Home Page

Plant Doctor Archive

Holes in pepper tree leaves

MY native macropiper plants keep getting eaten by something. It happens every year - holes everywhere - but I've never seen the culprit.


KAWAKAWA (Macropiper excelsum, also known as pepper tree) is frequently attacked by the caterpillar of a native moth, which leaves the foliage looking rather moth-eaten. The caterpillar feeds mostly at night, hiding from predators during the day, which explains why you haven't been able to spot it. You could spray with an insecticide such as Rogor 100 or Target but by the time you see the damage, the beetle has often moved on or the caterpillar pupated, so you could be spraying in vain. Try one of the offshore varieties, such as Macropiper melchior from Three Kings Islands, whose lush glossy foliage seems resistant to most pests.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 137, 2003, Page 27

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

Home | Journal | Newsletter | Conferences
Awards | Join RNZIH | RNZIH Directory | Links

© 2000–2022 Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture
Last updated: June 30, 2005