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Eat My Cannas, Will You

I know, I know, I still haven’t put up the HSV Botanical Gardens pictures (well, HERE anyway, most of them are uploaded to Flickr already if you want to nose around there), but between the enforced idleness due to the knee (which is much better, thanks fer askin’!), catching up at work (both regular and design), and just the day to day dealing with two kids, one dog and SIX cats, isn’t leaving time for much else. And there’s almost 200 of those pictures, which takes time to upload, tag, categorize, etc., you know, everything that makes a rewarding internet-y experience.

There, was that enough excuses for today? Good. Onward…

Imagine my DELIGHT in coming back from vacation to a collection of cannas that looked like this:

Open up the tattered sticky leaves and you’ll find this little bastard:

Yes, it’s the delightful canna leafroller, who, post-destruction and metamorphosis, is a sort of nondescript butterfly called the Brazilian skipper. Now I’m a notorious photographer of the butterflies, even specifically plant things to attract them, but let’s see…do I want the six foot tall gorgeous-foliaged plants with beautiful blooms or small nondescript sort-of butterflies? No contest. Bacillus thuringiensis to the rescue!

Spray once a week for best results. The cannas are already making new leaves, huzzah!

I WILL result to chemical control in my garden, people, but I will do my very, very best to avoid killing the beneficials, which means spraying in the morning to avoid the evening pollinators, and in every case possible using something that specifically targets a certain pest, like the Bt, which only lunches caterpillars. Yes, certain butterfly species will take a hit but last I checked they were nowhere near endangered.

Just save your sympathy for those bastard milkweed beetles who utterly killed my specifically-planted-for-monarchs milkweed. ‘Cos those bastards are next.