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 ask: Do slugs eat pansies or not?
Yes, slugs do eat pansies as slugs, unfortunately, will eat most flowers, plants and crops in the garden, unfortunately.
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.
Strong, healthy plants are less likely to get destroyed by slugs as they will have enough energy to recover. However, younger plants will be more vulnerable to slug damage (and slugs will go for younger plants first).
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.
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.
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