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The mullein moth, Cucullia verbasci, lays its eggs on verbascum, buddleia and figwort at the end of spring. Shortly after, from late spring to midsummer, the caterpillars demolish the foliage. Bad infestations can actually strip a plant
when outlined by frost.Cut back the fennel to the soil each year in late winter or early spring, otherwise it could shoot up to 1.8m tall.More ideas for summer colourGrowing summer-flowering plants to attract bees.Choosing plants for late-summer colour
and buddleja.The caterpillars can destroy plants' foliage in a matter of days and can literally be seen to swell in the process. Luckily, my one cultivated verbascum has so far escaped their attentions, but a buddleja and several of the wild mulleins growing
.apples, pears, quince, walnutsspring, summerMore common garden pestsMullein moth - on verbascum, buddleja and figwort.Elephant hawk moth on fuschia plants.Caterpillars on any plants.Cabbage white caterpillars on brassicas and nasturtiums.
Save seedsPerennial plants are often very generous in the amount of seed which they produce. Plants such as verbascum can produce thousands of seeds each year, and you can sow them to grow more plants for your garden or share them with friends
. The first is relatively straightforward: the mullein moth caterpillar. These are stripy chaps that start quite skinny, but rapidly become as fat as witchity grubs by eating verbascum leaves at a terrifying rate. I grow the gorgeous Verbascum bombyciferum
-summerKeeping other moths at bayCabbage white caterpillars on brassicas and nasturtiums.Codling moth on apples, pears, quince and walnuts.Mullein moth on verbascum, buddleja and figwort.Caterpillars on any plants.
of yellow verbascum that has somehow sown itself into a drystone wall and (in the distance) the bristling white plumes belonging to Persicaria polymorpha.Round the corner, the Baptisia australis is spectacular and first opium poppies (Papaver somniferum
flowers for sustenance, and flowers need bees for pollination. But it's important the flowers you grow provide the food bees need.Most double flowers are of little use, because they're too elaborate. Some are bred without male and female parts, while