sweet thunder
Senior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:43 pm
Location: Eureka, CA

What's damaging my lavender stems?

Both my lavender plants have several flower stems that look like they're being eaten by something:

[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3567/3522768481_d6c3eb41f5.jpg[/img]

The stems eventually get so weak they fall over.

Most of the stems are about a foot tall (the plants are new this year) and the damage occurs a few inches below the flower buds. I'm guessing it's an insect, but I can't see any likely candidates, and I'm not finding many references to lavender pests.

Anyone know what it is?

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7492
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Just a guess, but vine weevil have been known to attack lavender stems, and they are only active at night, burrowing into the soil in day, so you wouldn't see them. They can be easily treated with nematodes...

HG
Scott Reil

sweet thunder
Senior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:43 pm
Location: Eureka, CA

You could be right. Now that I look around I'm noticing some damage to the rhody and camellia, too.

I wonder if anyone carries nematodes locally? With all of the "gardening" that goes on around here, I'm sure someone does.

Thanks!

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

DH and I were at OSH yesterday picking up some plumbing supplies, when he said, "Let's go look for chard seedlings."

On the way into the nursery department, I saw a sign for "Beneficial Nematodes."

If even OSH is carrying them, I'd say the local independents must surely have them as well. Hope they do the job ASAP!

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7492
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Online sources are a bit more expensive for 'todes, but it's direct from manufacturer, so fresh...

HG
Scott Reil

sweet thunder
Senior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:43 pm
Location: Eureka, CA

I applied nematodes two weeks ago (Steinernema feltiae). I wasn't sure when to expect results, but it seems I'm already seeing improvement. One lavender plant is still getting pretty badly munched, though.

Should I just be patient and assume the nematodes are reproducing and doing their work? Should I reapply at some point? From what I'm reading, it sounds like fall is another good time to go after weevils because that's when the larvae are doing the most root damage.



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