What is eating my Salvias & How Keep Them Away From Your Plants

Caterpillars, slugs and snails, grasshoppers, aphids, earwigs, lace bugs, thrips, and spider mites are some of the insects that can attack your salvia and eat them up.

Birds like to eat tender young leaves.

Deer and rabbits will eat the entire plant down to the ground. Squirrels will eat the flowers.

Slugs, snails and aphids are the most common pests of salvias. They can be effectively controlled by hand-picking or by spraying with water for slugs or insecticidal soap for aphids.

Salvia plant is a beautiful plant often used in gardens and parks.

Since they are very attractive and colorful, they are frequently planted near the house or in pots inside the house.

But recently you found that something is eating your salvias and you want to know what it could be.

Salvias are well known for their beautiful and colorful flowers, but there are lots of insects that love to snack on them. Read on to find out!

Possible culprits of what could be eating your salvia plant.

It could be a wide range of insects or animals.

The first possible culprit are insects that eat your salvia. This is most likely what’s happening to your salvia plant. One of the main suspects is caterpillars.

Caterpillars can eat any part of the plant and can do a lot of damage to it in a short time. However, there are many other insects that could be doing this.

Another possible culprit could be birds that eat your salvia leaves or flowers.

If you think an animal has eaten your salvia plant then check for signs such as footprints or droppings around where the plant was eaten from – if these exist then it’s probably an animal.

Once you have determined what is eating your salvia plant, you can take steps to protect them.

What causes holes in the leaves of salvia?

As mentioned above, a number of insects feed on salvias. Here are some that you might find doing their thing:

Caterpillars (larvae of butterflies and moths)

Sucking insects such as aphids, mealybugs and scale insects

Chewing insects such as grasshoppers, crickets and beetles

If you do find a pest, you can try to pick it off by hand or use an insecticidal soap directly on the pest.

Do Salvias have Angular leaf spot:

Angular leaf spot is a common disease on many different crops, including beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery and lettuce.

The disease can be caused by multiple pathogens, including Pseudomonas syringae and Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria.

These bacteria cause angular lesions on leaves that are often surrounded by yellow halos.

The center of the lesion may contain large numbers of bacteria that can be spread to other leaves when it rains or if water splashes onto new leaves.

The bacteria responsible for angular leaf spot are transmitted in soil or water. They can also be spread by wind and rain or just splashing water from watering plants or overhead irrigation.

You can do a few things to prevent angular leaf spot:

* Make sure you’re not overcrowding your plants, as this promotes moisture build-up that spreads the disease.

* Water only in the morning so excess moisture has time to evaporate before evening and overnight when it’s cooler and more humid.

* Water at ground level rather than overhead and avoid getting the leaves wet if possible.

* Divide your plants every three years to keep them healthy.

* Remove infected leaves and stems as soon as you see them.*

Should you cut off the salvia leaves with holes?

It is upto you whether you want to keep or cut off the leaves with holes.

But cutting off salvia leaves with holes will not help the plant in any way.

The holes are most likely due to pests or disease; however, if only a few leaves are affected, you do not need to do anything about them.

The healthy leaves will continue producing energy for the rest of your plant without additional resources needed from those with damage.

If more than 10% of your plants’ leaves have holes in them, then it’s time to take action by removing affected ones and determining what caused this problem so you can prevent it from happening again.

How to treat salvia leaves with holes?

Neem Oil:

Neem oil is made from the seeds of a neem tree, which is native to India and Sri Lanka. Neem oil works as an insecticide and fungicide, helping to prevent and treat a number of diseases.

To help combat hole-making insects, spray the salvia leaves with a solution of 1 part neem oil to 9 parts water. Repeat this every four days until you see no new holes.

Sticky Traps:

The best way to control the bugs on your salvia is to use Sticky Traps. This type of product is a double-sided adhesive trap that is coated with a sticky substance.

The color of the traps makes them attractive to some flies and leaf-eating insects, and when they land on it they get stuck in the sticky coating and die.

Use as directed on the label, and make sure you dispose of any dead or captured pests before reapplying the traps.

Homemade Insecticide Spray: 1 tsp canola oil

1/2 tsp Ivory soap

1 quart water

Put these ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray the leaves on both sides to coat them. Leave the solution on the leaves. It won’t hurt your plant.

Do this every few days until you don’t see any more damage on your plant’s leaves.”

Homemade Garlic Spray:

You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons of minced garlic (about 3 medium cloves) or 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid soap/li>
  • 1 quart of water
  • Spray bottle


Add the minched garlic to 1 quart of water and allow the mixture to sit overnight and then strain it.

