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Last fall I planted 4 raspberry plants, two Heritage and two Killarney. Recently the two Heritage have had a handful of leaves curl up and fold in half so you only see the bottom of the leaf which looks very white. Today one of the Killarney plants had a few leaves that looked similar. I attached a couple pics below.

Some background. The soil is mostly clay, but I mixed a bunch of compost into it when I planted the raspberries. We have gotten a lot of rain lately so I wondered if it could be a cause of too much water? I haven't used any herbicides or fertilizer recently.

Click on photograph for full size

One of the Heritage

Close-up of curled leaf

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My guess is that you've got leaf roller caterpillars doing that. I've had them infest some of my plants before. If you pry the leaves open, you might see the caterpillar wiggle its way off the leaf pretty quickly. They can destroy a plant - my young grapevine cuttings had them two years ago. I ended up snipping off the bad leaves completely. I tried both soapy water and some "organic" solutions to problems that year - BT powder, horticultural oil, a low-concentrated neem oil. Most of them survived.

There are synthesized chemical solutions that will work but we don't use them here on the farm.

I also try to minimize how much stuff I spray/dust in general on the plants. Actions have consequences, even "organic" ones.

I'm pretty sure that's exactly what you have - caterpillars in those leaves.

  • I opened up every leaf and found white webby stuff. In one of the last leafs I opened up I did find a leaf roller caterpillar (they do move quick). I am guessing you were right but most have turned to moths or moved on since they were empty? I cut off all the rolled leaves (maybe just eight on each plant). I'll look for some advice on how to deal with them to prevent an out break. – Michael Jun 18 '13 at 14:19

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