Geranium budworms, also known as tobacco budworms, are little caterpillars that will crawl into your unopened geranium buds and eat the contents. When the bud opens, the petals are covered in unattractive holes. Removing existing budworms and protecting against future infestations will protect your geraniums from these hungry insects. Part of the secret to protecting the flowers is a natural bacterium known as BT.
Things You’ll Need
- Landscape fabric
- Remove any visible budworms from the plant by hand. The small, worm-shaped caterpillars can be green, tan, black or red in color.
- Pick all geranium buds and leaves that have small holes or brown spots.
- Cover the ground where the geranium plant is rooted with landscape fabric. This will create a barrier that will block the budworm’s larvae from wriggling up and onto the plant.
- Spray some BT, or bacillus thuriengensis, over the affected areas of the plant. This natural insecticide will only harm caterpillars, including budworms. You will probably need several applications.
Tips & Warnings
Ivy geraniums are somewhat less susceptible to geranium budworms.