Yuck! Witchety grubs in pot?

rross(NSW Aust)May 25, 2005

This afternoon I was transferring a potted rose into a larger pot and I found and removed 7 fat grubs in the soil that fell away from the roots of the rosebush. They were about an inch long, greenish white and curled up in the fetal position. I didn't have enough new soil to wash away all the old soil so I've put the rose with its remaining soil into the larger pot with the new soil and I'm wondering what to do now.

Is it necessary to change all the soil? Or is there some substance I can drench the whole plant in? Or are these grubs harmless? I feel sick. Could someone please advise me?

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Hi. I believe from your description they won't be witchetty grubs but white curl grubs. I have hundreds of them in my garden but have found they don't really affect the roses too bad but i have plenty of lawn for them. They normally are found under grass as they chew on the roots and can in some cases cause brown spotting throughout lawns. I suspect in a pot they would have a detrimental effect on your rose. I feed mine to the chooks and they love them as well as magpies. If you ever see magpies in groups nosing into soft ground it is most likely that's what they're after. I was digging a new rose/perennial bed yesterday and found about fifty of them. I would line the bottom holes of the pot with some type of liner to prevent entry but still allowing moisture to escape the pot(ie shadecloth,etc). I'd give the rose a good haircut upstairs and trim the roots back a little. Then put into new soil in the larger pot. A good dose of seasol after repotting should help it along.
But I wouldn't suggest I'm an expert in any way however thats what I would do in your situation....

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 5:18AM
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kevarose(Kangaroo Valley)

I have lots of them too - I also feed to the chooks. Do not seem to do a lot of damage but I also have a lot of lawn and they are under there. I garden with a bottle and put them in as I find them and then take it to the chooks to eat. My dogs have developed a taste for them and now dig for them and eat them.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 5:50AM
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Fran_C(Vic. Aust)

they have another name in Victoria that I'll probably get sent to Disneyland for saying but it IS the name.
they chew roots, and if there's heaps ofthem in a paddock the Ibis arrive in their thousands. They are called cockchafers. Don't ask me why but they are...

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 6:57AM
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ginnybee(NSW Aust)

I don't worry too much about them either as when I am gardening my little dog waits for her treat, they are apparently full of protein & dogs & birds love them

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 12:33AM
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kevarose(Kangaroo Valley)

Now I know why I often see lots of ibis in the paddock next door!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 3:32AM
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meryl2(Sydney/Blue Mts)

In pots, curl grubs can be lethal because they completely eat out the roots of the plant in the pot and it dies totally unexpectedly. If you think you got them all, RROSS, you don't need to do anything more. The chemicals you can use on the rotten things are nasty ones best avoided if possible. If you think there may be more curl grubs lurking around the roots of your rose, I'd get some more potting mix and make sure you get rid of them this time.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 8:37AM
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rross(NSW Aust)

Meryl2, I had a horrible feeling a message like yours would come along, but I thank you for it all the same. It worries me these grubs were (are?) there at all. My garden consists of a concrete balcony on the fourth floor of a concrete block, in the middle of a concrete jungle. The only soil to have come near this rose was from a bag of rose potting mix from KMart. So I wonder whether by changing the soil, I'm just planting more of these grubs.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 7:51PM
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meryl2(Sydney/Blue Mts)

You won't plant more, rross. The grubs get there because their adult form (I think it's a beetle of some sort) flies in and lays eggs in the pot. That's why you can never predict where the rotten things may be lurking.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 11:53PM
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Apparently you immerse the pot in water for half an hour and all the grubs come to the surface - or drown lol. Maybe try adding a little lime as I've heard they seem to like acidic soils.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 4:28AM
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