The Q&A Archives: Vanilla Marigolds 6" Transplanted To Garden Are Disappearing

Question: The Vanilla Marigolds that I transplanted to my garden are disappearing one at a time. Some have a little stem left, some the whole plant is gone root and all. I waited until they were about 6 inches tall with a good root system and a double stand of leaves before transplanting them. I even hid two under the daffodils thinking that if it were birds they would not find them. They are gone completely. A few had a couple of the bracket of leaves next to the stem. Should I spray them with Ortho* systemic spray in case it is some unseen bug? This has happened in previous years, that is why I start seeds and transplant when large. Vanilla Marigold's are my favorite.

Answer: I'm sorry about your plants! It is possible that a deer or woodchuck is eating the plants, also possible that slugs are getting in on the act and devouring the leaves at night. You may need to do some detective work to determine the full range of culprits. Diatomaceous earth sprinkled on the soil around the plants will stop the slugs, and a repellent (either commercially formulated or home made based on garlic and red pepper for example) may be enough to deter the four legged pests.

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