Sluggin’ It Out

Today I came home from what seemed like a excruciatingly long week and decided to tend to my bonsai’s. It’s been quite some time since the last time I’ve looked at them because of all of the rain that we have had. The humidity here is almost unbearable and as a result new creatures, lichens, mosses and fungi are popping up everywhere! Which has also created this aery fog this week over the river downtown which looks kind of cool.

Perhaps my next posting will showcase all of the new life forms in my area that I’ve discovered.

However, today I did something drastic. Something completely daring and almost crazy. I chopped back my Cotoneaster nursery shrub. Let me explain why. With all of the rain that we have had this month, I have barely had to water any of my plants outside. A good thing of course, which also brout about new problems. After looking and carefully inspecting my bonsai’s, all seemed ok until I took a look at my Cotoneaster. It was completely and utterly infested with slugs. Yes people, slugs. Pear slugs to be exact. Considering this is Alberta and the last time we had slugs was 15 years ago, I was a bit surprised to see the little buggers mowing down like the last supper on my $11.00 shrub from Khulmans. Shocked and appalled, I grabbed my pruning sheers and chopped it to bits.

Pear slugs are common insect pests that chew cotoneaster leaves, giving plants a skeletonized appearance.  Damaged leaves fall prematurely.  Pear slug infestations leave cotoneaster unattractive, but do not affect plant health. Both slug photos are courtesy of The Backyard Project.

Pear slug infestations can be controlled with insecticides for caterpillars or leaf bugs, by using a jet of water to remove the slugs or removing them by hand and pruning back the plant.

I’m not even mad. Granted they ate my plant, I have to admit they are adorable in their own kind of gummy bear little way. Regardless, they had to go. As a result, this is what my Cotoneaster use to look like.

And this is what it looks like now.

Personally I think it looks a little better than it did. Starting to look like a bonsai at least.  I would love if any of you enthusiasts out there could give me your feedback. Did I do the right thing? Did I do the wrong thing? What would you have done? Please keep in mind I was going to prune this back anyways, I just wanted to wait until it back budded a little to have some growth established during recovery.

There you have it, my first slug problem. Thought I would never see that day.




4 thoughts on “Sluggin’ It Out

    • Well it was funny because I started picking off leaves that were chewed and then leaves with slugs on them and then eventually I just chopped it. I’m excited to see how it is going to look next year when I repot it. I hope it survives the winter. Thanks for commenting.

  1. The chop off was unnecessary for the health of the plant but
    now you are starting to form your own bonsai basics.
    Good work grasshopper.

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