The Q&A Archives: What ate my clematis and iris stem?

Question: I have some iris in a raised-bed with some clematis next to them. And I noticed that something has been eating round holes on my clematis' buds and cutting off my iris flower stem and clematis young growths (they don't eat the iris flower but just cut off the stem)
Both happens about a foot up (or just below the top bud of the iris) from the soil line, below that, things are pretty much untouched. So I don't think it's slugs or snails.
What ate them?

Answer: It sounds like a mysterious night-feeder. If you're in a rural area, mountain beaver could be munching on the iris stems. As for the holes in the clematis buds, a bud worm is the likely culprit. Without identifying the critter, it's difficult to make a recommendation for control. I'd go out at night with a flashlight and carefully inspect the plants. You may very well find what creature is doing all the damage. Hope so!

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