Open stem surgery

It appears that some have had success with cutting open the stem and removing the infecting grubs. Well, this morning I decided to put the zukes through an open stem grub removal surgery. Sad to say, I am not optimistic the patient will pull through. “Don’t go to the light young Zucchini!”


Patient number 2. The healthier of the two infected plants.

I tried to take a few pictures of the operation.

Editors note: readers uncomfortable with the sight of open stems and grubs should stop reading here.

First step was to locate the likely sights of the infection and make an incision in the stem.


Stem of the plant where the intrusion has taken place.


Using a knife to slice open the stem.

Next, gently root around and locate the nasty grubs.


Stem incision

Once the grubs have been extracted, use a suitable method of dispatching the bastards that have tried to kill your zucchini.


One of the parasitic pests


As Jon told Arya, “Stick em with the pointy end.’

In my case, I managed to dig out four of the plump pale eating machines. I hope that was all of them or at least enough for the plant to have a chance.


Yet another vermin being extracted from the stem.


Final view of the split stem.

Finally, cover the stem with soil and water.


Operation over and the incision covered in soil.

All I can do now is watch and wait.


7 thoughts on “Open stem surgery

    • Thanks. I hope it works. One of the plants is not expected to make it as the plant has already been separated from its roots. The second one seems in better shape so we’ll see.

    • Hi Jon!

      Thanks for the comment and for following the blog. I think this year will be chalked up to a learning year and I will be more prepared to battle the grubs next year. My remaining zucchini plant is hanging in there, but far from thriving.

      I hope your garden is doing well.


  1. Ayup – I managed to evade the squash vine borers this year only to be sieged by grubs. I figured it was all the rain, but on second look, it seems I have grubs, too. I didn’t catch it in time to do any heroic surgery, but I think next year I’m going to stick to growing curcubits in 5-gallon buckets on the deck. Too much heartbreak for this girl to bear.

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