HARVESTING SUNFLOWERS AND ITS PROBLEMS:
Not only roses but sunflowers are also very important plants in gardening. People love to see flowers the same as the sun in their gardens. Sunflowers are seasonal plants with many benefits, such as their seeds in making sunflower oil as well. Their seeds are edible; sunflower plants help in detoxifying contaminated soil and the birds.
While growing sunflower plants brings some problems as well, which can be solved easily. Some of the problems include pest eating the plants, birds eating the seeds, etc. the best way to cope with these problems is to clean your garden frequently, and when sunflowers got seeds, cover the plant heads with paper bags.
WHAT IS EATING MY SUNFLOWER LEAVES??
If you grow sunflower plants, you shouldn’t be surprised while seeing the eaten sunflower leaves. While noticing such things, the finest way to deal with the felon is to find out what is eating my sunflower leaves? To find out the actual causes behind the question of what is eating my sunflower leaves is to observe.
The main reason usually is the pest and worms which the leaves. We can deal with these pests easily avoid using hazardous methods. Insects are also very important in life, and not all insects are bad.
Following are some of the common pests that cause problems to the sunflower leaves:
What is eating my sunflower leaves? Beetles more commonly. The beetles rely on the leaves of the sunflower leaves. Most of them fed on the soft leaf foliage. The beetles usually completely damage or consume the first true leaves of the sunflower plant.
There will be no such effect of beetles on mature and tall sunflower plants, but if the sunflower plant is new, it could affect the plant’s growth as well as it may damage the plant completely. The very effective way to get rid of the beetles from the plant is handpicking method.
The most common types of beetles attacking sunflower leaves are Mexican bean beetle and Colorado beetle. They can be removed by spraying method as well with neem oil or insecticides.
What is eating my sunflower leaves? Moth’s maybe!! The cruel and dangerous pest to your sunflower is moths. They destroy the plant as well as their leaves. Within a few time, moths destroy the plant by weakening them.
Moths lay their eggs on the sunflower plant leaves, and once the eggs hatch, the larvae start moving into the heads of the flower to feed themselves, and ultimately they left the plant to weaken and destroyed.
If your garden is attacked by the moths and damaging the sunflower leaves, the problem could be resolve in many ways, such as:
- Bring together predators in your garden, such as bats.
- Clean the plants before larvae grow adult
- Use insecticide spray
Another pest is borers and stems maggots. They live in the stem of the sunflower plant for their living. These pests quickly kill the vegetation and different parts of the plant and ruin the whole sunflower plant.
CATERPILLARS AND GRASSHOPPERS:
Just like other pest grasshoppers and caterpillars also love nibbling on the sunflower. Caterpillars are more dangerous as they destroy other plants, too, along with the sunflower plant. The larvae of moths and butterflies are caterpillars.
They are tough to get rid of in one way as there are many types of them. Some types of caterpillars can be touched, but some cannot.
The most useful method for their elimination is to, first of all, find the type of caterpillar you are dealing with.
Different caterpillars and grasshoppers take small bites out of sunflower foliage. Their large quantity can easily and quickly damage the plants.
Grasshoppers are one of the causes of damaging sunflower leaves. They feed on the flower’s foliage.
Grasshoppers feed on leaves, unlike the lace bugs, which suck the fluid from the leaves. But few grasshoppers are not a big issue.
But if they are large in number, it is great damage to the plant.
The best method to remove them is to eliminate weeds; garlic spray can also be applied, raising chickens and dusting leaves with flour.
Also, predators can be introduced, such as praying mantis or toads.
After the development of the sunflower plant, the presence of birds becomes obvious. They take sunflower leaves like lesser goldfinch as their food. So, they can damage a sunflower plant for their food.
They cannot be eliminated by picking them up, so other methods are used to get rid of them. The best of all is a barrier built around the plant of sunflower to protect it. So the birds cannot reach the plant. Other methods to scare the birds can also be used, which loud noises or baits.
If the sunflowers are tall, there is a possibility that deer can also take them as their food. But the difference is noticeable as the damage caused by animal bites is different from any insect bite.
Deer’s are hard to catch as they are fast. But to catch deer, their footprints and feces can be checked, or one can also set up the camera to catch them.
Deer’s are hard to deal with as they are determined in case of feeding in an area. But the harm caused by them can be reduced by building a protective barrier around the sunflower garden. Other methods for the protection of plants include sprays or hunting.
SLUGS AND SNAILS:
Sunflower foliage acts as a food for slugs and snails. They mostly appear at night.
Snails mainly eat leaves and foliage of sunflower, and besides, they can cause damage to it in both indoor and outdoor conditions. Young sunflowers must be protected from them.
There are many methods to eliminate them. Some of them include using your own hands to remove them, increasing the number of their predators in the garden, rear chickens, sprinkle coffee on the garden, repellants can also be sprayed on the plant, and broken eggshells can also be sprinkled.
For gardeners, the leafcutter bees are essential as they act as pollinators. They do not cause much destruction as they only cut a part of the sunflower leaf.
These bees leave a half-moon-like shape on the leaves of the sunflower. In this way, they can be detected. The cut leaves are used by them for their young ones to make nest cells.
Also, they are not very stubborn like honey bees, and they do not sting.
They are also not dangerous to plants as other insects, and their sting is also not very painful. So one should not use any insecticide for their removal due to their importance as a pollinator.
If their elimination is necessary, the bee repelling plants are useful in this regard, like mint, eucalyptus, and citronella. Vinegar spray solution and mothballs can also be used. They are not much dangerous to plants, and they also have many predators, so they cannot multiply numerously.
Aphids are light green or black. The common problem in a garden is usually aphids. They can also be found in other colors like white, brown, yellow, and grey. Alternative names for aphid are greenflies or plant lice. They can be found on the bases of the stem, on flower buds, and on the underside of leaves. They usually bite the edges of the plant and suck and eat the leaves slowly.
Their elimination is easy and quick. They can be removed by. This method is safe and fast too. It is also safe for other useful insects on sunflower.
Also, predators can be introduced in the garden, such as larvae, insects, and birds, to protect the plant.
If they are in large numbers, then they can be eliminated by using insecticides. They should be dealt with soon as their multiplication is quick,
The young leaves of sunflower are also damaged by cutworms. They leave holes in the leaves. Shedding of leaves may also occur. It is not a big issue unless they are huge in numbers.
They are not troublesome as the other insects. It does not that they are not harmful. They can harm the plant if present in large amount leave holes on leaves so can be easily detected.
They feed at night and enter the soil during day time so they can be easily dealt with. Mostly they are grey or brown segmented larvae and fat. They are common in May and June.
For their elimination, they can be handpicked at night time. The removal of extra plants or weeds that shelter and feed them can also help in their elimination. Planting can also be delayed for protection.
After knowing who is eating my sunflower leaves, dealing with the pest may be easy now. But first, identify the pest type, whether it’s a caterpillar, cutworm, beetle, slug or snail, etc. Use the above-mentioned methods to get rid of these pesky pests to save sunflower plants.