Pansies are a very popular plant as they can grow well in both flower beds and pots. But there is always a risk that pansies will be eaten by pests. One of the most common garden pests is the slug, so, we’re going to look at if slugs eat pansies:
Will Slugs Eat Pansies?
Slugs will quite often eat pansies and they will quite happily consume a large amount of pansy foliage. They usually feed on the pansies during the night, and they consume larger amounts in the damper, cooler months.
Slugs tend to prefer consuming dead or decaying plant matter, but if that is not available then they will still cause a significant amount of damage to your living pansies.
Slugs will leave your pansies with discoloured and misshapen holes, primarily in the leaves. Because slugs can cause such a problem to your pansies, let’s look at some different ways in which you can repel them:
How to Stop Slugs from Eating Pansies
The best way to deal with slugs that may cause harm to your pansies is actually to prevent them from getting there in the first place.
Many people may be tempted to buy commercial slug pellets, but you should avoid this as they are bad for the environment. They can harm your plants and other garden wildlife.
Here are some natural ways for you to deter slugs from getting to your pansies:
Use Certain Terrains
Slugs struggle to cross over certain substances, including gravel and mulch. This is because the small sharp pieces in these substances can stick to them, cause them damage and are just generally uncomfortable.
Therefore, slugs will not cross these terrains. You can sprinkle gravel or mulch over the flower beds of your pansies or on top of the soil in your plant pots, either way, slugs will not want to cross over that soil.
One great benefit to this method is that mulch is designed to provide extra nutrients to the soil that will help your plants to grow healthily.
Use Coffee Grounds
This may seem like a weird solution but sprinkling used coffee grounds on your soil really does work to deter slugs. This is because the coffee caffeinates the soil when it comes into contact and slugs cannot stand crossing caffeinated soil.
All you need to do is sprinkle the coffee over the soil where your pansies are planted, and they will be driven away as soon as they come into contact with this soil.
Another added benefit of using coffee grounds is that the strong smell works to deter other common garden pests, such as squirrels.
Grow Repellent Plants
If you are growing your pansies in a flower bed then another easy way to drive away slugs is by interspersing repellent plants in with your pansies. One example of a good repellent plant to use is geraniums.
These plants work to deter slugs because their leaves and stalks have a fuzzy and hairy texture. Slugs do not like the eat them and they do not like to travel over these plants either. Planting them close to your pansies will drive the slugs away.
You can also use plants that will deter slugs because of their scent, such as lavender.
Whilst these methods have all been used by gardeners and have been seen to work, sometimes a slug’s need for food will outweigh their discomfort. That is why it is a good idea to use multiple methods to repel slugs and change up your methods every once in a while, to make sure that the slugs don’t get used to the deterrent.
What Else Eats Pansies
Sadly, slugs are not the only pests that may be responsible for eating your pansies. Whilst they are a primary culprit, you will also need to watch out for other pests.
Here is a short list of some other pests that may be causing damage to your pansies and how you can deal with them.
Like slugs, snails will primarily feed on your pansies overnight.
Unlike slugs, these creatures prefer the living and growing parts of your pansies as appose to the decaying parts that slugs prefer. Thankfully, because snails and slugs are very similar, they can be deterred in many of the same ways as slugs.
Using difficult terrain such as gravel or mulch will mean that like slugs, the snails will not be able to cross to reach your pansies.
Aphids are one of the biggest pests on any kind of plant, and pansies are no exception to this. Aphids are tiny insects that primarily live on the leaves of your plants and they kill them by drawing sap from their leaves.
You can easily remove aphids by hand or with a blast of water from a hose. But they will also be deterred by coffee, similarly to slugs.
If you live near an area close to woods or fields, then you may occasionally get rabbit visitors to your garden that may occasionally be feeding on your pansies.
Rabbits will be deterred by the smell of coffee and using pet hair clipping will also help to repel rabbits as they will not enter your garden for fear of predators.
To summarise, here are a few key points to take away. Slugs will eat pansies, they will primarily feed on the decaying plant parts and will usually feed on them overnight.
You can repel slugs from your pansies by using gravel or mulch which is difficult for them to cross. You can also plant flowers that repel slugs in close proximity to your pansies, these flowers include geraniums and lavender.
Other pests that may be feeding on your pansies include snails, aphids and rabbits.