London (change)
Today 18°C / 6°C
Tomorrow 15°C / 7°C
16 messages
25/04/2014 at 20:44



please help, I have bought some plug plants which I started to make up a hanging basket and I found some yucky grub things. Any that I have found I have crushed but I seem to be infested. 

I potted the plug plants on in new compost and I am unsure what to do and how to prevent them coming back.

i have tonight sprayed them, but am wondering whether to take all plugs out, getting rid of compost and to start planting them up again. Any suggestions please.


25/04/2014 at 20:56

If you bought them infested with anything you should take them back.

I don't know what that one is, sorry.

What did you spray it with? 

25/04/2014 at 21:06

Nothing on the plug plants that I could see, the plugs were very small. Sprayed them with something that looked like it killed pretty much anything, beetles, caterpillars, weevils, aphids etc but not sure that it is the correct thing!


25/04/2014 at 21:19

I don't know, I don't recall ever seeing those - I'm just wondering whether they're larvae of New Zealand Flatworms - I've never seen those either but googling brings up some similar looking creatures.  

As Nut says - take the plants back. 

25/04/2014 at 21:19

Is it in a bag of old compost you have had or did they come in the plug plants?

is there a mouth sucker on the underside? they look almost like leeches, but they are usually inhabitants of dank water like ditches.

25/04/2014 at 21:43

No bag of old compost I used fresh compost on all of them. 

There is no sucker on the underside, they are more like a small fat worm.  They are getting everywhere. In lupins, lavender, bedding lobelia, calibrachea. Not sure what to do, I don't want to repot them all for them to just return again. 

25/04/2014 at 21:54

Check out.  Cutworms.

25/04/2014 at 21:56

As a retailer myself, getting a refund could prove tricky as you have potted the product on and sprayed it. However, as a consumer you have certain rights one of which is that the product 'did not do as it said on the tin' and , more to the point, was contaminated. I would simply bag up all the pots , go back to the retailer with your receipt of purchase, and show them the contaminated goods. Any garden centre worth their salt would offer you a refund, or, give you vouchers of a value equivalent to that of your product, to spend in the store. Most stores and garden websites have a Sale or Return policy of some sort.

25/04/2014 at 21:59

Where did you get the plants from?

I've never seen NZ flatworms either, but i agree with dove, they do look a lot like the google images of them.

25/04/2014 at 22:23

Thank you Bruce Robinson, would you say they were on plugs or in compost though?

mike Allen, I agree they look like cutworms, what do you think is best to do?


25/04/2014 at 22:28

But look like daddy long legs larvae too, we did have a lot of those about last year. Could that be a possibility too?


25/04/2014 at 22:57

Reason I said cutworms, is because this is the time for them to show up.  There are insect sprays etc.  Thankfully, you have come across them in a small way.  Other less fortunates can have vast areas infested by them.  No.  You probably won't find anything on the plants themselves.  What you are likely to find, if these little beggars are allowed to live etc.  These are basically soil borne grubs. The will ravish themselves on the tender roots of plants.  The 'Cutworms' are the offspring of a variety of moths.  Their territory is worldwide.  Sometimes they can be mistaken for Leatherjackets, the soil dwelling grubs of the Cranefly or daddy long legs.  However.  The leatherjacket will show up when veggie gardener's spuds start to swell.  They are the biggest ground living pest for the spud grower.

When compost is being made.  This include the common garden compost bin etc.  All manner of creepy crawlies find their way into the mire.  That is why so many gardeners are shocked when turning over the heap.  Althogh heat generates within the compost.  It isn't enough to destroy unwanted guests and seeds.  That is why, compost making firms and large institusions such a Kew, daily turn and saturate the compost heap.  The heat become so intense.  So much so.  Were you to stand in it.  Within seconds, you would have been boiled alive.  For the likes of us. We pop down to the garden centre and purchas the odd bag of compost. For many st-ups that are producing plug plants and the like.  They are probably attempting to keep costs down by making their own compost.  Sadly, time, expertise is not on their side.Hence the compost still is home for many aliens.  You might like to Google Cutworms.  I took a peek at it after my first post.  I think it confirmed my post.  However.  I could be wrong.  I did check the RHS book by Andrew Halstead.  Chief entomologist at Wisley.  I do hope that this information helps.

26/04/2014 at 01:01

Look more like leatherjackets, the photo is not very clear.  Either way a baddy.

26/04/2014 at 06:56

Thank you mike. I might take a couple in a sealed bag to my local garden centre for confirmation of what they are. do you think they might do this?


26/04/2014 at 19:05

Yes I'm sure they will, but they will also try to sell you a chemical cure for them too!

26/04/2014 at 19:08

I doubt if you'll get them IDd at a GC unless yours is quite exceptional but Wo is right about selling you something to cure it

email image
16 messages