mid-June 2016

Slugs and Their Destruction

I have had enough and my method of coping with these situations is to do research and document so I will try to do both related to slugs. My plants have suffered relentless destruction this year and I have had enough. This lupin was looking beautiful June 11th - multiple flower spikes, 2 pink flowers visible and numerous green ones before they changed colour.

lupin BEFORE destruction


lupin AFTER destruction

this is on the patio next door and I hadn't gone over there for a few days but looked over the wall by chance (June 21st) and I could see, even without my glasses, how severely damaged it was

lupin after slug destruction

I found various slugs and snails under it and around it:

Spanish slug

spanish slug

the underside of those Spanish slugs

spanish slug underside

out-stretched spanish slug

spanish slug

grey field slug

leopard slug on the right (grey slug from above on the left), I'm not sure how damaging the leopard slugs are, apparently they eat other slugs, as well as our young plants

leopard slug

yellow slug


I have used slug pellets in the past but I hate seeing that massive gooey mess of dying slugs afterwards and apparently not all the slugs that are attracted are damaging, some of the slugs eat decaying material (will research which ones), aside from the fact I don't want to poison my froglets, birds or any other animals in my garden. Bob Flowerdew cuts his slugs in half - I tried it recently - not for the faint-hearted, but he also feeds them to his chickens so not sure when the cutting is required.

I pruned some ivy yesterday and it was full of snails (Cornu aspersum). I realised I didn't have a decent pic of the snails I see in the garden as I usually stamp on them (an easier disposal than slugs) as soon as I find them so I threw a few from the ladder into this container that happened to be on the patio table. They're trying to make their escape but I was off the ladder with the camera before they disappeared.

I found these eggs on the top of the compost in a pot. I don't know if they are slug or snail eggs. This group of eggs is bout 2 x 3 cm.

slug eggs

I've had cirsiums before and the slugs had not destroyed them like this (those are untouched globe thistles in the background).

I have managed to save some plants by keeping them in pots and off the ground. There's been some slug damage but not catastrophic for some plants that have managed to get large enough before the slugs attacked.


but I am running out of tables, shelves and places to put plants off the ground away from the slugs so I'm trying putting the sea holly on this upturned pot

some plants are fighting back hard when they can

this sea holly is growing new leaves after being slug-damaged and then moved off the ground to a table on the patio

sea holly

The sea holly have self-seeded a lot over the last few years but - getting them to bloom is a mystery to me and - the slugs are eating them, a lot. This pot has a number of sea hollies, only 1 flower stalk (brown stem, middle top edge of the pot).

sea holly

some extensive slug munching

sea holly

sea holly self-seeds so much and so easily, there are 2 plants self-seeded between the slabs of the patio next door

sea holly

I just noticed another seedling

sea holly seedling

2 stalks, left and right, show where leaves were eaten off this delphinium small plant but more are growing in the center now

even one of that lupin's surviving flowers is growing after the slugs were removed


one plant that does not seem to be bothered much by slugs, verbena bonariensis, close-up of the flower

verbena bonariensis

white foxglove and fox and cubs

The verbena bonariensis I bought a few years ago were slow to self-seed but last year (or the year before) they started to. I had these 3 seedlings which were getting large enough and ready to be planted in the flowerbed. On the left is a woody remnant of one of last year's plants which has fresh growth. That tall plant in the middle is shown to its full height in the next pic.

verbena bonariensis

The stem is quite long (62 cm). That slanted stem in the background is 125 cm and has buds at the top just beginning to open (pic to follow).

verbena bonariensis

I had 2 more large-ish verbena bonariensis seedlings to put in the front garden which I did yesterday. The slugs don't seem to trouble them much but they didn't tale long to start on these. I think they're getting desperate.

verbena bonariensis

I had a verbena bonariensis self-seed in this pot. It is now too large and too well-established to move it without damaging it or the lupin - and I daren't put it in the ground or the slugs will destroy the lupin, as they did with one of the flower spikes, on the left.

purple lupin

to show the entire height (92 cm) of the verbena bonariensis

verbena bonariensis

I put those 5 scabious ("Ebony and Ivory" and "House's Novelty Mix" but not sure how many of each) small plants in a pot together. I hope the flowers will be indicative of which variety. That unknown plant in the black pot on the left (number 19 of the unknowns in the Plant Identification) I thought looked similar but on careful examination I can see it is similar but not a scabious or not one of these.

scabious ebony and ivory house novelty

I also put all the poppies together in their own pot, not a lot from 2 packets of seeds.


the first borage flower bud is open

borage flower

update on the chinese lanterns in the front garden

1. on the far right of the flower bed

chinese lanterns

2. going left

chinese lanterns

3. next view going left, blank spot in the middle

chinese lanterns

4. far left

chinese lanterns

Some flower buds (such as these knautia) will open even after the stems are cut, but some like hollyhocks don't like being cut at all, this hollyhock stem was broken that's why it ended up in a vase, I would never cut a hollyhock - they don't like it!

cut hollyhock

In rearranging some pots I inadvertently created a slug stairway to the plants on this table. I lost the seedlings on the left. The foxgloves survive the slugs, as do the globe thistles in the pic below.

These globe thistle seedlings have been just fine on the ground - at slug level.

globe thistle seedlings