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Until yesterday, when I noticed my Nasturtium was covered in Cabbage caterpillars, I had no idea that they particularly liked muching away on it's leaves. I then read about growing a companion plant to Cabbages (which I have at the allotment) to tempt the Butterflies on to the Nast. instead.

I'm slightly confused though as wouldn't growing both increase the number of Cabbage Butterfly & caterpillars overall on the cabbages? Or is it a case of using the Nast. to tempt them in so they can be, ahem, dealt with?

I think the idea is that the nasturtiums are a sacrificial planting. They also work well to lure blackfly away from a susceptible edible crop.

When my daughter was little she had her own little garden and one year she grew nasturtiums - the caterpillar invasion was worse than usual and she had very little ofher plants left - she was sad so I explained that the caterpillars who had eaten her plants would grow up into butterflies.  She gave me a big grin and said, 'Mummy, it isn't a garden - I've got a butterfly farm!' 

hollie hock

They love them- I  first grew them  in a pot many years ago, I was amazed how many caterpillars could be on one plant, they really do eat!  I love the white butterflies



Lovely tale Dove, this year I think I've mostly been a slug farmer.

They are pretty Hollie, it's just a shame they are so hungry. But then we all know the story of the very hungry caterpillar!



They've been munching away on my Sweet Rocket  but they're not there now 

But there was one cabbage white caterpillar all on its own on a honeysuckle leaf at the other end of the garden   No toothmarks to be seen!


Sorry to hear that Dove, hope they didn't eat too much. If it's one thing I can't deal with it's caterpillars, I'm fine with slugs and snails, but caterpillars just creep me out too much. I let the OH know that dealing with them was one garden job I was not going to do.

i just spay spinosad on Nasturtium and it kills catapillars before they turn into butterflies and attack my cabbages.


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