Icky things in the rhizomes

remontant(z6B TN)March 15, 2013

Hello all. I was doing some early-spring cleaning up/weeding in the beds yesterday and I found one old "mama" rhizome hollowed-out and full of icky grub-like things. I put some diatomatious (sp?) earth on it, then found another with the same problem. We're about 4-6 weeks out from bloom time here, and about three weeks to the offical last frost date. Should I dig up all the iris "babies" in this area and replant elsewhere, or leave them in place and transplant after bloom time? Also, what would be best to plant where the old ones were? Zinnias?

Thanks in advance.

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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Sounds like they eating the old dead iris rhizome and not the healthy newer ones. Harmless? Maybe.

If all the rhizomes are hard I wouldn't relocate them. If the critters are damaging existing healthy rhizomes they will become soft as infection sets in. I'd keep a close eye on what's going on.

If I decided to move them I'd do it soon after bloom. As to what to plant in that area -- your choice!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 8:16PM
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They maybe iris borers?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 8:59PM
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remontant(z6B TN)

Thanks Iris_Gal and Kousa for your opinions and ideas. I didn't think borers were supposed to be active this early in the season, but something sure is munching on them. I'll keep the DE at hand and then do the transplanting after bloom. Never a dull day in the garden, is there? :-)

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 4:43PM
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ofionnachta(z6 WNJ)

I would remove the hollowed out rhizomes that are hosting ickky things, because the ickies will only mature & lay eggs & then all the younger irises will be full of the next generation. And I would put the removed ones in a plastic bag in the trash, not the compost.

They sound like iris borers.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 9:45AM
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