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What’s eating my parsley?

Hello my gardening friends! I need your help with something. I just don’t know what is eating my parsley!! I have looked for insects and have looked for caterpillars and I don’t think it is a fungal infection. It is definitely a biting insect! HELP!! I am losing both my parsley bushes and they take so long to grow.

Look at the stalk of the parsley – it is being chewed!

[one_half]There are small holes and yellow spots[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Every leaf is affected[/one_half_last]

If this bush is so damaged, surely I should be able to see what is eating it? Or could it be a night-time nastie??

I would really appreciate your help on this – I just don’t want to spray without knowing what I am treating!!

Thanks my gardening friends xxxxx

By Barbara

Country living is the best! Being a true spirit of the earth, my garden is all about vegetables and fruit trees and herbs and chickens roaming free. I was keen to really start gardening when we moved to Philadelphia in 2005, but not your typical suburban-type garden – sterile and bug-free! I wanted an edible garden.

16 replies on “What’s eating my parsley?”

Swallowtails are the yellow and black caterpillar Marilyn is describing…don’t get rid of them if they are the culprits…they are having a hard time…all butterflies are…I just plant more parsley so there is some for me and some for them. They don’t harm the plant and it grows back just fine…

Hi Alan – this makes the most sense. I will check it out in the evening to see what it is! And when I find it – I will report back. I will have to grow more parsley! 🙂

I wouldn’t worry! In the States, parsley is one of the main food sources for swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. I plant it just for them. I occasionally find little yellow spots on the leaves, too, but if the whole plant seems healthy, I don’t worry about it. Please don’t spray these!!

Oh no!! I will definitely not spray these!! If it is butterflies then they can stay permanently! I will just have to grow more parsley! 🙂

My parsley bush was being eaten completely. I don’t recall seeing what you see, but it might’ve been affected like that, too — I do forget! But one day, while picking away the leaf-eaten stalks (I decided to make a stock of the stalks), I found a tiny black and yellow caterpillar, which I duly squashed! I don’t usually kill anything in my garden, but I was rather annoyed to lose my parsley!

And then I started to put used teabags (rooibos and ceylon) on the soil in the pot. And do you know what, nothing has ventured back to eat my parsley and the bush is growing very nicely again. I got this tip from my neighbour who said she did this to prevent slugs and snails from eating a tree in a pot. I have tried it in two other pots with not such great effect, ie the plants are still being eaten!

Could it be flee beetle? If it’s that, there’s no point in spaying (I don’t spray anything!). Shouldn’t be doing any real damage, jsut cosmetic.

Hi Christina,
I am not sure – I will check on this. I have never heard of a flee beetle. Will have to Google it! I do find the new shoots still untouched, so I grab these!

In my garden the answer would be simple: swallowtail butterflies. I plant parsley specifically for them. You’d definitely see tiny caterpillars though. It doesn’t look like slug damage, but maybe. I’d check at night if you haven’t seen anything during the daylight hours.

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