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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Canna, Slugs

My canna has a leaf with a set of 9 holes in a straight row, all symmetrical with each hole a bit bigger than the one to its right. Any idea what's causing this? I must say that we've been greatly amused with our yard this summer--it seems like every day there's some new critter or discovery.


I found the following information in The Gardener's Guide to Growing Cannas by Ian Cooke (Timber Press, 2001):
"Cannas seem to be particularly attractive to slugs and snails and can be totally devastated by them. Unless you control them, expect young leaves to unfurl with cut patterns like a child's paper-tearing exercise!" (This is a Britishism for what we think of as papercutting, like paper snowflakes.)

The easiest approach to slug and snail control is to use the newer generation (organic garden-acceptable, but not good to use where runoff will enter lakes and streams) slug baits which are wheat gluten-based pellets with iron phosphate as an active ingredient (such as SlugGo and EscarGo). Be aware, however, that there are reports of dogs eating the bait and developing iron toxicosis.

The safest approach is to use the following non-chemical controls (traps, barriers, natural predators):
Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, click on link to read document.

Date 2017-05-26
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May 31 2018 13:14:08