I did it again. I learned another gardening lesson the hard way.
Two days ago my flower pots were chuck full of vibrant Purple Wave petunias. They were thriving. They were reproducing like rats. Quite frankly, it appeared that I was master gardener of the neighborhood. Now you might be thinking "Uh....Ms. Fish...petunias are the choice of gardening imbeciles...ANYONE can grow petunias for pete's sake!" Well, sure it isn't as tough as growing orchids, but believe me, it is quite a thrill when my petunias survive beyond one month.
Yesterday, I began to notice big chunks of petunia missing. Holes and chunks. Gone. Suddenly my flowers looked more like a piece of eyelet lace than a flower. I like lace. I am not a lace racist. I just don't want it in my flower pots.
The holes are caused by the voracious tobacco budworm. Once this critter starts eating, it doesn't stop. Sorta like me with Junior Mints. And so I declared war against the little buggers.
I got my killing gun full of bithamucideian and calcidentracide and cackled. Caterpillars, you are going down! Then I sprayed with all the fervor of a 5'9" human trying to kill a 1.5 inch larva. I sprayed all over the flowers.
I did. You gasp.
Here is a picture to prove it.
Learn from me. Do NOT spray insecticide on the tender flower itself. It bleaches. It shrivels. It turns into a tie-dyed funnel.
I guess "master gardener of the neighborhood" eludes me for yet another year.
You can read more about the tobacco budworm and how to control it here.