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Marigolds and slugs?

Posted by mandolls Z4 WI (My Page) on
Thu, May 27, 10 at 6:39

I notice that a lot of you are edging beds with marigolds, and I know that they are supposed to act as a natural critter repellent, but last year I planted them for the first time and they seemed to be slug magnets! I had never noticed a major slug problem before in my yard, but the marigolds were covered with them!!

Anyone had similar experiences? I am wary of planting them around vegetables if they are going to attract the slugs.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Marigolds and slugs?

I haven't noticed a difference. The slugs seem to prefer my lettuces and cabbage. Slugs love areas that are cool, moist and shaded. So, perhaps your marigolds are giving them those conditions.

RE: Marigolds and slugs?

Well, this interested me because my dad always planted marigolds in rows at the ends of his garden to help ward off pests, and now I do the same thing. I guess this practice has been used in some cultures for hundreds of years. The marigolds do give off a chemical that repels certain nematodes that can destroy root systems of other plants (our vegetables, etc.) so for that reason it seems like a good idea to plant them in our gardens. French marigolds in particular are thought to be most effective in this way. I got this information reading from websites from Purdue and Clemson Universities.

The slug situation is something apart from the pest-inhibiting effects from marigolds though, according to several writings I encountered (this post really sparked my curiosity mandolls!), which said that yes, marigolds do attract slugs. The good news is, that 1) if slugs go after the marigolds, they are leaving your other plantings alone (this didn't do it for me, I love my marigolds) and 2) there are ways to either repel or kill slugs using things you can easily use with no bad environmental effect.

Coffee will kill slugs, as will salt poured on them, or you can put cups of beer (fresh, not stale) sunk in 1" below the ground in/around your garden. Slugs will be attracted to the beer and fall in and drown. Any leftover beer, well, that's up to you.

If killing slugs bothers you, you can put used coffee grounds around the base of plants and that will help repel the slugs. Also, you can go out late at night with a flashlight and look for slugs, collect them in a bucket and move them elsewere. (To where? A slug relocation facility? Slug camp? Slug dude ranch? Slug spa?) :)

Also, some of the ideas about dealing with slugs are from a website "Gardens Alive."

I hope this is helpful. Good luck :)

RE: Marigolds and slugs?

I plant marigolds to attract the slugs, so it's easier to pick them off. It is really gross to go out in the evening and see them crawling all over the blossoms. Yuck!

Here is a link that might be useful: my blog

RE: Marigolds and slugs?

My mom and I always use the little orange marigolds with the strong fragrance. We joke that they're "stinky" but I just love them, as they've been in the garden every year, since I was a kid. I've never noticed slugs on them, but we live in a pretty dry area.

BTW, white geraniums are supposed to attract japanese beetles the way marigolds are supposed to attract slugs. (I don't think we have those either, but thought I'd pass that along.)

RE: Marigolds and slugs?

  • Posted by natal Louisiana 8b (My Page) on
    Thu, May 27, 10 at 22:35

I haven't had a slug problem for years. When I did I used Escar-Go!.

Here is a link that might be useful: Escar-Go!

RE: Marigolds and slugs?

The marigolds you get from the nursery are sometimes bred to have less odor, so it's best to use the French or Mexican marigolds. I catch a few slugs and leeches here and there, but that hasn't been my problem yet. I'm on a hilltop with too much drainage, so nothing can remain moist enough even during heavy rains.

RE: Marigolds and slugs?

We have had an enormous amount of rain this year and I can't seem to stop myself from edging by beds with bricks and rocks - so I have created a heaven for slugs!

I finally ordered some sluggo which arrived yesterday. I did try the beer trays which have been working to some extent, but I think I need to take drastic measures.

Yesterday I discovered that the trays of annual seedlings that hadnt managed to get themselves planted, (my first year growing from seed indoors, so I have way to many plants!) were slug hotels!!! They were sitting outside by my garage door in partial shade and every single peat pot (over 100) had 2-3 baby slugs underneath.

Thats an awful lot of squished slugs! I think I will plant marigolds and use them as bait with the sluggo.

RE: Marigolds and slugs?

They still attract nice bugs, but maybe if you put out bird seed on the ground near them or catch a lizard and/ or frog, let them go in your garden, it might help you. Not sure what eats leaches accept those.

I had a huge old frog/toad in my backyard, every year for the first few years I lived here he would show up around the same place and let you pet him. A year or two went by and young one came by the same place, allowed me to pet him once or twice, not nearly as friendly. If they would stay, they would make a nice pet.

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