What is eating my Geraniums

What is eating my Geraniums? (7 Culprits & Quick Fixes!)

Geranium budworms are the main pests that eat Geranium buds, flowers, and leaves. Japanese Beetles and Greenflies also munch on Geraniums. Rats, Rabbits, and Javelinas also eat Geraniums.

Geraniums are pretty, little plants with colorful flowers. Geraniums are sun-loving plants that blossom their heart-out in bright sunlight.

Geranium is also called Cranesbill. Geraniums are easy to grow but they do run into some issues. Pests and animals like to devour Geranium plants.

Let’s see how to control pests and prevent animals from eating your precious Geraniums.

What worm is eating my Geraniums?

Geranium budworms are probably the caterpillars you see on your Geraniums. Geranium budworms devour the flower buds. Geranium Budworms eat holes in the leaves of Geranium.

Geranium budworm also called the Tobacco Budworm is the larval form of the small ‘owlet’ moth.

Adult moths lay eggs in the Geranium buds and leaves. The eggs are minute but can be seen if you observe closely.

The eggs hatch and the larvae start devouring the developing flowers inside the buds. Geranium budworms also eat the leaves of the plant.

How to get rid of Budworms on Geraniums?

  • Take a look at the flowers/buds of your Geraniums. If they look damaged, cut them off and dispose of them.
  • Go to your Geranium plants in the dusk/early evenings. You’ll find many caterpillars on your Geraniums. Pick them off by hand and throw ’em into a bucket of soapy water.
  • You can throw dead budworms in the compost, your plants would love ’em!

What do you spray on Geraniums for Caterpillars?

Apply Bacillus thuringiensis on the affected Geraniums. This natural bacteria gets inside the caterpillars and kills them.

This bacteria works efficiently on younger larvae. It doesn’t work on mature larvae. The bacteria kills the worms in hours!

Don’t spray broad-spectrum insecticides on the affected Geraniums. These insecticides will harm the beneficial insects/predators.

If the infestation is severe, spray synthetic Pyrethrin insecticides on the affected Geraniums. Synthetic Pyrethrin works more efficiently than the natural ones in this case.

Aphids/Green flies on Geraniums

Aphids/Greenflies eat the leaves of Geraniums and distort them. These pests then curl the leaves and hide inside them.

They cause great damage to Geraniums. They breed and multiply rapidly. Aphids suck the plant sap and stunt the growth.

What do Aphids on Geraniums look like?

Aphids are small and are green in color. They come in green to blend in with the leaves. Their presence often shows in the leaf curls.

Honeydew is seen on the curled leaves of the Geranium. Honeydew is a sticky substance that attracts a variety of fungi. Wipe it off as soon as you notice.

Spray Neem oil on the affected Geranium. Spray multiple times to efficiently eliminate them. Spray Insecticidal soap if the infestation is severe.

Get a systemic pesticide and spray the affected plant thoroughly. Aphids die when they eat the leaves coated by the pesticide.

Tip: Add Ladybugs to your garden to keep aphid populations in control.

How do I keep bugs off my Geraniums?

I always advise people to prevent an insect infestation rather than treating an infested plant later. Follow some cultural practices to keep pests away from your Geraniums.

  • Hang yellow, sticky cards around Geranium plants to identify insect pests early on.
  • Check your Geraniums regularly for signs of insect infestations. Pick these insects by hand as soon as you see them to prevent severe infestation.
  • Clear the fallen leaves and other debris around Geraniums. By doing this you’ll deprive the pests of their hiding places.
  • Keeping your Geraniums healthy helps ’em withstand any kind of pest infestations.

Do Earwigs eat Geraniums?

No, Earwigs don’t eat Geraniums. They probably despise the foliage texture. I’ve seen them infest neighbouring plants but they never infested my Geraniums.

Do Japanese Beetles eat Geraniums?

Yes, Japanese Beetles do eat Geraniums. Japanese Beetles get paralyzed when they eat Geranium leaves but they still munch on them.

If the infestation is severe, spray Pyrethrin-based insecticides on the plant.

Do Vine Weevils eat Geraniums?

No, Vine Weevils don’t eat Geraniums. Vine Weevils despise the Geraniums thanks to their foliage. I’ve never seen them feed on Geraniums.

Do Grasshoppers eat Geraniums?

Yes, Grasshoppers/Locusts do eat Geraniums. They can damage Geraniums greatly as they multiply rapidly and feed a lot.

You may want to drench your Geraniums in hot pepper and garlic spray if the infestation is severe.

Note: Here’s a nice article on Why Geranium plants die.

What animal is eating my Geraniums?

Rabbits, Rats, and Javelinas eat Geraniums as far as I know. Most other garden lurkers try to keep away from Geraniums. 

Do Deer like to eat Geraniums?

Deers don’t like to eat Geraniums usually but they’d eat Geraniums if they had no other food to eat.

The fuzzy texture of the flowers may deter them sometimes but not always. Deer do eat Geraniums if they can’t find anything else.

Do Squirrels eat Geraniums?

No, squirrels don’t eat Geraniums. Squirrels despise Geraniums probably due to their texture/fragrance.

In fact, Geraniums are planted around desirable plants to protect them from squirrels. So, you don’t need to worry about squirrels eating your Geraniums.

Do Rabbits eat Geraniums?

Yes, Rabbits can eat Geraniums. They don’t like to eat them due to the texture of the leaves but they will eat them in certain situations.

Grow your Geraniums in hanging baskets if you want to prevent rabbits from eating the plants.

Do Rats eat Geraniums?

Yes, Rats do eat buds off your Geraniums. Rats can do great damage to Geraniums, so it is best to keep rats away from your Geraniums.

Grow your Geraniums in hanging baskets to keep rats at bay.

Can Cats eat Geraniums?

No, Cats shouldn’t eat Geraniums. Cats will be mildly irritated if they eat Geraniums but it’s not much of a concern.

My cat doesn’t go near my Geraniums. Keep the Geraniums away from your cat’s reach if possible as it’s slightly toxic.

Do Chipmunks eat Geraniums?

Chipmunks don’t eat Geraniums as far as I know but they can damage flowers and buds. They do this in search of their food.

Do Gophers eat Geraniums?

Gophers don’t eat Geraniums/Scented Geraniums as far as I know. Gophers are repelled by these plants.

Do Slugs and Snails eat Geraniums?

No, I have never seen Slugs and Snails eat Geraniums. I had a slug infestation in my garden previously but the Geraniums were unaffected.

You might suspect slugs/snails for holes in the Geranium leaves but snails/slugs don’t eat Geraniums.

Do Groundhogs eat Geraniums?

No, Groundhogs don’t eat Geranium plants. Groundhogs may devour a wide variety of plants in the garden but they despise Geraniums.

Do Birds eat Geraniums?

Yes, the pretty flowers seem to attract hummingbirds. Hummingbirds love to suck the nectar out of the flowers. They attract Butterflies too.

Do Pack Rats eat Geraniums?

No, Pack rats don’t eat Geraniums. Geranium is probably one of the few plants the Pack Rats despise. You can plant Geraniums if you have a Pack rat infestation.

Do Elk eat Geraniums?

No, Elks don’t eat Geraniums. Geraniums are resistant to Deers and Elk, so you can grow them in your Elk-trodden backyard.

Do Possums eat Geraniums?

No, Possums don’t eat Geraniums.  This could be due to the strong scent of the Geraniums or the texture of the leaves.

Do Javelinas eat Geraniums?

Yes, Javelinas do eat Geraniums when they’re out of food to eat. As far as I know, Geraniums aren’t their favorite plants to munch on.

Happy Growing 🙂