UGH!! BUGS in my PLANT!

Discussion in 'The Village Square' started by Islandlife, Nov 12, 2017 at 11:07 PM.

  1. Islandlife

    Islandlife Young Pine

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    Bought this plant this past end of season at a local big box store on clearance. Name is presently escaping me but it like a Coral Bells, seemed hardy and robust at the time I purchased and best it could grow in a container in shade. Was just out looking at it and the leaves seemed a big crumbly so when I touched it the entire top MOVED and came off! THEN I could see FOUR off-white curled maggot bugs that have seemingly eaten off all the roots!

    Anything I can do to save the plant? There are still a few hair roots on the outside of the root ball. Any idea what to do too to get rid of these maggots? And should I be treating all my containers (ferns and hostas in the others)

    Any help would be really appreciated. DSC_0001.JPG DSC_0002.JPG DSC_0003.JPG DSC_0004.JPG DSC_0002.JPG DSC_0003.JPG DSC_0004.JPG
     
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  3. Philip Nulty

    Philip Nulty Strong Ash

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    Wow Islandlife you really got the bugs,..you should be able to save that plant as there looks to be a lot of life there,..first you will need to spray the plant and you will have things in the house that will do just that.

    A few drops of Liquid Soap and a Teaspoon of Vegetable Oil mixed well in water at room temperature,..spray of course.

    Or use a Tablespoon of Neem Oil and the same of Liquid Soap,..again spray with water at room temperature.

    The latter you may not have the Neem Oil,..nor any of the numerous mixtures on hand but you will have the first suggestion.

    After spraying,..pot the plant deep enough so that all of the plant meets together,..fingers crossed for you.
     
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  4. Islandlife

    Islandlife Young Pine

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    Thanks Philip! I do have vegetable (olive) oil and will give the soil a spray. It is literally raining cats and dogs here today but when I went out to look at the plants I saw 1 brown leaf on this one and when I bent over to pick it off the entire top of the plant fell away.

    Very easy to see the bug culprits and I'm "hoping" they came with this plant as I just bought it a couple months ago (end of season sale) in a gallon pot and transplanted it into this one pot with additional dirt.

    I mostly don't want whatever bug this is spreading around to all my other plants (mostly hostas and ferns).

    Will be giving the water + oil + liquid soap treatment asap and will be planting the plant out in the garden. It'll hopefully make it. It has all winter to re-root.

    Thanks for the tip! Appreciate it :) :) :)
     
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  5. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Do you ever see June Bugs, also called May Beetles around outdoor lights in the spring at your home or a garden center? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllophaga
    Those are the grubs for beetles (possibly other species you might have in your area) and they live to eat grass, weed and plant roots then they pupate into the Beetle life. The Beetles only purpose is to mate and lay eggs in the soil, which begins the next generation.

    It's a very good chance the eggs and baby grubs were in the soil when you bought the plants. Pick out the grubs and either squish them or put them in a bird feeder (birds love them) then replace all of the soil with fresh after washing the roots off very well.
    I don't know if the plants can be saved but you can try by totally cleaning the soils and debris off what is left of the roots, cutting the plant back to a few inches above ground level and repotting it.
     
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  6. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Is it a coral bells? it needs to be outside anyway. I doubt if the grubs would winter over.... the best I can think of to even try to save it is cut back all and I do mean all of the foliage and replant it in clean potting mix. ( i seriously doubt if it survives though. it looks like all the roots are gone) as it is there are not enough roots to support all that foliage. nor have I ever seen "grubs" like that in any plant I have bought.... put the soil in the freezer and freeze the grubs or throw it in the garbage. do not put it outside in your flowerbeds or compost.
     
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  7. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    If the grubs can dig deep enough down into the soil they will survive the winter, in pots they might not though.. They do down here in great abundance, even through the infrequent ground freezes.
     
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  8. Islandlife

    Islandlife Young Pine

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    Thanks for the replies :) Appreciate them and the ideas

    The plant is Heuchera aka Coral Bells. It does grow year 'round outside here. Am in the Pacific Northwest so temperatures don't 'usually' get that cold but they can. Last year was record breaking snow and cold but so far we've been cold but not freezing.

    I 'think' I have these grubs contained in that I transplanted directly into the larger pottery type pot from the container I bought them in. Am going to pick out what I can see and squish them (already have on the couple of visible ones) and putting them into the freezer is a great idea (if I can find room).

    I'm mostly concerned that I'm not going to get some massive infestation of these (ahem) things.
     
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  9. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    It looks like the larvae of the Otiorhynchus beetle sort.
    We here use small worm-liker creatures to combat them. One can buy them in a garden centre. Good luck with the battle---these can be VERY detrimental.
     
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  10. Philip Nulty

    Philip Nulty Strong Ash

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    Islandlife,..if its going to be very cold you can always mulch around the Heuchera,..i almost lost one of mine last winter,..it heaved itself up out of the soil even though it was in a container and there was no sign of life but what you see below,..in April,..but with a little care it has recovered this week as in the second picture,..so there is hope for yours :like:.
    2017-04-21_17.35.36.jpg

    Nov 12th 2017. 029.jpg
     
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  11. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    this is exactly what I meant when I said to cut it all off... leave nothing just like the top picture here of Philips.
     
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  12. Islandlife

    Islandlife Young Pine

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    Thanks Everybody :)

    Has rained non-stop since I made this post so I haven't got outside to do much of anything with the plant other than to go and pick about on top of the dirt and squish a few more bugs. Friday is supposed to be sunny so will be outside re-planting this guy out in the garden after I totally flush the roots.
     
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