Sunflowers Being Eaten By Something - Knowledgebase Question

Mattituck, NY
Avatar for stillsane2
Question by stillsane2
June 16, 2000
My sunflowers are coming up beautifully.....i planted the red ones and the Banana Hybrid but something seems to be making lunch out of them.....HELP! IS there a spray i can use to get rid of bugs?

Answer from NGA
June 16, 2000
It is possible that slugs are eating the seedlings or birds are stealing them or bunnies or some other animal is eating the sunflowers. It could also be a case where cutworms are cutting them off at the soil line. You might try some careful observation and try to determine the cause of the problem, then here are some things to try. For slugs, sprinkle diatomaceous earth (horticultural grade) on the soil around the plants. For animals, use a repellent spray, either commercial or homemade, possibly based on red pepper and/or garlic. For birds, try setting a cage of wire mesh over the seedlings until they are a bit larger. Finally, for cutworms, plant each seed inside a protective ring or collar. You can make these by cutting the bottoms off small plastic cups (bathroom size) or removing top and bottom from tin cans, or whatever similar material you have on hand. Set the ring about an inch or so into the soil.

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