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Dealing with a vine weevil attack on a sedum during winter?

wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,952
I was checking over a few plants in the greenhouse yesterday to make sure they weren't too damp or going mouldy etc. One of my sedums (hylotelephium stardust) was going mushy on a couple of shoots and after scraping the top layer of soil away I found the dreaded vine weevil grubs in there munching away. I removed all the loose soil and found maybe 20 well fed grubs (that were welcomed warmly on the bird table) but I can't remove any more soil manually without disturbing the roots of the plant. With the plant in dormancy do I risk leaving it with grubs still in there until it wakes up or should I wash off all the soil now and repot into dry soil? I don't think I'd loose the plant if the roots were eaten but I'd have to repot the shoots and start from young plants again, and there's the risk that they could munch up through the shoots and rot them as well. I'm concerned though that if I damage the roots they won't dry and calous properly and end up rotting underground anyway.

Now I'm just wondering what else those little bu**ers are eating :/


  • ValleysgirlValleysgirl Wales Posts: 147
    I had the same problem on Friday whilst I was tidying some of last years potted plants, Just removing leaves and debris ready to top up and move on in a few weeks, Lo and behold a London Pride which was in a litre pot came out in my hand! So took it to the Green Bin dug down with a little fork and there it was a grub, no choice just binned it. Now in our garden we do suffer with the little terror usually in our geum, Heucheras which I grow from cuttings and lots of different Primulas , a full tiime job we take every plant out of their pots check for grubs and top up with fresh compost we like doing it we are both retired now and we enjoy going to Car Boots locally to sell some, we meet some likeminded gardeners there and have a nice slice of cake /coffee sold at the Venue. Must say like you very very surprised to find a grub in my pots this time of year, What's Happening ? 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 25,315
    I'd think the sedum would be ok if you washed all the soil off,and repotted. ( assuming it's not a big plant )
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,952
    It's in a 7" pot, not too big but it has/had a decent rootball. I only bought it in August when I had a Wyevale voucher and points to use up. I had planned on taking cutting in spring so I didn't bother repotting it when I bought it and it's still in the plastic pot it came in.

    @Valleys girl I lost quite a few saxifages to them last winter. They're too widespread to treat with nematodes so I kill any adults on sight and hope my feathered friends clear up the rest. I guess we must have missed one between us this year.
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,185
    I would remove all the soil, and wash it off the roots too. If there are grubs  won't there be a possibility that there might still be some eggs to hatch?

    Looked up your particular Sedum, it is a pretty one I hope  you manage to save it.
    I noted in some cultural conditions sections that it can take sandy soil, would that be an option for you to place it in a pot of sandy stuff, it would be less likely to rot, and as a succulent even help it root more/again?

    Job for me today:  Go tug plants in pots.

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,952
    Well the waterbutt defrosted enough for me to rinse the rootball off. I'm glad I did as about 15 more grubs washed out and it revealed about another 20 that had to be picked out with tweezers. I've had to break the plant up to get to all of them but I've ended up with a big pile of roots and shoots that will all hopefully become new plants. The main rootball was so solid and twisted that I've no doubt that I've missed one or two but I'll let it all dry out and see if any more can be found when I brush the dry soil off. Our garden robin is happy as larry with his feast though.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,952
    I found 2 more pots full of well fed grubs today. The robin is fast becoming my best friend.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,952
    Another 4 pots full of grubs today :/  I've got a big pile of repotting work to do on the weekend. I think I might have to bite the bullet and dose all my pots with nematodes this summer to try and get on top of the problem before next winter.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,952
    Further update: after letting the rootball completely dry out I brushed off the last of the soil and still found fresh traces of grub droppings. I tracked them down to 2 more fat grubs tunnelling into what was left of the roots. They were well hidden inside the fattest roots and must have been desperate to find some moisture. I've potted it back up now and the other sedums are all starting to grow now so hopefully this one will survive.
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