I discovered some caterpillars on my passionflower today. I know what caterpillars do to vegetation and I am not happy about the impending doom of my beloved flowers.
I found the caterpillars because I had been drawn outside with my camera to capture the beautiful butterflies fluttering around my bright pink flowers.
Yes. I know caterpillars become butterflies, but I didn’t exactly connect these dots right away. It wasn’t until I came in and started exploring the Googles with a search on “how to kill orange and black caterpillars” that I started to make the connection.
Did I mention how much I love my passionflower?
Then I started noticing a lot of images of these caterpillars, butterflies and passionflowers together. A few clicks later I came to realize that not only is this butterfly called the Passion Butterfly, or Gulf Fritillary, but my beloved plant is the larval host plant for this species.
So now I’m torn. Do I allow the leaf chomping larvae to completely defoliate my plant in the hopes of reaping the benefits of a backyard filled with the beautiful butterflies?
Well, what do you think? Let them live or save my plant?