The Q&A Archives: Perennials Damaged by Slugs

Question: My astilbe and lupines have been badly damaged by slugs. Should I replace them in the fall or is there still a chance the plants might come back next year?

Answer: Both astilbe and lupine have reasonably hardy constitutions, so I wouldn't give up on them yet. If you can control further slug damage, the roots should be able to generate new foliage this year. There are several ways to miminize slug damage. You can hand pick them. (If you start early in the season, you may be able to keep the population in check for the entire season.) You can also use beer traps, or surround your planting with copper slug barrier -- the slugs won't cross the barrier because, for some reason, their "slime" reacts with the copper, giving them an electric shock. There is also a iron-phosphate-based slug bait that safely controls these pests.

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