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Aquilegia Gall Midge

Where is this pest this year? It has devastated my Aquilegia flowers for the last two years - but this year it is nowhere to be seen and my Aquilegia display is fantastic.

As there is apparently no known treatment, it's a bit puzzling  Also all the Aquilegia in front gardens along our street (which I think originated from my garden) are also on full display.

The only thing I can think of is the extremely wet winter and ear!y spring....could this pests larvae have been flooded out? Any other Aquilegia fans seen any change? Any experts scan these discussions?

Rob  M


  • Sally254Sally254 Posts: 1
    I think they must have migrated to my garden, down here in West Somerset, I think, Rob. 😏😲 I have been wondering what has been ruining my Aquilegias for the past couple of years, as they’ve started disappearing from my garden. Today I solved it. Yes, withered flower buds packed with tiny orange grubs. Look a bit like the anthers at first, but they drop off and start moving. No control other than to pick off infected buds, Which I have just done, dropping them into a bowl of boiling water. At least I now have an answer and will be checking them all rapt regular intervals, boiling water at the ready! 🤨
  • Cooincidently Sally, I just found some today.. Usually, they have done their damage from mid-April onwards into late fortunately, I have enjoyed the bulk of the flowering period....and interestingly they seem more prevalent on the older varieties.

    Last year, in an attempt to have some sort of flowering season, I sowed some seeds of a variety called Mkana's Giant Mixed. After putting the seed in the fridge for a couple of weeks and then sowed them. They germinated fairly quickly and grew them on into the Autumn.

    It was my intention to keep them in pots, which I did, planting 2 or 3 into large 10" plastic pots (which I got free at my local garden centre's "pot recycling" bin). I have kept them in pots and they have been fantastic bunched round my pond. The collar and the centre are lovely pastel shades of bi-colours and they face upwards whereas my older varieties face down.

    I will keep them in pots to see how they do a second year, and I am checking the border plants to try and spot any infected buds before the blighters drop into the soil.....and hope!
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    It could be worse - aquilegia downy mildew reached my garden 2-3 years ago and the only plants left probably wouldn't look appetising even to a gall midge!  I think I'll need to destroy every single last one including the wild ones then give it a few years before trying again.  Even the wild ones are now succumbing and those seemed to be perfectly ok when my 'fancy' types started to be affected, so I was hoping to breed-in some resistance by cross-pollinating.  Nature says no.  It's a devastating disease for aquilegia lovers.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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