The next morning, add 1 tsp. of dishwashing liquid to the strained mixture and then put it into a spray bottle.

Apply the solution to infected plants in the early morning or late afternoon make sure to get the undersides of the leaves as well. Reapply after rain or every 7-10 days for best results.

Garden Sulphur

Garden sulphur, or sulfur, comes in powder form and kills insects that cause holes in plant leaves, such as aphids and mites.

You can apply sulphur directly to the leaves by dusting them with the powder or mixing the powder with water and spraying it on the leaves.

Dusting is the more effective method of applying sulphur. If you use water, mix 1 tbsp. of garden sulphur with 4 cups of water and spray the mixture on both sides of each leaf every 14 days until you see no new holes in your salvia leaves.

What is eating my salvias at night?

Most likely it’s a common nocturnal pest, such as slugs or snails.

Pests such as slugs are strictly nocturnal. Slugs hide during the day under mulches or other protected places. At night they come out to feed on leaves. The slimy trails they leave behind help identify them.

The best time to control them is at night while they’re feeding! To catch them in the act, lay boards or shingles flat on moist soil near damaged plants. In the morning lift up the boards or shingles to find clusters of slugs underneath; dump them into a bucket of soapy water to kill them right.

Do moths eat salvia?

Not all moths are bad for salvia. In fact, many are good for the plants and their flowers.

Pyrausta Inornatalis (Southern Pink Moth) is a moth of the Crambidae family. The larvae of this moth is believed to feed on Salvia species such as Salvia farinacea.

Do Grasshoppers eat salvia?

Grasshoppers will eat almost anything in the garden, including vegetables. They are not a specific pest of salvia.

Do Earwigs eat salvia?

Earwigs are not known to be major pests of salvia. However, they can cause some damage to the foliage, especially if they are feeding on a young plant.

Earwigs are nocturnal feeders and usually do their feeding damage at night. They eat both plants and insects.

Common garden plants that earwigs like to feed on include cauliflower, dahlia, zinnia, marigold, and aster. They can also feed on small caterpillars and insect larvae that may be in the garden.

Do vine weevil eat salvias?

If you also have ornamental plants in your garden, then it’s likely that the weevils will move on to them next.

Do possums eat salvia?

Salvia plants are not generally eaten by possums.

Do gophers eat salvia?

Salvia is a tender perennial. It is not a gopher food source.

Do sparrows eat salvia?

Sparrows don’t eat salvia. They might eat the seeds, but only as a last resort.

Do grouse eat salvias?

Grouse are ground-dwelling birds that feed on seeds, leaves, buds and insects.

They also eat berries and mushrooms when they can find them; however, they do not generally eat flowers, since they prefer other foods that are more nutritious.

Do quails eat salvia?

Quail are small, ground-dwelling birds that are members of the Odontophoridae family. They enjoy eating a variety of foods that you might be growing in your own garden.

Although most quail do not pose an immediate threat to your plants, they can become a nuisance if their population grows.

Do Deer eat salvias?

Salvias are generally deer resistant, although there is a lot of variability in the species and cultivars. Deer do not like the strong scent of many salvias.

If deer are eating your salvias, it is likely that they have eaten other plants first and have become more desperate for food as winter approaches.

Do elk eat salvias?

Salvia is such a large plant family (700-3000 species) that I cannot give you a general answer as to whether elk like it or not, but I can tell you that most salvia species are native to regions where elk do not live.

There are a few exceptions. For example, Salvia dorrii is native to northern California and southern Oregon, which is where the Roosevelt elk lives.

I suspect that Roosevelt elks would certainly eat Salvia dorrii if given the opportunity. Most of the other salvias are native to the desert Southwest where there are no elk.

Do rabbits eat salvia?

No, rabbits do not eat salvia. In general, rabbits do not eat any plants with strong scented oils.

A rabbit’s sense of smell is about 100 times stronger than a human’s, and they are more sensitive to smells. They tend to be wary of any plant that has a strong scent


As you can see, in most cases the culprit snacking on your salvia is a common insect.

Ants, aphids, and whiteflies are all common offenders when it comes to snacking on your plants.

In most cases, you can get rid of them with relatively simple home remedies before resorting to more drastic measures.

In this post, we’ve covered some of the most common culprits: slugs, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and deer.

Each of these pests comes with their own set of problems, but all of them have solutions too!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this post! Let us know if you have any questions that weren’t answered here we’d love to hear from you!

Also Read: Amydrium Zippelianum Ultimate Care Guide