Irises forum: So sick yesterday

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Name: Vi
Ocean Springs, MS (Zone 8b)
Irises Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United Kingdom Region: United States of America Region: Mississippi
Charter ATP Member Daylilies Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Garden Ideas: Level 2
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stetchworth
Oct 22, 2014 6:46 AM CST
Every morning I walk around my garden checking out everything and yesterday I saw where my Boysenberry Buttercup had rotted and it looked fine the day before. I dug it up and there were six yes six borers in the rhizome, talk about being sick, now I'm worried about all the other rhizomes in that bed. Grumbling Grumbling
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
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Muddymitts
Oct 22, 2014 6:50 AM CST
Uh-Oh Vi -- you need to treat the whole bed!!! I'm so sorry.................. Sad
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
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
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grannysgarden
Oct 22, 2014 6:50 AM CST
I am sorry Vi. I love finding good surprises in my garden and really, really hate finding the bad ones. It does seem like things can go seriously wrong overnight. How are you going to monitor the rest of the irises in that bed?
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Vi
Ocean Springs, MS (Zone 8b)
Irises Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United Kingdom Region: United States of America Region: Mississippi
Charter ATP Member Daylilies Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Garden Ideas: Level 2
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stetchworth
Oct 22, 2014 6:58 AM CST
Tell me how to treat the whole bed MaryAnn.
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
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Muddymitts
Oct 22, 2014 7:19 AM CST
Well -- when we found a borer infestation (many years ago in Chicago) -- we dug up every Iris and soaked them in bleach water. Then we pared away any damaged flesh of the rhizome -- and replanted them. If I were doing it now, I would sprinkle Comet cleanser on the raw rhizome tissue before replanting.

There may be an easier way to do this -- if so, I hope someone else speaks up. How many Irises are in that bed?
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
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lovemyhouse
Oct 22, 2014 7:57 AM CST
@crowrita1
@tveguy3
@DaveinPA
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Oct 22, 2014 8:40 AM CST
Darn, I hate to hear that !! It's unusual to find more than one borer in a rhizome...but even one is too many ! I would say that any insecticides you use would have to be "systemic', and then they are only effective while the borer is actually "eating". As MaryAnn said, depending on the size of the bed, a very close inspection of each plant, 'manually" killing / removing the borer, and treating for rot may be your only choice. Good Luck..........Arlyn
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Oct 22, 2014 9:10 AM CST
Vi, Sorry to hear about your borer problem. I had that happen about 4 years ago. I got a product made by Bayer called "Bayer Advanced" It will kill them all within 24 hours. I spread it around the bed and watered it in. The active ingredient in it is Trichlorfon. Then in the spring you should uses another product, a systemic also made by Bayer. It's called Grub Control, and the active ingredient in that is imidacloprid. I didn't dig up everything and replant, as they were well established clumps. I didn't loose any, but some were set back a while. If there are products made by other companies, just make sure they have the same active ingredient. Good luck! Group hug
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Oct 22, 2014 9:17 AM CST
Oh Vi. I am so sorry. Hopefully Tom's suggestion will work well for you!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Brad
iowa (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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ARUBA1334
Oct 22, 2014 10:57 AM CST
Vi.. I would think it would be to late in the year for them to be still in the bulb but once again I have not had much experience with them up until this year, I have never seen them in my garden until this year but then again what a weird year for plants in Iowa there has been a lot of 1st's in 2014 for me at this time of the year at least here they are supposed to be in the moth stage and laying eggs for next year Sad

I would be surprised if they were active that far south have heard of them in Tennessee but Mississippi is a stretch. I have found grubs or worms in my bulbs with rot they are not borers all though they look like them.. Borers have a distinctive look with a pink/red head so would guess that is not what you are seeing and Borers will eat each other from what I understand it is rare to find multiple alive once they reach the bulb. If you can take a picture of what you are looking at.
Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Region: Japan Garden Photography
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Misawa77
Oct 22, 2014 11:12 AM CST
Iris borers are cannibalistic, you may get a bunch in fans when they are smaller, but by the time they get to the rhizome, there is only one left. Do you have pictures of the critters?
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Oct 22, 2014 11:14 AM CST
Vi,
Be sure they are truly iris borers. As stated by Brad it would be unusual for them to be that far south. Here are some pix to compare:

Thumb of 2014-10-22/DaveinPA/6a98d5
Thumb of 2014-10-22/DaveinPA/772643

There are lots of other critters that will take advantage of rhizome damage. Borers are usually detectable by some leaf damage and some "frass" [droppings] around the fan base.
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
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Moiris
Oct 22, 2014 12:05 PM CST
Vi I am so sorry to hear that! I have no experience dealing with borers.

