Posted: 29/07/2012 at 19:35
I have to 'fess up and say I am actually an Englishwoman in France, though the countryside here is similar to the English Lake District, with slightly warmer summers and colder winters. (Yes, you CAN have your Kendal Mint Cake and eat it!)
In spring I sowed some English lavender seeds (Munstead, Hidcote & Elegance Sky). I gave them the pre-sowing fridge treatment. Munstead & Hidcote germinated well, Elegance Sky less so. They are currently being grown on in pots on a shelf on my patio, ready to be planted out (when large enough) underneath some bare-rooted rosa rugosa à Parfum de l'Haÿ I have also yet to buy. The lavenders are I suppose about 7-10cm high now.
I recently noticed that several of the plants are looking rather denuded, and it seems that something has been eating the tender young leaves. It is as if someone has taken a very tiny pair of scissors and cut off each leaf at about 2mm from where it meets the stem.
I have read that there is a metallic-green and red coloured beetle and its grey slug-like larvae which might be responsible. It is a southern European pest but has recently migrated north and has now reached the UK. I have studied the plants and the soil and have shaken the pots but I cannot see any trace. I have given the pots a misting with soft soap anyway, and will carry on doing this.
If anyone knows anything about these pests and why there is no evidence of them (are they perhaps nocturnal?) or can suggest any other possible cause for my munched leaves I'd love to hear from you.