Asked on Jul 07, 2013

What's Eating My Flowers, and What Can I Do About It?

Lorrie B
by Lorrie B
This is a picture of my flowers and the damage...I've also noticed brown spots on some of my other plants...
Thanks for your help!
  23 answers
  • Frances Frances on Jul 07, 2013
    I spray my roses with a spray made for them, but it seems to work on other flowers and bushes here. Also I didn't have any Japanese Beetles the past 2 years.
  • Lorrie B Lorrie B on Jul 08, 2013
    I'm not seeing an Beetles, or any other bugs...
  • Peg Peg on Jul 08, 2013
    Lorrie, have you gone out at night to look for bugs on the plants? Many are nocturnal feeders too.
  • Kathleen Kathleen on Jul 08, 2013
    Try insecticidal spray. I have something eating my collards, but can't see what, so have to spray after each rain. Grr
  • Lorrie B Lorrie B on Jul 08, 2013
    I'll have to check it tonight and see what I can see...I'd like to try something natural, if anyone has any suggestions?
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jul 08, 2013
    A good blast of water is enough to get rid of many garden pests. Your next step up should be a commercial insecticidal soap, which can be organic.
  • Debbie Gilroy Debbie Gilroy on Jul 09, 2013
  • Kathleen Kathleen on Jul 09, 2013
    I do have earwigs around, so maybe that's it for mine too:(
  • Linda Meyer-Kelly Linda Meyer-Kelly on Jul 09, 2013
    I have the same problem, or should I say HAD! My mom is quite knowledgeable in the garden, she told me to put dish soap in a spray bottle, with water (duh!) spray the plant or flower that is under attack, and WA-LAAA, no more invasion!!
  • Peg Peg on Jul 09, 2013
    earwigs are night time feeders. Control them or they'll do a number on your plants. Check under any pots, boards, bricks or anything lying around the clematis, even under wood chips or mulch, they'll hide there during the daylight hours.
  • This was was happening to one of my pepper plants' leaves. I took the suggestion of making a cayenne pepper spray as a natural insecticide. It has worked so far for the pepper plant, but I'm not sure if it will do the same for flowers and their petals. Check out my profile under the projects or posts for a step by step on how to make it. @Peg could also be on to something with the earwigs, because I have seen those around my garden as well.
  • Sharry Speaks Closter Sharry Speaks Closter on Jul 09, 2013
    could be earwigs or slugs
  • Phyllis Phyllis on Jul 09, 2013
    We have been having lots of rain and I notice many slugs on everything, plus I found some tiny green little worm that you hardly see eating on my stuff. I have a hardy hibsicus that are down to just lacy leaves.
  • @Phyllis as unfortunate that is for you and the plant, that looks pretty cool.
  • Ambershanelle Ambershanelle on Jul 09, 2013
    I tried the dish soap+water method, and it bleached my garden plants. (Used regular blue Dawn at dusk.) I also tried the insecticidal soap, and that had the same effect. Plants looked very wilted, bleached, and bugs returned within two or three days. Tried Cayenne Pepper. Tried Cinnamon. Finally bought a pesticide, and now I wished I hadn't. (I didn't think about the fact that my plants need the bees to pollinate the flowers for fruit to grow.) My problem was about a million types of ants, flies, grasshoppers, and small insects. So frustrating as a first year gardener!
  • Linda Meyer-Kelly Linda Meyer-Kelly on Jul 09, 2013
    Ambershanelle, do u think maybe the heat caused the bleaching affect? Cuz I am in Pa., and we have high temps, but in NO WAY as high as TX. Phyllis, this is EXACTLY how my garden looked before the dish soap spray, total difference on the new treated growth.. Try it, couldn't look any worse!!
  • Lorrie B Lorrie B on Jul 09, 2013
    Thanks so much for all the comments, I will try a few of these and let you know!
  • Patricia Brining Patricia Brining on Jul 10, 2013
    Water first then spray with dish soap and water mixture= make sure it is soap w/o bleach! The bug guy said that cinnamon repels ants so us could sprinkle the plants with it in a shaker to see if it works!
  • Lorrie B Lorrie B on Jul 10, 2013
    If it ever stops raining, I'm going to try the dish soap, and Cinnamon, I sprinkled cinnamon along my doorway, for earwigs, and they were gone by the next morning! Plus it smelled wonderful every time I opened the doo!
  • Phyllis Phyllis on Jul 10, 2013
    My aunt used dish soap water to spray her things but she used Ivory DishSoap. I would think that Dawn would be to harsh on your plants! You can use it to wash with when you have been in poison ivy to remove the oil off your skin so that would tell me it would be harsh on your plants.
  • Sandra T Sandra T on Aug 10, 2013
    this looks like Japanese beatel work to me.
  • Phyllis Phyllis on Aug 10, 2013
    Peg, I read not long ago in our paper about a Stink Bug that came to the US and started out in PA. It is different from the ones we are use to here. They say they eat up green stuff. I found a whole bunch on the leaves of my hisbiscus and am now wondering if they are also eating them up.
  • Bill Croley Bill Croley on Jun 18, 2015
    Dawn dish soap does not hurt your plants if you dilute it properly and don't spray in the heat of the day. It does a great job also to water your plants with it