Real World Gardener Beat the Lily Caterpillar in Plant Doctor

October 19th, 2017


Lily Caterpillar

Lily%2Bcaterpillar%2Band%2Bdamage.jpgThe secret to controlling pests in the garden is to understand their life cycle, and watch for early signs of infestation so they can be stopped in their tracks before they become a problem.

The first sign of infestation this next plant pest is the skeletonising of leaves. 

In the adult stage the parent (lily moth) lays up to 100 eggs at a time on the tip of a leaf, and the growing (pest) caterpillars then work their way down to the base of the plant.

These voracious pests ( caterpillars) can destroy a clump of clivias or other lilies in record time.

Lily caterpillars are a native pest common along the east coast of Australia but can be seen in other regions. Generally a dark grey to black colour with yellow and white markings down the side.; about 5 cm long.


The adult moth is like your average brown moth with a wing span of around 5 cm and can lay up to 100 eggs at a time.

Let’s find out all about this pest.

I'm talking withSteve Falcioni, general manager of

PLAY : Lily Caterpillar_11th October_2017

The Lily caterpillar attacks clivea, crinums, hippeastrums, the spider lily (hymenocallis) and other plants in the lily family.

Young caterpillars skeletonise leaves while older ones can strip leaves or attack the crown of the plant. Clivia_miniata2.jpg

Very quickly plants are an ugly mess of caterpillars, droppings and collapsing plant foliage. Attacked foliage dies and leaves the plants looking very unsightly.

Lily Caterpillar, calagramma picta, pupate under mulch and then travel up the stems of many types of lilies, munching as they go - eating leaves, stems and flower buds.

Caterpillars pupate in leaf litter or the soil before emerging as adult moths to start the cycle again. There are several generations a year with the most damage noticed during the warmer months.

Look for the caterpillars on the underside as well as the tops of the leaves.

Damage caused by the lily caterpillar is severe and can result in plant death.

Plants which survive usually take a long time to recover.

If you have any questions about growing your own turmeric, then why not email us or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App