Irises forum: Iris borer question ?

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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Aug 25, 2016 5:51 AM CST
I just took a job cleaning up neglected mixed border garden
I found two large clumps of mushy dead iris and big nasty boorers unsaveable i believe . they went to the landfill in a double garbage bag.... So now should I treat the soil dig a hole to remove dirt or what? Is it safe to plant again ? iris or something else?
There is a smaller clump of non effected iris(15 ft away )I dug and checked , dipped in bleach solution and replanted.


Thanks for any and all Help
Cinda
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Aug 25, 2016 6:42 AM CST
Hi Cinda, and Welcome! I think that the iris borer eats all of it's siblings and only one infects each plant. If you dug them and found the borer that's if for that guy. The moth that produces it will lay eggs again on irises this fall and start the cycle all over. It is safe to plant in the same spot, without any trouble. It might be good to treat for the borers next spring after the weather has warmed up and the leaves start to grow on the irises. I think there is another iris borer thread on here that has a lot of information on it. Or just google it and you will find more then you want to know! Rolling on the floor laughing Good luck!
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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Aug 25, 2016 7:48 AM CST
Thanks
I did find one thread marked borer
a lot on how to treat the iris and such
not much about the soil
I did see your post on grub control and some info on the borer pupating in the soil

If you were me would you treat the soil?
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Pam
Pennsylvania
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Snork
Aug 25, 2016 8:05 AM CST
Hi Cinda!

I am having problems with iris borers this year also. As I clean out each infested area, I am looking through the loose soil for the little brown pupae forms of the borer. When I find them they get put out on the driveway for the birds to eat ( along with any remaining iris borers that I find - nasty things!)

Healthy, cleaned rhizomes can be replanted in the same area. In the spring I will treat the area with a heavy dose of grub control and hope to NOT see any borers next year.

Good luck with your reclamation project!
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
Aug 25, 2016 3:16 PM CST
This is the time of year to look for the pupae. Small, slightly curved & brown. That would take care of them for this year.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Aug 26, 2016 5:09 AM CST
I have raked the soil in the area , how deep ? more than 6 inches?

Thanks all for your help
I have dealt with borers before but none that had wiped out a whole patch of iris It was a mess .
I am sad I will never know what color they were Sad
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
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Muddymitts
Aug 26, 2016 5:33 AM CST
I'd like to know what the pupae look like -- in case I ever run across them. Where could I find a picture?

Cinda -- What a shame that a patch of Iris was lost to them. I've had an entire bed of Irises become infected with them, but I noticed it when the leaves were yellowing. This was many years ago and I didn't know what was wrong, had never heard of Iris borers, and just had a couple of small perimeter beds planted in Iris. I dug one plant up and found the borer in the rhizome. Didn't know what it was, but knew I had a serious problem. I dug up all the Irises in that bed and put the whole plants in buckets of bleach water. Pretty soon there were lots of borers floating on the surface of the water -- dead. I replanted the Irises and they were just fine. Grew new leaves and bloomed the next spring. So they can be saved if the problem is found early enough. And you don't have to worry about replanting in the same soil -- the *problem* was in the rhizome. I think Tom is right about the borers eating each other (gross!) -- but there aren't other borers wandering around in the soil, which I think was your concern.
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Name: Pam
Pennsylvania
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Snork
Aug 26, 2016 7:03 AM CST
Cinda when I am cleaning a section I usually find the pupae just under the remains of the rhizomes. So raking through six inches of dirt should be enough.

Maybe you will get lucky and there will be some small nubs remaining of the larger destroyed rhizomes.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
Aug 26, 2016 7:13 AM CST
Thanks for the thought, but no luck , already tossed the whole mushy mess nothing green left
It is not my garden but I was still sad hate to see such beautiful flowers gone Sad
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.

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