What Animals Eat Iris Plants?

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Iris varieties are available for conditions from bogs to formal borders.
Iris varieties are available for conditions from bogs to formal borders. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Iris plants are a group of 260 species of particularly colorful and beautiful flower. Widely grown in gardens, they make an excellent addition due to their attractive nature and annual bloom from the same rhizome. They are an easy plant to grow as they need little attention. Unfortunately irises are food for certain creatures, which damage or even kill the plant.

Rabbits

Rabbits are a common pest for gardeners in more rural areas. They feed off most plants and can spend many hours each day just eating. Damage to garden plants such as the iris can be extensive if rabbits are allowed to continue feeding, even in small numbers. As the bulblike rhizome is usually the favored part of the iris to eat, the plant can be wiped out entirely.

Moles

Moles are an unlikely foe when it comes to the health of irises. Although moles mainly feed on worms and other insects, they sometimes feed off the bulbs of certain plants, including the fleshy rhizome of the iris. The air space created by the burrows can also cause the stunting and non-bloom of the iris rhizome.

Voles

Voles are small blackish or grayish brown rodents, approximately 5 to 8 inches long. They live in burrows underground but travel above ground along specific runways. To make these tracks they consume all foliage in their path, and are known to eat flowers and plants such as the iris.

Insects

Crickets, aphids, moths and moth larvae known as the iris borer are all predators of the iris plant. Although small creatures, they will consume large quantities of the flower foliage if left unchallenged. These insects can be controlled using commercial or homemade insecticides.

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