Is Someone Testing Your Impatiens?

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - What’s eating you? Or rather, my impatiens plants?

A few weeks ago petals began to disappear, then lots of leaves, and now several of my impatiens are nibbled to stubs. Not pretty. So, who did it?

I started Googling and found lots of gardeners with similar impatiens problems plus suggestions of a couple of culprits. It could be lots of things like slugs or earwigs – some people say they just eat the petals, but who goes out to watch them? Other people posted mug shots of small suspects standing up to snack on impatiens – clearly incriminating rabbits! My doggies have plenty to say about that, but since they say it through the window glass, the bunnies seem to know it’s all bark and no bite, and keep eating.

Now, you can put out rolled up newspaper to capture earwigs at night and toss them each morning or install a low fence as a bunny barrier, or release the hounds, I guess. But when it comes to annual plants so late in the summer, you have to ask yourself just how much time and effort you want to put into punishing the perpetrators. At this point, I think I’ll just plant pansies.

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