Answer: You may have a type of borer attacking your lily. These moth larvae, hatched from eggs laid in old stalks and garden debris in late autumn, emerge in the spring as tiny caterpillars. They bore into new leaves and eat the soft interior tissue, gradually working theirway down into the roots. The borers not only damage the plants with their chewing but carry the bacteria that produce foul-smelling soft rot, one the serious diseases that affect lilies and irises. Clear beds of old leaves and stems, where borers lay their eggs in the fall. You may need to spray young plants with a pesticide in early spring, before the borers enter the leaves.
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