinnias looks to be the same as what's eating my angel trumpets. I have started trying a few of the ideas --I'll let you know how things progress. Thanks again.
Check for thrips, tiny insects with BIG appetite, Safer insectidal soap was recomended on the site I checked..
This looks similar to the damage to our sunflowers (we planted several - & they all have this) - I took a damaged leaf to the nursery & they told me it was a tiny caterpillar, & sold me a "Safer" product. Used it yesterday, so can't tell you if it cured the problem. They had stripped some of the leaves down to just the "veins" left... Hope you fine the answer...
I have black and red grasshoppers that eat on my trumpet plants, they are tiny when born and then they get huge 3 to 4 inches big. And the only thing I can find to kill them is my foot in a shoe and then they are hard to kill. Good luck with your trumpet! I love them.
Update for everyone. I have three plants and all three have the same problem. I know I probably should have tried a different suggestion on each plant, but I didn't... First, I gave all of them a good spray with the hose. Then I concocted a spray of dish soap, vinegar and water and sprayed both sides of all leafs. The two I have planted in the ground seem to be ok--no new holes. The one I have in a pot looks like the leafs are wilting (hopefully it's due to the heat and not the spray). I have a bud on one and can't wait for the flower!!
look for small green worms on the undersides of the leaves near the fresh new growth, as some have said. They look just like a stem; very camoflauged and I've found there is usually more than one per plant. Good luck!
that is a classic sign of worms the safest way to get rid of them is to use thuricide this is a safe chemical that only affects the worms just spray it on and any worms feeding will be killed thuricied works by binding up the worms digestive tract
I have the same problem with my angel trumpet plants and I always use Seven Dust to take care of the problem every year.
BT sold under the trade name Dipel is an organic insecticide that is specific for worms. It is non-toxic to humans and other animals. Seven is a chemically based insecticide that not only kills worms, it can kill any birds that might eat them, not to mention the number it is doing on the microorganisms in your soil and unless you are careful how you handle it, it can do a number on you as well.
thuricide is also bt and is in a sprayable form that give you better coverage than the dipel dust as the worm has to feed on it for it to work
Good point, April. I didn't make that clear. BT is sold as both a powder and a spray. Frankly, I've never had a problem using the dust. Not sure why you aren't getting good coverage.
I have to say, I get a lot of satisfaction spending a few minutes (with my glasses!) finding the little critters and squishing them by hand. If you look for their dark specks of excrement you can almost always find them near....I haven't had to use any powders or sprays at all. But this is for just one or two plants!
I also had the same problem last year; found cutworms on mine. I picked off the ones I could find, then used dawn dish liquid mixed in water to get rid of the others.
Looks like slugs or worms or grasshoppers. I have the same problem but can't see anything on them so I think it's slugs being as they come out at night. Pour beer in a shallow dish, place it at the base of the plant and that will kill them. Good luck
Peppermint oil and water in a spray bottle is the green way and it doesn't hurt plants.
I go out with a flashlight at night and carefully examine the leaves above and below if an unknown pest is attacking. That will almost always tell me which critter is doing the damage so that I can be specific in my pest control efforts. Slugs & snails require different treatment than insects so it does help to ID the problem before treating.
Thank you all for the solution to the green worms shredding mine. I also pick them off everyday but with tweezers. Will try the BT spray and let you know the results.