We hope that you enjoyed our mini blog series on Auriculas. The range of colours available is amazing. But we want to offer a word of warning to those who grow them (and many other plants) – there are Vine Weevil about!!
George found these in his potted Gooseberry cordons. Whilst the adults do eat the leaves of your plants – look for the distinctive notches on the leaves – the damage done is generally only cosmetic. It is the grubs that do the damage to your plants. They live in the soil and devour the roots of the plants. Plants grown in pots and containers are particularly at risk.
Often the first indication that you have Vine Weevil is when your plants wilt and die for no apparent reason. When you are emptying the pot you will find small (around 10mm), creamy white, brown-faced, c-shaped grubs in the compost and your plant will have no roots.
Adults are around 9mm long with pear-shaped bodies that are a dull black colour. Their antenna are bent at an angle around half-way along. Interesting fact from George: no male Vine Weevil have ever been found. Eggs are produced asexually.
Grub damage is normally found between autumn and spring and the adults are out and about between spring and autumn.
They aren’t fussy eaters – they can be found on a great variety of plants. But they love primulas, hence the warning to Auricula growers.
There are a range of controls for the pest, both chemical and biological. Treatments for the grubs should be done in late summer before they have a chance to grow too big. The adults come out at night, so get your torch out and search for them! You know what to do when you find them…………. SQUISH!!!