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HELP I "weevily" need you!!

Hi I have just come in from the garden to assess the damage after some dreadfully bad weather over the last few day, I had bought some fleece type covering to cover new pots that I had planted last year, we are moving house shortly and I had wanted to take part of my garden with me by taking plenty of cuttings from my favourite plants in fact as I knew we would be leaving this year I had started to take cuts from my hydrangea and some of the larger shrubs the year before I also bought a lot of roses including 6 David Austin 🌹  so I managed to have the last year or two saying goodbye to my beautiful garden that I have loved for the last 23yrs oops sorry I digress anyway you would have thought I had learnt a lot over this time but this morning has shaken me up so much, as I was collecting the pots together I was in awe at one of the hydrangeas that had grown into a beauty in just one year she had produced brilliant pink heads although the parent was blue/purple hopefully I can post a picture as she was still in leaf a few days ago. I had seen a few leafs on the ground next to her in fact with this weather I would have thought they would have all gone but then to my utter disbelief when I picked the pot up the whole plant just fell off I didn't know what happened I hadn't dragged the pot or anything so I put her down and went to move bright green castor oil plant and the next thing it happened with this so through tears I was blaming the squirrel that is always hiding nuts from next door in and then my poor cats got the blame but then I had the idea of looking in the compost and (now advice is needed!!) THERE THEY WE'RE...e260d06759474d3c... vine weevils....I had to Google it!!! So question can I use the bug clear I have seen advertised now or is it to cold,  I live in Liverpool, I am desperate as I have just gone through more pots and the little things are everywhere even though they where all put into new pots and filled with the top compost even the pot I have newly potted with allium, I have planted over 60 in different pots and I can see a lot of them are just showing themselves but I won't know until they flower that's if they do. Sorry rambling again 
Please help if you can and I'm sorry about the length of this query but I need help
Thank you in advance


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,642
    Hello Maureen, 
    It's too cold at this time of year to use anything against vine weevils. The damage has already been done, and l know how heartbreaking it is.
    You have a really bad infestation by the sounds of it, and off the top of my head all l can suggest is removing the plants and washing the roots as the first step. I suspect that the only other thing you can do is painstakingly go through the compost and pick out every one of the little blighters, failing that buy new compost and start again.
    I know how devastated you must feel,  as you'd done the right thing by preparing ahead for your move. What l would say is, if you feel it's all a bit too much, is to firstly check the plants and discard the ones with the worst damage. Concentrate on saving the ones that are relatively unscathed.
    I know it's nice to take plants to a new garden, l have done it myself, but remember that your new garden is a new opportunity.
    PS Don't apologise for the rambling, l know it's a shock.
    Welcome to the forum by the way  :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,340
    Nematodes can be used but it has to be warm enough for them to be effective. I can't use them here at all - waste of time and money as they're too active by the time it's warm enough. Unfortunately, they would be no use to you for your situation though @Metapril, but worth looking into when you've moved.
    I don't find the chemical approach much use either, to be honest, but this time of year isn't ideal anyway.
    It's not the adults that cause the main problem though, and they do tend to go for potted plants more than ones in open ground - ie beds/borders. If you keep anything in pots long term, check them regularly by pulling on them. The grubs eat through the roots, and plants can look ok, then suddenly keel over because they have no root system left. 
    As @AnniD says - you can sometimes mitigate the damage by removing all the soil from the roots and tipping it out somewhere for the birds to have any remaining grubs, and repotting with fresh soil/compost. Depending on how long they're going to be there, you might be able to use the chemical control. 
    Fingers crossed you can save some. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 887
    Hello @Metapril,

    Good advice to try and wash the roots and repot.

    I've had some this year in a large potted echiveria in the greenhouse.
    Absolutely no roots on anything, but lovely healthy looking rosettes. So I picked the nicest ones and dangled them over some old jam jars. They have now all got healthy looking roots and I've been able to pot them up. 
    Don't know what you are growing, but this might be worth a try.

    One year I got them in some potted strawberries. I dunked the whole pot in water for a week, and effectively drowned the grubs. Plants were fine, and I repotted.

    Hope you can save a few things ..... so upsetting for you.

    Good luck,
    Bee x
    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • EustaceEustace OxfordPosts: 816
    What I would do is tip over the plants that are more susceptible to vine weevil attack like heuchera, primrose, strawberry, hydrangea, lilies etc. And repot them in fresh compost. Even though you can spot the vine weevil larvae in the old potted compost, it will be difficult to eradicate them. I've been there, it is heartbreaking to lose the best plants, but you don't want to carry them to your new garden, right?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,462
    Something I've found that seems to help is to use a gritty loam-based potting compost rather than the very fibrous multi-purpose types ... they seem not to find it as hospitable.  I don't know if others have found that ... 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 887
    Hi Maureen,

    Me again.
    Meant to say I had water up to the top of the jam jars, and the rosettes have just grown roots into it (bit like growing hyacinths in those special glasses).

    Also, not all plants are attacked. Be worth checking online for a list of the vulnerable ones, and focus your effort on sorting out those first.

    Bee x
    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • TheGreenManTheGreenMan Tyne & Wear Green Belt Posts: 1,558

    My journey with weevils began with a hydrangea. The leaves kept turning black. 

    I pulled it out of the pot one day, as a last ditch attempt to figure it out, and saw many many white squirmy grubs. 

    Long story short: Bug Clear stuff works but is very toxic to bees etc. I think it would work now as it should kill any grubs (they get bigger between now and summer whilst eating the roots of your plants). 

    Up to you but I would steer clear and lift as many out as you can and check for the grubs between now and mid/end of spring. Remove as much soil as possible. Wash it off, even do a dunk in a bucket of water if the plant can take it. Then replant in fresh medium. And get some sharp grit. 

    Use the grit to cover the whole of the top of the soil (no gaps). 

    Since using grit I’ve not lost any potted plants. 

    I still get the adults (I go out and hunt them at night in summer) but they don’t like to lay eggs in on the grit. 

    It’s expensive (the grit) but I’d rather do this than use the chemical approach. 

    Nematodes won’t work for me as it’s never warm enough for long enough where I am. 

    Hope some of this helps. 
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,834
    Agree with everything said. I have used the pads they sell for keeping Cabbage root fly away from cabbages on single stem plants in pots. They will not lay eggs if they cannot reach the soil.  Have also used pieces of plastic slit that that they can be put on the soil round the plants stems and then at least 1 inch of fine grit on top of that.
    One good thing, the adults die off over winter so you should not get any more infestations until the grubs in the compost turn into adults and begin their dirty work again.
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 1,708
    edited 13 January
    Some good advice here and won't add to it but just to say how sorry I am about the infestation of the ruddy vine weevils you have. I can understand how you must be feeling. 
    Welcome to the forum.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,642
    Hopefully all this advice will help @Metapril, it's such a disheartening thing.
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