CassieZ(z5 SE WI)July 15, 2003

Are borers a major problem for small prairie plantings? I have a small (1000 sq ft) 3yr old prairie planted with a mixture of forbs and grasses. This year I noticed 4 plants,

cupplant(silphium perfoliatum), cardinal flower(lobelia cardinalis), Queen of the prairie(filipendula rubra),and

pale purple coneflower(echinacea pallida) all with a borer in the stem. I leave the plants standing over winter and then mow them all down in spring.I have not done a burn yet. Is there any action I can take to minimze the damage, or are borers just part of the prairie eco-system? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
johnp(z4 mn/wi)

Interesting! I had borers for the first time this year (the garden is 10 years old) in my queen-of-the-prairie and nearby sweet black-eyed susan. Not devastating, but a nuisance. The droopy plant-tops signaled the problem and I killed all the several borers I found. These insect things tend to be cyclical or occasional. In the case of the borer, the reasonable thing would be to remove/burn the plant material this fall or in early spring as a precaution.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2003 at 10:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rod_95(5 se WI)

Strange. Could be what I'm experiencing also. Otherwise healthy meadow blazing star turned limp and wilted over the past 3 days. Weather conditions, etc. aren't related since we've had good moisture and sunshine recently.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2003 at 11:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
johnp(z4 mn/wi)

Starting to look like a Wisconsin/upper midwest phenomenon. My first clue was wilted over plant tops with heat and drought not an issue. Rod, try cutting the stem well below the limp part and examine its length for a small hole possible exuding some dusty "matter." I found stems to be eaten out hollow on the inside with a tiny grub doing its business.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2003 at 9:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
CassieZ(z5 SE WI)

johnp, I think you're right about being more of a nuisance than anything else.While individual stalks were infested, the rest of the plant was healthy. I think most borers overwinter in the nearby soil, so hopefully by removing this year's grubs there will be less next year.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2003 at 12:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
helenh(z6 SW MO)

I have borers in many types of plants. I am wondering if Bt would work on these and when to spray since they are inside the plant. Most were striped "worms" but the ones in my lilies looked different. I consider it a serious problem in my yard. The lilies were the greatest loss.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2004 at 10:12AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
establishing a prairie garden - strawberries
I'm converting my lawn to prairie plants and used a...
Gray-headed Coneflower misgivings
Hi, does anyone have experience with growing Gray-headed...
help me ID new invasive in my savanna restoration
Hi - I'm in MN and have about a six year old small...
Grass ID and advice needed!
Hello. Posted this on name that plant forum. Got 2...
establishing Liatris punctata in caliche washes
These are seedlings that I started in a caliche wash...
wantonamara Z8 CenTex
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™