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Old 05-30-2012, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Buda
97 posts, read 225,072 times
Reputation: 119

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Okay so I have 7 one month old Passion Vines. The Gulf Fritillary have already found them. They found the one on the far right first and have eaten 30% of the leaves off it already. I pulled 9 caterpillars off of it today.

I am the type of person that does not like to kill living things unless they are trying to eat me or I can eat it. So what are my options for controling them? Do I have an option other than kill them or let them eat my plants?
Can I take them away and put them in the grass 60 feet away? If I do that will they get hungry enough to eat the grass and turn into butterflies? Or will they just not eat anything other than Passion Vines?

Sadly something tells me that they call this Butterfly a Passion Butterfly for a reason.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,364 posts, read 1,404,198 times
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SCotts,
They sell a natural insect killer at Walmart. It is for inside and outside plants.
It is excellent for all types of plants, including your passionvine.
Just spray it at evening hours before sun goes down, so it doesn't
bother the plant.
Passionvine is a vigourous vine, it will be able to hold it's own in a few years
and then some.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:10 PM
 
2,065 posts, read 3,331,684 times
Reputation: 2553
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottsheehan026 View Post
Okay so I have 7 one month old Passion Vines. The Gulf Fritillary have already found them. They found the one on the far right first and have eaten 30% of the leaves off it already. I pulled 9 caterpillars off of it today.

I am the type of person that does not like to kill living things unless they are trying to eat me or I can eat it. So what are my options for controling them? Do I have an option other than kill them or let them eat my plants?
Can I take them away and put them in the grass 60 feet away? If I do that will they get hungry enough to eat the grass and turn into butterflies? Or will they just not eat anything other than Passion Vines?

Sadly something tells me that they call this Butterfly a Passion Butterfly for a reason.

The caterpillars would either find their way back or starve, since they don't eat grass. Sorry to say, it looks like you have some choices to make. Many people by passion flower plants to attract and feed the caterpillars in their butterfly gardens and usually manage to have most of their plants come back. It does sound like yours might be on the small side and might not have the reserves to grow after the caterpillars are done. If you want to give the plants a fighting chance this year you may have to reduce the caterpillar population a little. You can pick them off and smoosh them or toss them into a container with soap water to kill them and then dump the remains. If you spray you will most likely have very few or no butterflies, which would be kind of sad. If you live in an area where the passionflower can overwinter next year's plants should be able to handle the caterpillars without interference.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Buda
97 posts, read 225,072 times
Reputation: 119
I was afraid of that. But yes part of the reason I got them was that they will play host to butterflies and their offspring. I just don't think they are big enough at this time to handle it. I am thinking at this stage every leaf counts. So for now I guess I can just allow a few per plant and and kill the rest. I supose I will just have to find a happy medium till the vines are bigger.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Sherwood
5,184 posts, read 7,578,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottsheehan026 View Post
I was afraid of that. But yes part of the reason I got them was that they will play host to butterflies and their offspring. I just don't think they are big enough at this time to handle it. I am thinking at this stage every leaf counts. So for now I guess I can just allow a few per plant and and kill the rest. I supose I will just have to find a happy medium till the vines are bigger.
I wouldn't worry and let the caterpillars eat the vines. Disclaimer: I don't have passion vines. LOL

But I do have a few different aesclepias which are hosts for the monarch butterfly and larvae. While researching the plants, I found a website online where the poster documented their plants' growth and "destruction" by the larvae. The larvae ate the plants down to the ground in a couple of cases...but guess what? The plants survived.

I think if the plants are hosts, there may be a symbiotic relationship. If it makes you feel better, a rabbit ate my carolina phlox and pink blueberries pretty much to the ground last year...and those came back stronger this year. I guess the one or two leaves (sniff) remaining on the plant helped in building stronger roots(?).
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:47 AM
 
930 posts, read 1,732,079 times
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Aha, so that is what those are! I was wondering what kind of caterpillar was all over my passion vine. I wouldn't touch them because I thought the spines were poisonous. I either flick them off or use the hose jet spray and then I kill them.

What kind of passion vines do you have? In my experience, I was given some roots last spring (the purple variety) and out of the four, only one took. It didn't grow very much because we had an awful summer. Fast forward to this March, the vine started to grow but every morning it would be a nub back to the ground. I knew something was eating it so I put some Sevin dust on it and found some dead caterpillars, but not the Gulf Fritillary, they were a different kind. I figured that it was hopeless and went out and bought a passion plant and what do you know, the original one started coming up all of the sudden and there were shoots all over the place! About 3 weeks ago is when I noticed the Gulf Fritillaries all over my vines. Luckily for me, the vine grows very fast so it seems that the damage is not going to kill the plant. I also didn't realize that I bought a blue passion vine so now I will have 2 different kinds of vines intertwined. I have noticed that the blue passion vine has smaller leaves and the caterpillars have eaten alot of it so we'll see what happens. I think once your plants get established, it won't be much of an issue. It might be one of those "patience" things where the first year may be not be so good but next year should be much better.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Buda
97 posts, read 225,072 times
Reputation: 119
I have 4 blue and 3 purple. I just planted them B,P,B,P,B,P,B along the back 6 foot chain link fence. They grow very quickly all of them are already to the top of the fence. When I got them they were about a foot tall with one shoot. Now 4 weeks later they have 4-6 shoots per plant and many of the shoots are to the top of the fence. I am getting about 8" of growth per shoot every day now.

I need to do more research but I had one Caterpillar go to cocoon stage last night. I think as of now I will let 2 per plant survive and kill the rest. When one cocoons I will let another Caterpillar live. I hope i don't get a God complex from this......

But with the growth of these vines I have no doubt next year I will let the caterpillars eat their heart out.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:34 AM
 
930 posts, read 1,732,079 times
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Wow, you are going to have alot of passion vine. Mine are on a chain link fence also but only about half way up right now...I want a barrier for wind and privacy. My mom had one root that she planted about 5 years ago and it comes up in the strangest places...in the yard, in other flower beds 15 feet away, etc. so they apparently are very hardy. I am amazed at how much they grow.

You're much nicer than I am. I kill them all, those little buggers.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
5,241 posts, read 5,070,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottsheehan026 View Post
I was afraid of that. But yes part of the reason I got them was that they will play host to butterflies and their offspring. I just don't think they are big enough at this time to handle it. I am thinking at this stage every leaf counts. So for now I guess I can just allow a few per plant and and kill the rest. I supose I will just have to find a happy medium till the vines are bigger.
I grow them for the butterflies, so I have several. You're in Texas? The passionvine will come back even if they eat it all up. In fact, I keep my vines in containers now, after spending a summer trying to keep one from taking over my whole garden!
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:32 AM
 
29,990 posts, read 20,965,594 times
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A little off-topic, but, has anyone eaten the fruit from the passion flower? Would you recommend planting for the fruit as well as the butterflies?
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