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How to Get Rid of Borers on Foliage Plant

Updated: April 24, 2022

Borers are a common problem faced by plant owners. They are pests that burrow into the stems and branches of plants, causing significant damage. If left untreated, borers can kill the plant. In this article, we will discuss how to identify borers and the steps you can take to get rid of them.

Identifying Borers

Borers are small, worm-like insects that burrow into the stems and branches of plants. They are usually white or cream-colored and have a cylindrical body. Borers leave a trail of sawdust-like material behind them as they tunnel through the plant. You may also notice wilting or yellowing leaves on the affected plant.

Getting Rid of Borers

There are several steps you can take to get rid of borers on your foliage plant.

1. Prune Affected Areas

The first step is to prune any affected areas of the plant. Look for any branches or stems that show signs of borer damage, such as sawdust or wilting leaves. Use sharp pruning shears to cut off the affected area at least 6 inches below the damaged part. This will help prevent the borers from spreading to other parts of the plant.

2. Apply Insecticide

After pruning, apply an insecticide directly to the affected area. Look for an insecticide that is labeled for borer control and follow the instructions carefully. Be sure to cover all parts of the plant thoroughly with the insecticide.

3. Monitor the Plant

Monitor your plant regularly for any signs of new borer activity. Check for sawdust or wilting leaves, and inspect the stems and branches for any new holes or tunnels. If you notice any new activity, repeat steps 1 and 2.

4. Improve Plant Health

Borers are more likely to attack weak or stressed plants. To prevent future infestations, make sure your plant is healthy and well-maintained. Water your plant regularly and provide it with the appropriate amount of sunlight. Fertilize your plant as needed and remove any dead or damaged leaves.


Can borers be prevented?

Yes, you can prevent borers by keeping your plant healthy and well-maintained. Water and fertilize your plant regularly, and prune any dead or damaged branches.

What if the borer infestation is severe?

If the borer infestation is severe, you may need to consider removing the affected parts of the plant or even the entire plant. Consult a professional if you are unsure how to proceed.

Are there any natural remedies for borers?

Yes, there are several natural remedies for borers, such as neem oil or insecticidal soap. However, these remedies may not be as effective as chemical insecticides.

Can borers spread to other plants?

Yes, borers can spread to other plants if they are not treated promptly. Be sure to monitor all of your plants for signs of borer activity.

In conclusion, borers can be a serious problem for foliage plants, but they can be controlled with proper pruning and insecticide application. Remember to keep your plant healthy to prevent future infestations. If you have any questions or concerns about borer control, consult a professional for advice.