The Q&A Archives: Something Is Eating My Silver Dust

Question: Something is eating the leaves of the silver dust we planted 5 days ago. It isn't deer, rabbits or any other land hugging critter. We put the silver dust with some flowers into a planter on our 2nd floor porch. Only the silver dust has been touched. Many of the leaves are gone (not nibbled). The other plants are petunias, artemisia and a vine. Who is sampling the silver dust? What can we do?

Answer: I can think of two possibilities for what is damaging that plant. One is that a bird is tearing away leaves to use as nesting material or because there are insects on it. If this is the case, you might try confusing the bird with scare tape (flashy metallic material) or by stringing some heavy fishing line above the plant.

The other possibility is that slugs are attacking it at night. Since they work at night you would only see a slight trail of shiny slug slime as evidence. This can be controlled by hand picking (at night with a flashlight) or by sprinkling some diatomaceous earth on the soil surface around the plant.

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