Re: [gardeners] Bad Day at Black Rock (
Mon, 27 Jul 1998 07:04:05 -0700


I'm absolutely DEVASTATED about your borer.  I soaked all the rz I
sold/gave away in javex bleach before I shipped them so I don't know
what could have happened.  I'm going to write to all who received my rz
to see if they have any borers.  Particularly Heather who has over 100.

The best time to catch borer is when it nibbles in the side of the
leaf.  It then tunnels down the leaf into the rz.  While in the leaf you
can squash it right inside the leaf because you can feel it.  Of course
this doesn't help for this year at all.  The only thing to do now is to
inspect every single rz - poke at then with your fingers - you don't
have to dig them up.  Perform surgery on any soft ones.   You can often
do this without digging them up.  cut them open abit, kill the borer and
scrape out all the rot till the rz is clean and white (rather like a
potato interior).  I scrape with a teaspoon. Disinfect the spoon after
each rz by swishing it in a container of javex. Then rub ajax or comet
on the wound.

If you are finding them in the soil already, that means they are trying
to pupate.  Even more disaster for next year.  There has been so much
written about the dreaded borer.  Some people think they have two life
cycles some years.  I think this may be the case with you, because it
its so early for them to pupate.

go to

You will find a wealth of borer info there.  The only way I've been able
to stop borer is with using Cygon 2E in the spring but I only did that
about every 4th year.  It was mainly my pseudacorus and Dorothy K.
Williamson that had borer.  Even when I dug all my beds last year I only
found 4 in the main beds.

I'm going to put a message on iris-L and see what others are finding
this year.

Keep me posted.  How many rz were damaged/killed.  What names so I can
(eventually) try to replace them.

Cheers  - a very sad Ginny