If the slugs have been at your dahlias, then you want to know if they can bounce back.
So, Can They?
Yes, Dahlias can recover from slug damage. Even if all the growth was eaten, they can bounce back. There is a limit to what they can take though and slugs can kill them off completely.
There are a lot of different factors that go into whether dahlias will bounce back from slug damage, but the main one is the health of the tuber.
If there is enough stored energy in the tuber, then it can keep sending up green shoots time and time again, even if everything is completely eaten each time.
This is actually how you take Dahlia cuttings, cutting the entire growing stem off and the tuber will send up another.
A healthy tuber can do this three or four times before losing all of its energy and being unable to send up any more.
Another factor is how much damage the slugs did to the growing point on the tuber, commonly called the neck.
There are only certain points on the tuber that dahlias can grow from, if this has been sufficiently damaged then the tuber won’t be able to create any new growth, no matter how healthy it may be.
How to deal with slugs
The classic way to kill off slugs and it does work, there are however drawbacks.
Firstly the little blue pellets aren’t safe to have around if you have pets or young children who might digest them accidentally.
Next, there is the fact that they may be harmful to slugs’ natural predators like hedgehogs who eat slugs killed by pellets, therefore, ingesting the poison themselves.
And then there is the mess they leave, lots of dead slugs on the surface of your garden with nasty trails everywhere.
This is a natural and organic way to kill slugs. There are all kinds of nematodes, which are tiny little creatures that live in your soil, some of these nematodes kill slugs.
This is completely natural and is what happens in your soil all the time. By adding nematodes you are just increasing the number of the slug-killing type.
One of the advantages of this method aside from the fact you don’t have to use poison is that part of the way the nematodes kill the slugs makes them burrow into the ground before dying, so no nasty dead slugs lying around!
Control slugs NATURALLY by applying Nemaslug Slug Killer, which contains natural nematodes, that are effective at controlling slugs, but unlike chemical controls, are safe for children, pets, birds and wildlife.
The manual method, and as is often the case with the manual method, is very effective but time-consuming. Wait until dark and go out into the garden with a torch, some gloves and a bucket and start collecting slugs.
This is best done on a damp night after heavy rain as then the slugs will be everywhere, happy hunting!
You can set up traps to capture slugs and then dispose of them how you wish. There are lots of different ways to do this but one of the more popular ones is a beer trap.
With a beer trap, you set a container, usually a plastic tub of some kind, level with the surface of the soil. You want it level with the surface so slugs can easily get into it but you want the bottom to be deep, so they can’t get out.
You then fill the bottom with some beer, which slugs adore, and leave it. The slugs will make their way into the trap and either drown or be waiting there come morning for you to get rid of them.
One downside to this apart from all the slug carcases you will be getting rid of is that the beer is so potent that it can apparently attract slugs up to 200 meters away and therefore bring even more slugs into your garden than were there before!
More on Dahlias
Dahlias are simply stunning summer flowers, the pop pop head produces amazing displays. The plant is a member of the Asteraceae family along with daisies, asters and marigolds.
Usually grown from a tuber but they can also be grown from seed. The tubers require special care over winter here in the UK and many growers end up with an almost fanatical devotion to their dahlias.
Despite being unable to survive winter outdoors in most of the UK, they thrive in our summer conditions. The moderate but wet climate we have is absolutely perfect for them.
Dahlias make the perfect container flower and are commonly grown this way. Growing them in containers also makes preserving the tuber over winter a lot easier.