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.

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

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 1:05PM
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