The Q&A Archives: Lamium

Question: I planted two pots of lamium on June 11th in a dry shady area of our garden that is covered with grass clippings (dried out grass clippings). I watered them in, but two days later (today) the leaves on both plants are half gone. It definitely looks as though they have been eaten by insects (perhaps from the grass clipping?). What can I do to keep from losing both of them? Thank you in advance for your answer.

Answer: I apologize if you receive two answers to your question. Lamium is often attacked by slugs and they can devour a new plant almost overnight. They are nocturnal so you would not see them. You can try sprinkling diatomaceous earth (use horticultural grade not the kind for swimming pools) around the plant, or you can use one of the newer slug baits made with iron phosphate. Read and follow the label directions. You can also hand pick them at night and drop them in to soapy water. Avoid watering in the evening as this attracts them. Next spring to try to head off the next season's population, rake your mulch and disturb the soil surface in the spring. This should reduce the number that manage to overwinter. Good luck with your lamium -- if you keep the soil evenly moist (not sopping wet) they should recover fairly quickly. You can even trim the stems back a little bit and they will regrow better than before.

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