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Holes in my brussel sprout leaves

15 years ago

My container-grown brussel sprout plants have holes in their leaves. Anyone ever have this happen and/or know the cause? I see a white moth (with one dot on each wing) hanging out over my BS plants, but I don't think it is making holes (it's probably laying eggs - don't know what type of moth it is though).

Also, will the BS plants flower or anything? I keep wondering where the actual edible veg will appear.

A link of a pic of plant with holes below

Here is a link that might be useful:

Comments (10)

  • 15 years ago

    Have you checked for slugs? Check the link below for my post there.

    The moths are cabbage moths. Check the back of the leaves for green inch worms matching the color of the leaf and look just like the center vein of the leaf. Very hard to see, look closely. I use scissors to cut them in half.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Gardner's best kept secret

  • 15 years ago

    Gumby, no I have not checked for slugs. Not sure what one looks like, do they have shells?? I will check tonite if you are inplying that they may be chewing holes in the leaves. Do the cabbage moths do harm?

  • 15 years ago

    A slug looks like a snail w/o a shell.

    The larva (green inch worms) of the cabbage moth will eat holes in your leaves from the back side.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Cabbage army moth, cabbage moth

  • 15 years ago

    That's it - cabbage moth larvae.....thanks so much for your help in diagnosing. I just googled cabbage moth and this is exactly what it looks like, so it must be laying those eggs which turn into the worms. I'm not sure I can cut them in half with scissors though (eeewwww!).

    Here is a link that might be useful: {{gwi:42969}}

  • 15 years ago

    If that is it you WILL see the worms. I don't spray anything that I will be eating, that's why the scissors. But that is me.

  • 15 years ago


    I have/had those too.

    I have spent the past week pulling them off my broccoli. I pull them off and put them on the ground and squash them.

    I am happy to say, that I have not seen any more for the past 3 days, so I think the scare is gone. But I will check daily to make sure they don't come back. Because I see those Oh-so_pretty little white moths/butterflies flitting around my back yard. they don't fool me anymore with all that cuteness.

  • 15 years ago

    I sprayed bt on the BS today. Looked for worms, but don't see any. Honestly, did not look that hard. Also put aluminum foil around the bottom of the containers (these are container grown BS's) and yellow sticky traps in the containers to get aphids. I read that aphids wreak havoc on BSs and that aluminum foil reflects light which they hate. But I still see that white moth (or its sister) flying around. She can't fool me, I know she's up to something with my BS plants!

  • 15 years ago

    Your sprouts look way better than mine before i caught the worm thing in action. i went out of town for a couple of days and my roommate (who doesn't garden) just watered and didn't notice. when i got back i introduced a couple of wasps (they love cabbage worms) and started using neem oil. organic, and is a mitocide, insecticide and fungicide. will hurt what eats the plants but not what eats the bugs that eat the plants. it is great stuff. one application and no more cabbage worms. i will apply again in a week and then cut back to maintenance spraying schedule. you can use it up to the day before harvest, no problem, and it smells good. kinda minty and citrusy.

  • 15 years ago

    cate, do you see the little buds that form the (to-be) edible part of the plant yet? I had no idea where the "sprouts" would appear, but today I saw the little tiny baby sprouts at the juntion of the leaf branches and the main stalk. Now I know what I'm looking for. So exciting.

    I heard about Neem Oil and may give it a try if I have any more problems with holes. Thanks for the tip.

  • 15 years ago

    We've had alot of rain lately so I haven't been checking my cabbages as frequently as I should have.
    This morning I found some very large holes in the cabbages then located the culprits; several green worms under some leaves but also a huge brown cabbage worm stuck down inside one of the heads. At first all I noticed was a bunch of brownish gook inside but delved deeper into the head where I found the sucker. This brownish gook.... could these be eggs?
    Would a typical garden center carry neem oil? Are there other recommended organic insecticides?

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