Snails in the potting soil?

echobellyMay 22, 2012

I was just transplanting a fern out of a large pot it didn't seem too happy in, and noticed there were quite a few large snails in the soil. Could they damage the plant, such as eating the roots? I was planning on dumping the soil in the compost, but don't want to spread the snails if they're damaging anything (I think I must have mixed some compost into the potting soil, which is how the snails may have gotten there). I'm used to ants in the pots, but never seen snails.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Snails or empty shells? Snails don't live IN soil, tho they may excavate to lay eggs.

AFAIK, they prefer soft-leaves to tough 1s - I've never experienced snail damage on ferns. What kind of fern is it?

FWIW, I use the iron phosphate pellets they sell @ Home Depot - not technically a poison - just lethal to snails & slugs.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 10:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't know what kind of fern, a neighbor gave it to me, and he didn't know. There were quite a few snails pretty deep in the pot, well underneath the ferns roots, so about a foot down. The were about the size of a marble. I know snails will eat leaves, but I wasn't sure about roots. The fern wasn't doing well, even though my other ferns are thriving, so I wondered if it could have anything to do with the snails.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 1:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Snails make short work of my tomatoes. I killed 15 last night.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 1:05PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
No fruit on avocado
I have a 5-yr old avocado tree that has never had any...
Mexican Flame Vine
It is conceivable that I've asked this question here...
New Floridian gardener
Im a snowbird who is loving gardening all year long...
crinum flowers
This started blooming just before our expected freeze....
Need help with growing healthy cannas
I have several cannas, both large and dwarf, but do...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™