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Something is Eating the Leaves on Canna Lilies

I have a few canna lily plants. They are developing holes in the leaves. What type of bug would do this? How do I find the bug, and how do I remove them?

By rofire1 from San Diego, CA

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May 12, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I don't know if you have them in San Diego, but here in Wisconsin Japanese Beetles love to eat canna leaves. They're metallic green/gold and easy to spot. They're very difficult to control. You can go out with soapy water and flick them into the bowl. I just live with them, but by the end of the summer some of the leaves look like lace!

If you don't think it's Japanese beetles, you might call your local extension office and ask for help identifying the pest.

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May 15, 20090 found this helpful

Are there round holes in the canna leaves and are the new leaves "sewn together" with what looks like a zig-zag stitch? If so, you have a moth laying eggs in the center cone of the new leaves and sewing them together with silk to provide a save haven for the green caterpillar that hatches and eats and eats and eats. You can cut off the stitched together leaves and make sure you burn them or the little larvae will continue to eat, molt and fly away to eat your and everyone else's cannas. I have tried lots of ways to kill them, but they keep coming back year after year. I think you you need to drench the soil with an insecticide and make sure you cut down ALL the above ground growth in the fall or they will winter over and be waiting to decimate your newly sprouted leaves in the spring. Lots of luck. I finally dug my cannas up and threw them away. It is so sad to see them trying to grow and bloom only to be eaten alive by this pest.

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