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dieing plants

Posted by grandmavis (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 26, 10 at 9:33

I've never had this problem before...perfectly healthy plants and then they start wilting, dieing branch by branch. So far a carnation, lepords bane, ranuculous, and now my beautiful orange butterfly weed plant. I've used slugo and a dust for slugs and earwigs. could it be moles? have been finding some babies in the yard. Any help would be far just this one garden.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: dying plants

Not sure why pesticides were spread willy-nilly without knowing what the problem was. Not only are there now pesticides laying around doing nothing but possibly killing beneficial critters, but money was wasted.

Nonetheless, if you somehow have found gopher babies lying around, you likely have noticed the gopher tunnels. That would indicate that you have gophers. Gophers like fleshy roots, which Ranunculus and Aesclepias have, and Doronicum have tasty roots.

From the sparse info provided, if I understand correctly, there are gopher sign. Gophers like fleshy roots. The plants that are dying have fleshy roots. This would indicate gophers have eaten the roots. This can be verified by pulling dead plants and looking for gopher tunnels.


RE: dieing plants

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 27, 10 at 11:46

grandmavis, please add your gardening zone, approximate location, to your sign in page, it would help in identifying your problem. ie - no gophers in my own gardening zone/climate, no vole damage either, but moles common.

What kind of babies are you finding? Can you describe them?

You were thinking moles, which don't eat roots but instead worms and grubs. The damage they cause is by disturbing roots or creating pockets of air with their tunneling, burying plant crowns when they push up the telltale mounds of dirt, or creating enough of a tunnel network that irrigation water drains away from the beds too quickly.

Dan may very well be correct, but more information would be helpful.

RE: dieing plants

Gophers will eat the whole plant. I once watched a 4' sunflower get pulled into the hole until the flower stopped it. I figured I'd let it feed on that and maybe it would leave other things alone. The sunflower stalk kept it busy for a few days but then it started on the next. I used castor beans to kill the gophers we had in CA. No sign of any here. I'm sure there's a map of their coverage area online somewhere.If you see mounds of dirt surrounding a 2-3" hole it's more than likely a gopher. If the hole is smaller or no hole but tunnels of raised dirt then it's a mole or vole using the moles tunnels.

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