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Cardiff, Wales Wal

I am having problems with my narcissi which are being eaten either by pigeons (although I have not actually seen one attacking them) or I guess its probably slugs although I have not seen any sign of those yet.
Any suggestions, friends? And how do I stop them?




Both are likely culprits. Use slug pellets sparingly or put a beer trap of citrus skins down to catch the,. as for the birds either put thread across to confuse them and stop them landing or thread old cd's to scare them off.

31 Mar, 2018


Daffodils are toxic to wildlife so I would rule out birds. Here in NY, you can see daffs growing en-mass in the woodlands and nothing even goes near them - deer, rabbits, squirrels, etc. They all instinctively avoid daffs with good reason. They are poisonous. I'm not sure about slugs either, but it seems too early for slugs. I haven't seen any creepy crawlies, yet. They don't look like they were chewed, but for some reason, the buds don't open properly. I think virus.

I would think it's environmental, possibly a fungus or virus of some sort. Are they growing in muck or too wet a condition? Do they get enough sun? Did you have a sudden freeze?

My suggestion is dig them up and discard them so the virus/fungus won't spread. Plant new ones in a different location that's sunny with good drainage. On a slope is a good option.

31 Mar, 2018


Nice to see you on GoY again. I wonder if it may be tiny black slugs and/or snails within the buds as I have found both in a few of my Daffs. recently. They are loving the constant wet weather ... :o(

31 Mar, 2018


The daffodil bulb is very toxic and has caused death when cooked as if they were onions. Victorian women sometimes used them as a way of getting rid of there husbands. Some old texts call them 'widow makers'. Interestingly they are extracting drugs notably pancratistatin and narciclasine from them to use for hopefully cancer treatments.

31 Mar, 2018


That's horrible SBG. I bet Victorian Women weren't the only ones. Nerium Oleander is/was used here in the same manner. An enticing plant, but has that same aspect.

31 Mar, 2018


This year my snowdrops and now the daffs, have been eaten. It's truly devastaing to see. And now I notice that some tulip are going the same way. I think it's slugs. Here in Devon it's rained all winter which seems an ideal environment for the little devils. There is no way that I could use slug controls as the bulbs are all over the garden., so I just leave it ti nature. Boohoo.

31 Mar, 2018


Apologies to Rachelsmum but I can't let Seaburngirl's comment go unchallenged.

I have heard of more cases of accidental poisoning from daffodils than just about any other plant but the effects are short-term, though pretty unpleasant.

I have never found a proven case of death from daffodils (and you can understand I have looked) and they have certainly never been used as a murder weapon.

But, on topic, just because something is toxic to humans doesn't mean it will be toxic to all lifeforms. I'm in Scotland and I've already seen slugs so that would be my guess.

1 Apr, 2018


Thanks to all of you. Lots to think about here. Maybe I will try some garlic infusion.
Funnily enough, I have a border in my front garden which doesn’t seem affected. (See pic). These are lifted every summer to make way for some pelargoniums.
It’s good to be back!

1 Apr, 2018


Yes I agree about the toxicity but 'old texts' don't necessarily mean it was proven to be true. I cant remember the historical crime book we were told to research but I guess if the victims were in poor health anyway... So apologies if my memory sensationalised the facts.
A couple of years ago there was uproar when supermarkets were advised not to put nets of daff bulbs at the front of store where veg were also on sale.

1 Apr, 2018


And with good reason. In 2011, Chinese supermarkets in Bristol were sold bunches of daffodils by their wholesalers but many of the shops' customers mistook them for chives. Eleven people were treated in A & E because of the stomach upsets caused.

I used to be dismissive of the tale of 'mistaking them for onions' but I've spoken to so many people who have done that and, let's say, formed a close bond with the bathroom as a result.

1 Apr, 2018


I once saw someone eat a daffodil flower between two slices of bread and he certainly wasn't poisoned. Its the bulb that's toxic. (and apparently the leaves too - they
don't look much like chives do they)?

1 Apr, 2018


A rather stronger resemblance to "garlic chives" or "Chinese chives", commonly used in Oriental cooking, Stera.

1 Apr, 2018


I've done a little 'googling' and here's what I found...

"The above-ground parts of the daffodil contain lycorine and calcium oxalate crystals which can be toxic to both you and your pets."

to read the full article, go here:

Somebody who is strong & healthy might be able to ride it out, but others may not.

2 Apr, 2018


Tug you're right - I have some garlic chives, given to me by a Chinese lady as it happens, and they do look very similar.

2 Apr, 2018


Mine are being eaten in my front border, it is the slugs that are doing it, I have given quite a number of them the nasty treatment in temper, it didn't stop the remainder though, pleased to say not in the back garden but I do have dozens of frogs on the rampage thankfully....

4 Apr, 2018

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