Updated: February 13, 2023

Exacum plants, commonly known as Persian violets, are beautiful and delicate indoor plants that can add color and freshness to any room. However, these plants are highly susceptible to caterpillar infestations that can cause significant damage. Caterpillars feed on the leaves and flowers of the plant and can quickly ruin its appearance. In this article, we will discuss how to get rid of caterpillars on an Exacum plant.

Identify the Caterpillars

The first step in getting rid of caterpillars is to identify the type of caterpillar that has infested your Exacum plant. There are many types of caterpillars, and some may be harmless while others can cause significant damage.

One of the most common caterpillars that infest Exacum plants is the tobacco budworm. This caterpillar is light green to brown and has a distinctive dark head. It is about 1 inch long and feeds on the leaves and flowers of the plant.

Another common caterpillar that infests Exacum plants is the cabbage looper. This green caterpillar has white stripes along its back and feeds on the leaves of the plant.

Manual Removal

One of the easiest ways to get rid of caterpillars on an Exacum plant is to manually remove them. This method involves picking off the caterpillars by hand and disposing of them.

To do this, inspect your plant regularly for signs of caterpillar infestation. Look for holes in the leaves or flowers, or signs of droppings on the plant. Once you have identified a caterpillar, use a pair of tweezers or gloves to pick it off the plant and dispose of it in a sealed plastic bag.

Natural Remedies

If you prefer not to use chemical pesticides, there are several natural remedies you can use to get rid of caterpillars on your Exacum plant.

One effective method is to spray the plant with a mixture of water and dish soap. This solution can suffocate the caterpillars and prevent them from feeding on the plant. To make the solution, mix 1 tablespoon of dish soap with 1 quart of water and spray it on the plant. Be sure to cover both the tops and bottoms of the leaves.

Another natural remedy is to sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the soil around the plant. This substance is made from fossilized algae and can kill caterpillars by puncturing their bodies. Sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth around the base of the plant and gently work it into the soil.

Chemical Pesticides

If manual removal and natural remedies are not effective, you may need to resort to chemical pesticides to get rid of caterpillars on your Exacum plant. There are many types of pesticides available, but it is essential to choose one that is safe for indoor plants and does not contain harmful chemicals.

One effective pesticide for caterpillars is Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). This naturally occurring bacteria produces toxins that kill caterpillars but are harmless to humans and other animals. Bt is available in liquid or powder form and can be sprayed on the plant or mixed into the soil.

Before using any pesticide, be sure to read the label carefully and follow all instructions. Wear gloves and protective clothing when handling pesticides, and keep children and pets away from treated plants.


Caterpillar infestations can quickly damage an Exacum plant, but there are several methods for getting rid of them. Manual removal, natural remedies, and chemical pesticides are all effective ways to control caterpillars on your indoor plants. By taking proactive steps to prevent infestations and quickly addressing any problems, you can keep your Exacum plant healthy and beautiful.


How can I prevent caterpillar infestations on my Exacum plant?

Regularly inspect your plant for signs of infestation, keep it well-watered and fertilized, and avoid over-crowding. You can also place sticky traps around the plant to catch any insects before they can lay eggs.

Can caterpillars harm humans?

Most caterpillars are harmless to humans, but some species can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Avoid touching or handling caterpillars if you are unsure of their species.

How do I dispose of caterpillars after removing them from my plant?

Place the caterpillars in a sealed plastic bag and dispose of them in the trash. Do not release them into the wild, as they may cause damage to other plants.