Grasshopper + sunflower = no flower

Blasted grasshopper decimating a small sunflower!

It appears to be grasshopper season again.

I had a few small sunflowers growing in a planter, and noticed that the leaves were being eaten. My first conclusion was that it would be caterpillars, but I discovered a pair of juvenile green grasshoppers instead. I chased them off daily, not wanting to kill them, but of course they kept coming back. However, there was enough foliage to sustain the plants, so I was satisfied with that.

In due time, the plants budded and flowered. We were happy to see the cheery yellow flowers, especially with all the rainy weather dampening things so much, and for a few days, all was well.

Then came the day when I noticed half a flower missing.


Yes, missing. And seated atop the carnage was one of the grasshoppers. It had eaten half the flower, happily munching on the juicy little florets that, in time, should have become sunflower seeds.

You know, if these little creatures hadn’t been absent for many, many years, I would be much less tolerant of this grasshopper. But perhaps I’ve mellowed and have learned to accept that nature works in ways that I may not like, and maybe the grasshoppers are serving a function that I haven’t learned to appreciate yet, just like the aphids that I hated but ended up bringing ladybugs here. Live and let live, right?

Besides, I know that there are several garden creatures that feed on grasshoppers, so I can live with this. And, if I really want to put a positive spin on things, I can tell you that I’ve discovered that grasshoppers eat flowers – I thought they only liked leaves. Of course, if they had attacked one of my rare sunflowers, I would now be cursing until I’m blue in the face…

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Grasshopper + sunflower = no flower — 2 Comments

  1. Well, I’m not the only one then with the monopoly of grasshoppers :)
    They’ve eaten all my spinach!! and are starting on my pak choy.
    Fortunately or not, yours don’t compete with you for food. :)

    • We had a hatch or spawn or influx of baby grasshoppers a couple of months ago (what’s the collective term for them?) but either they’ve dispersed or have been eaten up by the garden fauna. I have great faith in our garden lizards and the hunting birds!
      So far, the leafy veggies (such as they are) are safe. *fingers crossed* :)