Asked May 12, 2021, 1:47 AM EDT
I live in the St. Johns neighborhood in Portland. This year, as of the second week of May, my organic roses are already covered in aphids. It’s definitely earlier and worse than usual, but the most unusual thing is that I have what appear to be white cabbage butterfly caterpillars on my roses. I am very familiar with them, as most gardeners are, because I meticulously pick their eggs off of my brassicas every year. I have never found one on my roses before, but in the past three days I found at least one on 3 of my rose bushes (not planted near one another), and five on one plant. They do not look like rose sawfly larvae, and they are doing zero damage to the foliage. They are bright green with a single white stripe up their backs. The weirdest and craziest thing though, is that they are eating the aphids off of the rose buds! I thought I was seeing things, but the third time I saw it I took a few videos (that this email won’t let me upload...). It’s wild! Have you ever heard of this? Mutant caterpillars!!
- Nicole Amore
Multnomah County Oregon