Lupins are cottage garden plants that come with a variety of colourful flower spikes. They’re easy to grow, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need protection. Pests love them! So, do slugs like lupins as they’re one of the most common pests?
Yes, slugs love lupins and will eat them. Larger, established lupins won’t be affected badly, but smaller ones can be completely eliminated from your garden.
Lupins are wonderful plants to keep in a garden; their bright colours come in a huge vibrant variety. These plants are very easy to care for, and their colourful presence brings in many pollinating insects, but sometimes it also brings pests like slugs.
Slugs, instead of pollinating, eat the leaves of the plant, and the effects can often be drastic.
If the plant is large, the impact won’t be that bad, but the leaves can suffer a lot if the plant is smaller. If your lupin plant’s leaves have several holes, that’s the result of a slug eating the plant. If there’s also a slime trail, it means that a slug ate the lupins recently.
What Else Eats Lupins?
Besides slugs, several other pests can wreak havoc on your lupins. The most common are listed below:
Like the common garden slug, snails love lupins a lot, too, and if the plant they’re eating from is small or has just started to grow, snails (like slugs) can do a lot of damage and can even wipe out the whole plant.
If the lupin you have is large, then only a couple of leaves could suffer from snails, but most of the plant should be fine.
If you have crops or a garden, you will have encountered aphids. An aphid infestation can cause a lot of damage to any plant as they suck the plant’s sap, attract ants that scare off pollinators and cause the yellowing of leaves.
For your lupins, there are types of aphids aptly named lupin aphids that specifically target lupins, and they come in clusters and completely swarm around the plant.
A large cluster of lupin aphids can completely cover a whole stem of a lupin plant. Lupin aphids don’t exactly eat the plant, but they aren’t beneficial either.
Aphids are dangerous to any plant, and so are lupin aphids to lupin plants. Like all aphids, lupin aphids suck sap from the plant, and if their infestation is large enough, they can do devastating amounts of damage, enough for the plant to wither and die.
Aphids can multiply very quickly, so even if you see a couple of aphids on your lupins, you’ve to immediately take action to control the aphids before an infestation occurs.
How Do You Protect Lupins from Pests?
Many animals can eat lupins, but for a gardener who planted a lupin in their backyard, your main concerns will be slugs, snails, and aphids, as these can easily infiltrate your garden and eat your precious lupins.
The effects can be devastating if the plant has just started to grow.
Snails, slugs, and aphids love lupins and may target them more than other plants in your garden, making these pests a big concern for the health of your lupin plants.
So, how do you protect lupins?
For slugs, you can use slug pellets if being organic isn’t a worry for you and you simply only want a quick, easy and good way of wiping out the slugs from your lupins.
Slug pellets may be an effective way to deal with slugs, but these can also be dangerous if you have pets or children.
A curious pet or child may be attracted to the blue pellets and eat them, which could be dangerous as the pellets are poisonous. They are also harmful to other wildlife, including birds and hedgehogs.
Although slug pellets are known to be effective at killing slugs, they are also hugely detrimental to the wider environment. They release chemicals into the soil, which can get into waterways. They can harm birds, hedgehogs, foxes and other wildlife. They can even harm pets!
Nematodes are microscopic roundworms. In the UK, they naturally exist in the soil. When they enter a host’s body, they release bacteria.
When they enter a snail or slug’s body and release bacteria, it kills the snail or slug, and the nematode digests the body.
They also affect the behaviour of the slug or snail they’ve affected; this causes the slug or snail to die underground. This way, you don’t get several dead snails or slugs on top of your soil.
Nematodes are a biological way of dealing with snails, which is better than using pellets, a chemical solution.
Nematodes are naturally found in the soil; you simply add more nematodes to the current amount of nematodes in the soil. Using nematodes is a great way to deal with pests like snails or slugs that can cause harm to your lupins.
If the nematodes successfully kill and eat all the slugs and snails, they will reproduce, and you won’t have to worry about adding more nematodes to the soil.
Fed Up With Slugs Ruining Your Garden?
We’ve Put Together a Complete and Free Guide on How to GET RID of Slugs Finally! – Including Deterrents and Preventative Measures to Take:
For pests such as aphids, using bug spray may be a very common and effective option. You can get organic or non-organic bug sprays. The non-organic ones are always the most effective but also the most harmful.
Miracle Grow bug spray is one example of a very effective bug spray that’s good at killing aphids while saving the lupins.
Like nematodes for slugs and snails, ladybirds do the same job, but for aphids, as ladybirds love munching on aphids. A single ladybird can devour a whole swarm of them and thousands more in its lifetime.
If you have an aphid infestation but rarely any ladybirds in your garden, you can get ladybird larvae and apply them to the plant where there’s an infestation.
Slugs have various predators, including birds, frogs, toads, hedgehogs and slow worms. If you can encourage these predators to your garden, they will control the slug population.
When caring for a garden, the perfect soil and the right amount of water aren’t the only things you’ve to worry about. You must also protect your plants from various pests and critters that may harm them.
If you’re growing lupins in your garden, slugs, snails, and aphids are the most common pests that eat and harm lupins, and if the plant is small, they even wipe it whole.
Bug spray, natural pest control like nematodes, ladybirds, and pellets are some of the most effective ways to help secure the lupins from these pests.
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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