Who’s been eating my primulas?

My primulas are in flower but something is making a meal of the petals. If it was slugs I would expect them to go for the leaves rather than the flowers. Or are the flowers extra tasty to a slug? Maybe the bright yellow colour is attracting the birds to have a peck although I haven’t seen any birds attacking them. Maybe there is some other creature that likes primula flowers. It is heartbreaking to see the well munched petals. Do you have any idea who might be doing it?

Update

March 23, 2011

Soon after I took the above photograph I sprinkled some slug pellets around the plants. The latest flowers are much less nibbled so I suspect that the culprit is a member of the slug family. There are no dead slugs to be seen so the creatures must be tiny enough to disappear from sight. I don’t like resorting to chemical methods but the directions on the packet say the pellets are safe for pets and birds if used sparingly.

After using slug pellets the new flowers are much less nibbled

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6 thoughts on “Who’s been eating my primulas?

  1. Christine

    I’ve had the same problem, and couldnt figure out whatvwasveating the flowers until I found baby grasshopper munching my blooms!

    1. The idle gardener Post author

      Thank you for your answer Christine. I have just looked up how grasshoppers survive the winter. It seems they lay eggs below the soil to produce the next summer’s generation. Maybe the grasshoppers or some other petal munching insects have hatched out early.

  2. Mike Mac

    The most likely culprits are house sparrows – in particular the females for some reason. We have a raised bed in the front garden which I used to plant out with primulas until I spotted the little darlings munching happily away, not content with the seed in the adjacent bird feeder.

    1. The idle gardener Post author

      Thank’s for the info Mike. I did wonder if the bright yellow colour attracted birds since some nearby purple ones seem to be untouched.

  3. Liz

    with mine it’s the dark blue ones that are most popular and it’s happening now, in mid-winter

  4. Trish

    Something was eating the petals off my primulas (and not the leaves), and I went outside and picked off 10 slugs having a midnight feast!! Perhaps the sparrows were eating the slugs off the petals?

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