Can plants survive with destroyed leaves?

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Can plants survive with destroyed leaves?

Postby KevinTJH » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:35 am

I'm growing 4 different species of eggplants and 3 different species of chillies. Then I went overseas for 2 weeks and left my plants under the care of someone else.

According to her, in the course of 2-3 days, the plants had been completely devoured by caterpillars.

So I went through every single leaf and killed about close to 100 caterpillars and some odd looking green bugs. (I try to stay away from pesticides)

Now my question is whether or not my plants can still survive. Some of them have taken months to get to that stage so I'd be devastated if I had to start over.

Image
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My tomato plant was EXTREMELY healthy and massive and now I don't even know how to describe what it is now. It used to be so bushy and green.
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Sigh...any advice would be really appreciated!
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Re: Can plants survive with destroyed leaves?

Postby Stormgirl » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:06 pm

They might survive but they will struggle. I would start again.
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Re: Can plants survive with destroyed leaves?

Postby KevinTJH » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:39 pm

I managed to find some seedlings at Bunnings to replace some of them, but some of them are much more uncommon. If I started those from seed again, I've only got 3 more months before summer is over
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Re: Can plants survive with destroyed leaves?

Postby Stormgirl » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:55 am

Give them a good feed and water and see how they go....they might recuperate. In fact I'm sure that some of them will. (as long as they sustain no other damage on the new growth, of course)
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Re: Can plants survive with destroyed leaves?

Postby Geoff Clifton » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:24 am

Hi Kevin.

They are far from destroyed, not even sick, just compromised. I would give every plant a good spoon full of blood & bone and a soak and keep them in dappled shade for a week or too. Don't let the sun on the pots, i.e. keep the roots cool, another reason they would be better in the ground along with companion plants to help control predators. I'm about to post a parsley story on that topic.

Some will disagree with feeding a compromised plant but I do speak from experience. Over a year ago I dug out a 2M tall lime tree (it was in the shade of a big gum plus we were anticipating moving though that hasn't happened). Any'ow, I cut a major (maybe tap?) root getting it out and even though I had pruned half the branches off it 'died back' to bare branches and stayed that way for a almost a year. I kept the water and liquid fertilizer (chook poo stew and comfrey stew teas) and in October we got a few teensy weensy green leaf buds. In went two hand fulls of blood & bone it now has a crown of lime green (pardon the pun) on every branch along with flowers and shoots.

In fact blood and bone is my current favourite fertilizer along with as much compost as we can make. Our chillies, capsicums and tomatoes have NEVER been so healthy.

HNY, Geoff.
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Re: Can plants survive with destroyed leaves?

Postby KevinTJH » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:50 am

Thanks for all the great advice! I'll drop by the nursery today and see what I can find.

Geoff, I look forward to reading your parsley story. Healthy herbs always seem to die under my care for no apparent reason.


Happy new year!
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Re: Can plants survive with destroyed leaves?

Postby Pam » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:44 am

blood and bone is my current favourite fertilizer along with as much compost as we can make.


I read somewhere a few years ago, that blood and bone, along with a bit of added pottash, is supposedly a complete fertilizer.
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Re: Can plants survive with destroyed leaves?

Postby bubba louie » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:12 am

Pam wrote:
blood and bone is my current favourite fertilizer along with as much compost as we can make.


I read somewhere a few years ago, that blood and bone, along with a bit of added pottash, is supposedly a complete fertilizer.


Yes, one part in ten, or you can buy it already mixed.
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