Serpentine mines in columbine leaves caused by a leafminer
Spring damage to columbine leaves caused by columbine leafminers should be finished by June 1, so start planning now for next year.
As columbine plants begin producing beautiful flowers, the leaves may be so heavily attacked by columbine leafminer that more than 75 percent of the leaf tissue is destroyed. This weakens the plants, sometimes leading to decline. Larvae of a small, black and yellow fly tunnel inside the leaves, making the serpentine galleries.
Columbine plants can be protected by applying imidacloprid (Merit or Bayer Tree and Shrub Insect Control, as two examples) as a soil drench in late April or early May. Columbine plants can also be sprayed with acephate (Orthene) in early May when the leaves are about half-expanded, to protect the leafminer. Most of the spring damage will be finished by June 1, and it may be better to plan for next year.
Columbine flowers. Photo
credit: Mariette Nowak
Leafminer damage to columbine.Photo credit: NCSU
Leaf mines caused by columbine
Photo credit: Rebecca Finneran, MSUE
Dr. Smitley’s work is funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.