- Flower Gardening
- What Is Stripping My...
Your marigold plants are being eaten by insects or animals. This includes aphids, slugs, snails, spider mites, thrips, birds, rabbits, squirrels, deer, and mice. Some diseases can also cause the plant to lose foliage and buds.
To avoid detection, they feed at night. Gardeners may feel hopeless because they can’t catch the culprits in action. Unless you want to spend the night in your garden with a flashlight, you can only guess the culprits.
However, nine times out of ten, the damage is contributed to the hungry slug, caterpillar, or both species.
How To Combat Marigold-Devouring Pests?
Now, you have pinpointed the culprit(s) responsible for eating away at your marigolds, you need to strategize. Contrary to belief, it is never too late to fight back against the pests that are taking over your marigold garden.
Depending on the severity of the damage, you may be able to save your marigolds. If the damage is too severe, you will need to cut the plants back without further delay.
[Related Article: Marigold vs Calendula: [Key Differences]
Traps – The Humane Method To Get Rid Of Slugs
If you consider yourself an environmentalist, you know the importance of slugs for the environment. While slugs are notorious for feeding on marigolds and other plant species, they are also environmentally friendly.
The slug species help break down decaying organic material like fallen tree leaves, branches, twigs, and dead helminths and insects. These tiny decomposers feed on rotting organic matter, resulting in improved soil structure.
Other benefits of slug decomposition of organic material include improved water infiltration, decreased soil compaction, and healthier soil.
These are only a few reasons why gardeners should take the eco-friendly route when dealing with slugs. Utilizing traps is a safe way to trap slugs.
Utilize a trap of rotting organic material to deter slugs away from your marigolds. You will find a limited selection of plastic snail traps for this purpose.
There are also less humane techniques to trap slugs. Unfortunately, these methods will lead to a slow death of the pests. However, if you find yourself in a desperate situation, you may opt for the inhumane method. A beer trap, cornmeal, and coffee grounds.
Another safe way to protect your marigold garden from slugs is with insect deterrents. Utilize a mixture of citronella oil and tea tree oil to deter slugs and caterpillars from entering your garden.
Pour the liquid around the edge of your garden about once a week. If it rains between each use, you will need to repeat the treatment when it stops. The rainwater will wash the natural slug repellent away.
Other natural slug repellents include cinnamon oil, soybean oil, thyme oil, lemon eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, and Greek catmint oil. These essential oils can be utilized alone or in combination with other natural slug deterrents.
Cover With Mesh At Night
Slugs only come out at night while you are fast asleep. Unless you are an insomniac who is willing to spend the night in your garden fighting off slugs. You will need a safety net for your marigolds.
A mesh made of fiberglass will keep not only slugs at bay but also caterpillars and other pests.
What Is Eating My Marigolds
Marigolds are also a favorite food of many pests. Here are some of the most common culprits:
One of the most common pests that eat marigolds is the Japanese beetle. These beetles are small and have a shiny, metallic appearance. They are most active in late summer and early fall.
Japanese beetles will eat the leaves and flowers of marigolds, causing them to turn brown and die.
Another pest that enjoys eating marigolds is the deer. Deer will munch on just about anything in your garden, including your pretty marigolds.
If you live in an area with a high deer population, you may want to consider planting your marigolds in an enclosed area or using deer-resistant varieties.
Last but not least, rabbits love to eat marigolds. Rabbits are most active at dawn and dusk, so if you see your marigolds disappearing during these times, you can bet that a rabbit is responsible.
To keep rabbits out of your garden, you can use fencing or plant rabbit-resistant varieties of marigolds.
If you’re wondering what’s eating your marigolds, chances are it’s one of these three pests. By taking steps to control these pests, you can protect your marigolds and keep them looking their best all season long