Comanche Acres Iris Garden sells a spray for iris borers: http://www.comancheacresiris.com/inc/sdetail/492/576

If you prefer to try a non-chemical solution here is some information on Nematodes from a page (from University of Minnesota) on iris borers:

"Beneficial nematodes are a natural option to help control some boring insects. These nematodes are microscopic worms that seek out and kill the caterpillars by introducing a bacteria. Research results using nematodes have been inconsistent, although they can potentially be effective in reducing iris borer populations.

Two species of nematodes are commercially available from natural garden supply catalogs or your local garden center. Both species (Heterorhabditis and Steinernema) have been shown to attack iris borer. Nematodes need a moist environment to survive and move. The easiest time to apply is during a rain shower. Lacking rain, water iris before and after applying nematodes. Apply nematodes when iris leaves are almost fully expanded but before flowering. Repeat the treatment approximately one week later. Nematodes are perishable; check the label for the expiration date."

Source: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/iris-borers...

Here is the American Iris Society page on Pests and Diseases of Irises, it has a section on borers: http://www.irises.org/About_Irises/Cultural%20Information/Pe...

And finally a page from the Missouri Botanical Gardens on iris borers: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/you...

When you get things back under control...or next spring if the timing is better I can sent you a rhizome of Boysenberry Buttercup.

Good Luck! Group hug
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
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irisarian
Oct 22, 2014 12:11 PM CST
Surprised to find that many borers. They are cannibals. They may be clustered on the one plant. check the leaves of the other plants, the ones with borers have sticky substance near the edge of the leaves.
Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
Irises Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Composter Organic Gardener
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Linneaj
Oct 22, 2014 1:55 PM CST
Those look like what I found on one ear of corn. Are corn and iris borers similar or the same?
Don't make fear based decisions.
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Oct 22, 2014 9:36 PM CST
Different critter!
Name: Vi
Ocean Springs, MS (Zone 8b)
Irises Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United Kingdom Region: United States of America Region: Mississippi
Charter ATP Member Daylilies Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Garden Ideas: Level 2
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stetchworth
Oct 23, 2014 7:28 AM CST
Hi I was gone most of yesterday. I want to thank everyone for responding to my problem.

Dave, your pictures look like my borers but mine were orange in color, I wish I had taken a photo but all I wanted to do was squash them into the concrete, so now I am not sure what I had or what I should do.

I dug all between the Iris in that bed looking for more but did not see any, I have about 18 Iris in that one bed and as of this morning they are all looking healthy but I am going to keep checking and if I find another I will take a photo.

I'm thinking maybe I should do what Tom said and use that Bayer Advance in that bed.

Marilyn, thanks for all that info you sent and also for the offer of a new rhizome, maybe I will take you up on that come spring.

I will keep you all updated on what is happening and once again thanks to all you guys for your help. Thumbs up
Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Region: Japan Garden Photography
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Misawa77
Oct 23, 2014 8:31 AM CST
Vi - The iris borers would not be in the bed in the form you are looking for. They start out very small in the mid-fan height area and chew their way down towards the rhizome. They eat other borers on the way down getting as big as your photos. They then go into a cocoon of sorts which would be in the soil until they hatch as moths.

Finding them now in the stage you did is surprising to me. This puts you about three months behind a "normal" iris borer schedule. This and having multiple borers in the same rhizome is unusual at best.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Oct 23, 2014 12:39 PM CST
I have a hunch that the rhizome was rotting for some reason, and some other kind of grub has found that to munch on. I'd still use the grub killer on the bed, you don't want them around what ever they are.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
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
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irisarian
Oct 23, 2014 9:49 PM CST
At this time of year you would find the brown pupae of borers, not the borers themselves. I agree with tom about another insect eating the rot, not causing it.

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