The daffodils in my front garden come through and then get eaten by something – the petals have been nibbled and look very sorry for themselves. Are slugs or snails eating the daffodil flowers? What can I do to stop them?

Slugs and snails are particularly fond of eating daffodil petals, especially if the daffodils are planted in grassy areas. Slug pellets should distract the slugs from climbing the daffodil stems and feasting on your flowers.

Organic slug pellets are now available at most garden centres; alternatively spent coffee grounds around the plants will deter the pests.

All over the garden, it is important to decrease the slug and snail populations.  There are various methods to achieve this: beer traps are irresistible to both slugs and snails. So are upturned halves of grapefruit or orange skins; both of these, however, are unsightly and detract from the flowers.  Going out at night with a torch and physically removing the culprits from the flowers and surrounding area will prevent the damage.

Alternatively, your daffodils could be removed from the ground six weeks after flowering and planted into a pot with a copper band around it.  This will prevent the slugs and snails reaching the blooms – but opens the possibility of other pests such as the narcissus fly grub which slowly eats the bulb.