Irises forum: What eats iris?

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 1912, Replies: 22 » Jump to the end
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lestv
Aug 13, 2014 6:15 PM CST
In my side garden, where all the small "nursery" iris are growing I have something that is taking circular bites out of the rhizome. The leaves are perfectly fine, but the rhizomes have craters. I have pulled up a few of the very small rhizomes and one had a hole from one side to the next, but no leaf damage or other more borer like traits. I have never had this issue before, and it is only in this garden. The larger rhizomes in the garden have not been touched.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Bulbs Seed Starter
Gardens in Buckets Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
grannysgarden
Aug 13, 2014 8:09 PM CST
Grasshoppers! They go after the tenderest rhizomes and make a crater type hole you can put your finger tip in. They also eat the iris leaf edges I have watched them. Last year our region suffered the loss of a lot of familiar birds. As a result the grasshopper population went unchecked. I would find three or four different types of grasshoppers on one iris fan. It was a trying year. This year the birds are here and the hoppers are in check so I am battling the little black beetles that dig into the soil and eat the iris roots.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lestv
Aug 14, 2014 10:38 AM CST
Well that makes sense since we have plenty of grasshoppers and crickets around here. Even with the plentiful birds. If they are hopping around the garden that would also explain why a stroll by the garden is on my neighbor cat's daily routine. Hilarious!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
Image
irisarian
Aug 14, 2014 7:11 PM CST
ants are not helpful either.
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lestv
Aug 14, 2014 7:39 PM CST
Tons of ants. Will they eat on young rhizomes? I have them crawling around the iris all the time, but haven't seen any on the iris themselves.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
Image
irisarian
Aug 15, 2014 6:28 AM CST
We have put poison out for them. I am not sure if the eat the actual rhizomes, but they can remove soil from round the roots.
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lestv
Aug 15, 2014 7:21 AM CST
Good point! I don't need that problem either.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Bulbs Seed Starter
Gardens in Buckets Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
grannysgarden
Aug 15, 2014 8:58 AM CST
Garden ants eat other bugs and clean up the area like garden spiders do. However, if they invade the irises I stir them up a bit and they move on. Fire ants are another matter.... they like taking bites out of me. When it was very cold last winter and sleet was falling I took my spade out and chopped deeply into the ground where they were mounded over. I left the spade cut open to the winter weather. They did not return this spring. This is the first summer in ten years I have not battled fire ants all summer.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
Irises Keeps Horses Region: Kentucky Farmer Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Muddymitts
Aug 15, 2014 9:06 AM CST
Hurray!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lestv
Aug 15, 2014 9:40 AM CST
Good for you! Those guys are nasty, and unfortunately they are now moving into central NC. I hope they don't take up home in my yard.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
Image
irisarian
Aug 15, 2014 6:06 PM CST
Great Bonnie. Luckily they are not in New England.

Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
Image
iciris
Aug 15, 2014 7:10 PM CST
I have used "Combat source kill MAX ant" Bait. its a gel that comes in a syringe type applicator. It works fantastic! And since it works so good I can't find it anymore at the local stores. I did order some on line today just in case they stopped making it.
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Image
Henhouse
Aug 16, 2014 12:41 AM CST
Ants "farm" aphids and scale (and others in the homoptera family) for the sweet honeydew they exude. Sometimes you don't notice a problem until you see the sooty mold that grows on the honeydew exuded on the leaves of a plant. The ants we have here (I've seen about 3-4 different types) don't seem to be predatory with other insects.. I see a lot of grain husks outside their nests. Glad we don't have fire ants.
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Bulbs Seed Starter
Gardens in Buckets Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
grannysgarden
Aug 16, 2014 3:40 AM CST
And I hope you never get them. smiles
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Aug 16, 2014 6:03 AM CST
We too far north to have fire ants, and I've never seen ants (of any type !) EATING the iris, but, I don't like them in the iris beds....here's why:
Thumb of 2014-08-16/crowrita1/62185c


Thumb of 2014-08-16/crowrita1/e64548


Thumb of 2014-08-16/crowrita1/09ca48

the ants don't bring up nearly as much dirt as the "cicada killer wasps" do, but still, it's enough to hurt the iris...it's part of my daily walk-a-bout, brushing the dirt off!
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
Irises Keeps Horses Region: Kentucky Farmer Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Muddymitts
Aug 16, 2014 6:34 AM CST
I get that too, Arlyn. Sad
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Patrick
Toms River, New Jersey (Zone 7a)
Dog Lover Irises Orchids Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Lilies
Roses
Image
Denman55
Sep 8, 2015 5:09 AM CST
Crickets! Crickets eat iris rhizomes. They have been eating my iris rhizomes. I do not have ants or grasshoppers around, but I do have a lot of Crickets around my home, and they are Huge!
They take huge chunks out of the iris rhizomes, not pinhole size either. They chew the tops of the iris rhizomes. I have had to resort to using Cayenne Pepper on the top of each and every Iris rhizome to deter them from chewing up the rhizomes. The leaves are not affected at all. I'm hoping to win this battle before I lose any or all of my Iris gardens.
[Last edited by Denman55 - Sep 10, 2015 6:31 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #946890 (17)
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
Image
irisarian
Sep 8, 2015 9:19 AM CST
The pepper might protect against animals as well.
Name: Patrick
Toms River, New Jersey (Zone 7a)
Dog Lover Irises Orchids Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Lilies
Roses
Image
Denman55
Sep 8, 2015 9:54 AM CST
Lucy, I think you are correct. I have not noticed any further damage to the rhizomes since using the Cayenne Pepper. I am concerned as to whether the rhizomes that were chewed and damaged will recover or will the plants not perform and bloom. What are your thoughts ?
[Last edited by Denman55 - Sep 10, 2015 6:31 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #947019 (19)
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lestv
Sep 8, 2015 11:42 AM CST
The craters that have been chewed into my iris have never kept them from continuing to grow and bloom. If a lot has been eaten, then their growth has been slowed down, but I have never had any die from this yet.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Irises forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Dianthus 'Nyewood Cream'"