Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Demise of My Irises

As I sit here typing, I can see the glow of a spectacular sunset. It started out very dark and dreary this morning, but by afternoon, the sun came out and we enjoyed another warm day. I spent a couple hours picking goose berries (no one else will put up with the thorns) and digging in my iris bed, while the kids weeded the strawberry patch.

I have discovered the demise of my irises. They flowered beautifully this spring and have been waning ever since. Because it has been such a cool wet year here, the iris borer has literally decimated large areas of my irises. I have been digging them up and tossing them into garbage bags for the curb as I do not want them getting into other areas of my gardens.

The blessing in disguise is that I wanted to decrease the size of that garden anyway. It always has real troubles with twitch grass. I just didn't think I would be throwing out bags of irises.


  1. My iris have gotten out of control! How do you know if they have the bug? We brought new dirt in this year and it has been very disappointing. The weather has been conducive to good growing, but other than the veggies, flowers from seeds are limping along. I think I need to compost. Do you? I hope you have some sun today, Deborah. Thinking of you - cheering for you as you delight in your husband, your children, and your home!

  2. Enjoy the warm weather and Sun! Those pictures are fabulous! ~Blessings Heather

  3. Hi Pom Pom,

    To be honest, I didn't know they had the bug until I dug them up and found these pink 1 1/2 to 2 inch worm-like things in almost every one of the rhizomes. I came in for a water break and googled pests in irises. Sure enough, there they were. My irises were all dying off which prompted me to begin digging them up. If you look at the leaves, you should see little pin holes at the base and jagged edges where the worms have chewed. There also may be little mounds of what looks like sawdust which means that they have already bored into the rhizomes. Once that happens, your rhizomes begin to rot (very stinky) and your irises die off. If you have the borers,do not dig the rhizomes up and compost them, but put them in a garbage bag with the weekly garbage as you do not want to infect healthy plants.

    Hope this helps! If not, click on the highlighted blue in my post and it will link you with more details.


  4. Oh, I forgot to mention composting. We do compost, but lately it does not end up in my gardens as it had way too much weed seed in it. For the past two (or three already) years, we have only been composting our kitchen waste and the weeds go in a big pile out behind our trees, so it is likely safe for me to start using the compost on the gardens again. Of course, now we simply don't generate as much compost though.


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