Caterpillars Eating my Parsley

Written by Chris on May 21st, 2010

I have one small parsley plant in a pot. Should be gone in a day or so at this rate. There are five or six of these guys chomping away. Quick internet search indicates they may be black swallowtail caterpillars, so I think I’ll let them snack away.

Caterpillar Eating Parsley

Black Swallowtail Caterpillars?


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. JJ says:

    How about just planting some more for home use? I have heard that Italian parsley, which looks like the kind you have, is more flavorful than curly? Anyone know if this is true?

  2. Darth Paul says:

    Not sure about caterpillar taste buds, but I think the flat leaf tastes WAY better than the curly.

    Expect that parsely to be destroyed. Serious- they don’t stop eating. JJ’s suggestion is very sound.

  3. Michele says:

    Thank goodness you let them be. I was horrified recently to hear a bunch of pro gardeners talking about throwing them in their ponds. EEK! The world needs butterflies!

  4. Lisa says:

    I had one swallowtail cat on my parsley in the spring, in the last week I had over 30!
    They ate so much that I’ve had to buy fresh cut parsley every other day to keep up with them. This morning several of them were gone, leaving behind piles of poop!
    My swallowtail farm is right outside my kitchen door in a container on my deck. I can’t wait to see butterflies in a couple of weeks!

  5. Janet Robson says:

    I have black, furry caterpillars with a body-length white stripe (3/8″ long) on my flat leaf parsley plants. The parsley is somewhat stunted, with brown leaf tips. I’m glowing my parsley in large pots. If these plants are not salvageable, would potting new plants in the same pots/soil be okay, or should I plant new plants directly into the ground? I’ve never had problems with parsley in pots until this year.

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