Pests and Diseases forum: What is Chewing on my Coleus and Marigolds?!

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Name: Kristina
New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Jul 13, 2016 8:30 AM CST
I'm new here and I'm thrilled that this board looks to active because I am at a loss with this little issue. At the beginning of the season, I planted some coleus. Was going along great until something decided to chomp them down to the stems. Grumbling The coleus in the front and side of my garden (I have an attached porch on the house that is surrounded on 3 sides by a garden) have been chewed down. The coleus in the back looks great. Alright... well, I figured it was deer since I've seen a couple in the neighborhood. I bought a couple of zinnias and some marigolds to place around the garden where my coleus were being chomped. I read that marigolds and zinnias were deer repellents, so why not? I came out the other morning and all of the leaves on my marigolds were chewed off! The flower was left intact, but the leaves are gonzo. I've attached a picture so people can see. I've also had my basil chewed apart and the leaves kinds chomped on on my zinnia (though, not as badly as the marigolds). I have seen zero slugs or snails (suggestion I saw in another forum) and I've noticed that the mulch at the base of these plants appears to have been "dug up" a little bit. I've fixed it numerous times. Any ideas as to what it is and how I can keep my plants from being eaten??
Thumb of 2016-07-13/KristinaMarie05/e46d14

Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Jul 13, 2016 8:35 AM CST
That sounds and looks like rabbit damage. Some members recommend Plantskydd to keep them at bay.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Jul 13, 2016 8:48 AM CST
Or possibly voles. I've had them go after marigolds and zinnias. You'll rarely see them but they like mulched areas. Sometimes you can see their runways in the mulch. I've had them fell whole marigold plants and drag them away to a safe place for munching! The rabbits here haven't bothered marigolds or zinnias but what they eat seems to vary year to year.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Jul 13, 2016 2:21 PM CST
I would think that if it's rabbits, you'd see at least a few bunny droppings.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.

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