Digitalis Devoured

June 4, 2008

This year about a third of my Foxgloves have shared the fate shown in the photo (yes, that ‘stick’ in the foreground is a Foxglove, or rather, what’s left of it). For a while I couldn’t figure out what was causing the damage. Whatever it was, it certainly wasn’t showing it’s face during the day. Finally, when I couldn’t take it any more, I dragged my self out of bed at 2am to see who was feasting on my Foxgloves (as well as my Dahlias and Bee Balms, but that’s a story for another post). Can you guess what it was? That’s right, cutworms.

When I went out that night I was astonished by just how many there were. I didn’t try to count them all but I probably picked off at least 40 of these large plump caterpillars. I won’t say what I did with them but they certainly won’t be bothering these plants any more.

Cutworms seem to be quite smart for caterpillars. A couple escaped because I was not prepared for the fact that they drop away from the leaf as soon as they sense your fingers coming to pick them off. It didn’t take me long to wisen up and pick them with my hand underneath just in case. In addition to my Foxgloves, the cutworms in my garden are very fond of some of the Bleeding Hearts that I have (particularly Dicentra formosa). Next year I will be ready!