Friday, June 26, 2009

Cabbage Patch Kids

I planted some cabbage in the garden this year. The plants have some heads growing. A problem has developed in the cabbage patch. One of the heads had been chewed. I examined it further and found something that looked like dark green eggs.I guessed that they were eggs or "cabbage patch kids" developing into a new pest. The picture below is of the eggs. I removed them by squishing them. Then, I sprinkled garlic powder on the cabbage. Garlic is a natural insect deterrent. If they are aphids, they also do not like garlic like ants, their friends. Both are pests in the garden.

After some research, these are some of the ideas I had.
  1. Is it aphids? They come in a variety of colors, including green.
  2. It is not coddling moths, as their eggs are transparent. (They eat cabbage)
  3. Is it a cabbage loop worm or a cabbage moth?
  4. Or, is it entirely something else?
I still do not know who or what the "cabbage patch kids" are. I am leaning towards aphids. If it is aphids, I need ladybugs! If you recognize this problem, please comment and give me your ideas and suggestions on what they are, or how to treat them.


  1. Hi Anna,

    Looks to me like you have cabbage white caterpillars. The green "eggs" are actually the droppings from the caterpillars. Cabbage white butterflies are creamy-colored and rather pretty, but their offspring are green caterpillars that really love cabbages (and broccoli and cauliflower). Aside from spraying nasty chemicals you can keep the butterflies from laying eggs on the cabbages by using floating row cover fabric, but you need to start early. There's also a natural insecticide for these pests known as Bacillus thuringiensis (see link here: that you can purchase from many seed companies. The easiest control is to pick off the green caterpillars--check UNDER the leaves, which is where they usually hang out. I actually had a pet cabbage white for a while--here's my post about Burt:

  2. Hello Jeannine for Pittsburgh!

    Thank you so much!! The "eggs" were rather makes sense that it was their droppings. I do not know if the floating row covers will work, the worms already have had a good dinner at my cabbage plant's expense. However, it is worth a try. It makes sense about the worms under the leaves. The plant was "double", meaning that it had two heads developing, which makes a great little tent for them!

    Thank you very much for the information! I always appreciate your comments!

  3. I have been searching all morning to identify the green mass on my cabbage plants. Thank you so much for posting this. I really thought they were eggs too!

  4. I have the same eggs too. My cabbage is ready to harvest. It appears fine from the outside. Is there any reason why I should not eat them if the "eggs"/dropping are removed and the cabbage is washed?

  5. Hi Jodi!

    Yes, I did eat the cabbage with the droppings AFTER I washed it very well. I also took the two outer leaves off. It did not affect the taste of the cabbage or me! :)

    Thank you for commenting and visiting!

  6. My wife and I have been growing a few Brussels Sprouts plants in our kitchen garden as an experiment (As we both love spouts). We currently have *loads* of caterpillars, a reducing number of leaves on the plants (Some of them have been reduced to skeletons, the leaves, not the caterpillars) and a lot of these green *eggs* ... was very interested to learn that they are poo.
    BTW, were quite happy for the caterpillars to eat our crop; the sprouts were just an experiment anyway, and we can't wait to see the butterlies develop.
    The world needs more butterflies methinks.

  7. So glad I found this! Thanks for the information.