I was admiring the tall stalks of the German irises today and I found one which appeared to have broken at the base! This sometimes happens because they can grow as tall as 5 feet sometimes but not this one.
Upon closer inspection I identify the offender! Iris borers! The stems had been eaten from the inside out and had a strong rotten smell.
The moth lays eggs on the plant and upon hatching the larvae bore into the leaves and rhizomes eating away destroying the plant. Removing dead leaves in the Fall where the eggs are deposited and spraying in Spring are key preventative routines.
Of course, I walk through the garden every morning so to have missed early signs means they must move fast!
I sprayed all the iris plants with a “natural” spray in an attempt to stop any other borers in their tracks! About ten years ago I had two large loblolly pines removed which were in the bed along the front of the house. The arborist did that stump grinding thing which created very good soil. The bed made a perfect location for a bed of remonte (reblooming) irises!
They were beautiful for several seasons until the iris borer moved in!
The purples bloom first, than the yellow and Bronzes, and in May the white, immortality, is the last. They rest in the summer and usually produce another stalk in the Fall.
I could continue posting pictures of azaleas…
So much to keep me busy and generally out of trouble!