Protecting Cabbages from White Butterflies

Cabbage white butterflies are a menace. They lay numerous eggs on the underside of the leaves of cabbage, cauliflowers, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and other brassicas. If you find them you can rub them off, but you cannot possibly check every leaf every day of the growing season. The caterpillars that subsequently hatch can easily eat their way through your whole crop.


Many people combat this problem by spraying with an insecticide. There is however a more environmentally friendly and healthier way to protect your cabbages and that is to grow your crop under a fine net.

You can make a frame yourself or buy one and many gardening suppliers sell suitable netting. It can be a little expensive, but it will last for years.

The net allows water through and the air to circulate, but keeps the butterflies out without killing them.

To weed and harvest, just lift the net up.


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August 23, 20150 found this helpful

That's a good environmentally friendly solution, corporate farms could take a lesson. The Cabbage White don't bother me though, i grow broccoli, they eat the leafs only and i eat the broccoli flower heads.

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October 18, 20150 found this helpful

But then, if you are allowing the worm to proliferate in your garden, you are, at least inadvertently, promoting its numbers. This would eventually have impact on your neighbors who grow other brassicas. These neighbors may choose to use chemicals to control the worm population. Good news for Dow, Ortho and others. Bad news for our environment.


You've heard the old saying, 'The buck stops here'? Let's coin a new phrase, 'The imported cabbage worm stops here'.

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October 18, 20150 found this helpful

I purchased a small butterfly net from Dollar Tree. When out and about my garden, I keep this net handy. Others may think me mad when they see me running about with the net in hand. I couldn't care less. I have significantly reduced the worm's population (at least in my garden), and I did it without chemicals.

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April 15, 20160 found this helpful

You go girl!

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August 31, 20150 found this helpful

Melissa, your broccoli looks magnificent

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