What is it?

Asked June 25, 2020, 12:13 PM EDT

What ate my sunflower leaves and basil plants and the lupine, please? And, how do I treat the damaged plants and how do I prevent it from happening again?

Boulder County Colorado

3 Responses

Hello, Thank you for contacting the Master Gardener help Desk.
Looking at your pictures! Thats discouraging.
Your loss of leaf tissue could be as a result of Leaf-cuttting Bees, and or Slugs.

The leaf cutting bees like to gather materials for nest building. They cut pieces from the follage to line their nests. Its a temporary disfigurement and won't kill your plants. Especially the lupines as they develop from tubers under the soil.

Slugs feed on various plants by biting holes in the tissue. They feed at night. No one ever gets rid of slugs, they always return.. Some gardeners kill them with a 5%ammonia solution in a hand sprayer after 10pm. A solution that works really well for me is BEER. I sink a small yogurt cup into the ground fill it with beer and leave it. Slugs love it. They journey to it, drop in and die happy. I have several neighbors successfully adopting this method.
Good Luck

Thanks so much - we can do the beer!

Have great weekend!