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searching out and dealing with the dreaded vine weevil


By sandra


today was the day i went to investigate my display pots of aeoniums…these pots are several year old and are the ones i fear getting infested….i only found 2 pots damaged by the little blighters and thankfully most of them are fine.
vine weevil can be found in ANYTHING that grows in a pot. the pot offers the perfect growing conditions for the evil weevil. i have over the years tried all sorts of techniques to rid my plants of them.. i used to use provado until i realised it not only kills the baddies but the goodies like ladybirds too. i tried nematodes but its a bit fiddly and they need high temps to survive and do their job.

i have decided the best way is to keep things clean and tidy, check all pots every spring for signs of infestation, and if a plant looks sick find out why….and it seems to be keeping them at bay.

if i’m dealing with smaller pots i tip them out and check there is as much root as i anticipated. if the evil weevil has been munching, the soil will just fall away from the plant leaving very little root.

with big established display pots that are too big to tip up, i give the main stem a good shake and tug.

this pot full wasn’t looking too good soo i gave it a big tug and….

it came away in my hand….

having emptied the plants out of the pot i started my investigations…

oh didnt take long before i found one…

and then another…

squish squash all gone..

no wonder the poor plant was not looking its best..

now what to do with the plants…?

as you can see there are 3 plants..the one sadly is passed it and i have lots of this one so it the compost bin for you…

i washed off the roots of the others to make sure there are none hiding..

then i mixed up some fresh compost with lots of coarse sand to help the drainage. i did notice when i was emptying out the old compost that there wasn’t much sand in the mix so maybe thats why this pot got infested..

the sand or you could use gravel will help with better drainage. i put both into a big bucket and mix it all up. then a placed some broken crocks in the bottom of the pot and added my mixture.

the big green aeonium went happily into its new pot. i just realised i didn’t take a pic of the newly potted plant.

i can never grow enough of the purple ones so i decided to take a few cuttings from this one.

all chopped and put in the mix to grow. you could use rooting powder but i prefer not to.

give them a few weeks and then they should root and start growing into new plants. and hopefully they will look like these soon..

the other thing i do is water on a weak solution of jeyes fluid when they go outside..the theory is that the adult weevil wont like the smell and lay there eggs else where…well its worth a go.

hope this helps….:-)

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I also have to wage war on the little madams. At the moment I keep finding them in the kitchen.

they don't have burrow up the stems too. tricksy little things.
the cuttings made me smile. one looks like V for victory or a body stuck head first in a mire. ;o)

15 Apr, 2013


damn things !!!

15 Apr, 2013


lol SBG..

and if they survive the weevil, the green fly will be waiting and then the hedge sparrows will be watching ..not to mention the slugs waiting in the wings..

why do we do it..?

15 Apr, 2013


Thanks Sandra for that informative blog . now I know why in the past some of my sick looking plants when I have moved the soil about they have just come away in my hand must have been the dreaded weevil arrrrh ....

15 Apr, 2013


thats the worst thing about them Kidsgran...the lerk where u cant see them . munching away at the roots..

15 Apr, 2013


Very good blog Sandra. Useful and informative.

15 Apr, 2013


I,ve two long troughs that yesterday I thought I would clear the old vegetation from, it came away easily and the soil looked lovely ......not a root in sight
Yes you've guessed why. :0(

Do you think that a well drained sandy or gritty soil deters the nasty beasts?

16 Apr, 2013


thanks Cinders..

Pam i do think wet soggy compost encourages the little blighters...thats why i have added the sand to the mix...keep up the fight..:-)

16 Apr, 2013


What a great blog sandra, loads of advice and interesting, I lost my red Aeonium (i think i told you) and im searching Ebay for another one, I just wondered about what sand you use as im planting a pot this year with different succulents, like the basket you made a couple of years ago (pic in my faves) You have an amazing collection of succulents, love them :)

16 Apr, 2013


A lovely informative blog Sandra, gone into favs for future reference.

16 Apr, 2013


Very useful blog thanks, and I love your aeonium collection!

16 Apr, 2013


YDD i use coarse builders sand. it helps to break up the compost. i use it in most of my ports...shrubs...perennial...i find most composts very spongy...

thanks Stroller and Louisa glad u found it useful...aeoniums are my passion..:-)

16 Apr, 2013


glad you found and distroyed sandra lol, awfull bugs arent they, you seem to be doing ok with all your plants though, great pics sandra :o))

16 Apr, 2013


thank Sandra here in Pembrokeshire we have had quite a mild winter....very wet but no snow and not much hard frost. but soo looking forward to summer...:-)

17 Apr, 2013


Ahhh Coarse builders sand, now i thought that was salty! and not to use it, you learn something new every day. thanks Sandra..

17 Apr, 2013


mine has been hanging around for ages being wash by the rain..but you could give it a wash first just to be safe. but as mine are mostly coastal plants i think they are used to it.

17 Apr, 2013


Hi Sandra been away from here for a while.. I found the blighters in my hay rack on the wall , thoght the plants looked a bit iffy.. So had a look and there were lots.. Keep forking it and have let hens out now to eat all the bugs ,slugs and snails ... Gud luck with urs .. Hun.... I bin sufering with my hands.. So try not to type too much as painfull .. Hope u well xxx

12 Nov, 2013


bloody things....hope some of your plants survived...sorry about your hands..hope the pain eases ..x

12 Nov, 2013


Thanks ... Had to chuck plant.. Pain on and off ,r.arhritus so not good urghhh hope u ok these days x

13 Nov, 2013


have you tried taking aloe vera supplement? i know a few people who have found it helps.
i'm enjoying the last of autumn. we had to go up the 'Welsh Valleys' the other day and the colors were awesome as we we took the pretty route. its nice to have the time, with less to do at this time of year maybe your hands will enjoy a winter rest too.x

13 Nov, 2013

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