Slugs are known to consume a variety of plants. It can be a tough decision as a gardener to grow certain types of plants in your garden knowing that some are more vulnerable to slug attacks as opposed to others.
One of the annuals that gardeners love to have are cosmos plants. So, do slugs eat cosmos plants or not?
Fortunately, one of the plants which slugs do not like to eat is the cosmos. There is a chance they will eat the seedlings, however.
Slugs do not like to consume cosmos plants because of their hairy foliage. In addition, cosmos plants have rough surfaces and a strong fragrance which slugs do not like.
Therefore, you do not need to worry about any slugs munching on your cosmos plants, once they are established at least!
Do Slugs Eat Cosmos Seedlings?
Unfortunately, it’s not completely good news when it comes to growing cosmos. Slugs will attack seedlings if they are sown direct. Seedlings are seen as an easy target and won’t have established the texture or scent that puts slugs off.
If you plan on growing cosmos from seed but also know that you have a slug problem in your garden then try sowing them in seed trays which can be kept off the ground.
Once the seedlings have established themselves, you can prick them out and plant them where you want them to become established.
Do Snails Eat Cosmos?
If it’s not slugs that are munching their way through your cosmos plants then what is eating your cosmos… Could it be snails?
Fortunately, snails and slugs tend to have fairly similar diets (even if they aren’t the same entirely). This does mean that it is unlikely that a snaill is eating cosmos plants in your garden and you’ll have to look at other types of bugs that might munch on them.
So, What Eats Cosmos?
Cosmos plants fall prey to bugs during the spring and summer. These pests will cause severe damage to the cosmos by sucking sap from the plant causing the plant to wilt and potentially die.
It is not easy to spot these pests, but the damage is evident. It is important to recognize which pests are feeding on your cosmos plants to tackle them accordingly.
There are quite a few insects that may occasionally feed on cosmos plants but here are some cosmos lovers which you should look out for:
Aphids are tiny, green insects that love to feed on cosmos plants. These insects are found on the underside of the leaves. Aphids work to suck the plant sap, which results in a lack of nutrients in plants.
In addition, excessive aphids mean more sap is being consumed, which leads to stunted plant growth.
If you have aphids, you may not be able to tell because of their small size and ability to camouflage themselves due to their colour. However, you can tell a lot by the kind of damage you observe.
The most common way to tell if you have an aphid infestation is to look at the leaves. When aphids suck the plant sap, they leave behind honeydew which can cause the leaves to become yellow and wither.
Another sign of an aphid infestation is if there are ants.
Ants love the honeydew that aphids produce; therefore, they look after the aphids and nurture them.
If you thought you were having issues detecting aphids, thrips are even smaller. These insects are big fans of cosmos plants. Thrips are not much larger than the tip of a needle so are not easy to spot with the naked eye.
However, when these tiny insects are in clusters, you can detect them as they look like many dots close together. You will find a thrips infestation on the plant stems and leaves.
Lygus Plant Bugs
These bugs are also called true bugs and have x-shaped wings on their backs. You can tell that you have lygus plant bugs affecting your plants because of the damage they cause.
The bugs suck the sap in such a way which results in spots and stippling on the leaves.
Every gardener’s dream is to have a well-looked after, vibrant garden that is pleasing to the eye. However, there is always a battle between gardeners and pests who try to stop this.
One common annual to grow to add instant colour and texture is cosmos. While slugs are a common pest that seem to eat almost anything, they rarely eat cosmos plants because of the hairy foliage.
Other pests like to consume cosmos plants, including aphids, thrips and Lygus plant bugs.
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden