Updated: June 3, 2022

Donkey tail plant, also known as Burro’s tail or Sedum morganianum, is a popular succulent that is easy to care for and adds a unique touch to your indoor or outdoor garden. However, one of the challenges that come with growing donkey tail plants is the presence of slaters. Slaters are small, grayish-brown bugs that are also known as pill bugs or woodlice. They are attracted to damp environments and feed on decaying organic matter. If left unchecked, slaters can cause damage to the leaves and roots of your donkey tail plant. In this article, we’ll explore some effective ways to get rid of slaters on your donkey tail plant.

Identify the signs of slater infestation

Before you can start getting rid of slaters, you need to confirm that they are present on your donkey tail plant. Here are some signs that indicate the presence of slaters:

  • Small holes in the leaves
  • Brown spots on the leaves
  • Uneven growth or stunted growth
  • Presence of droppings on the leaves or soil
  • Sluggish movement of the plant

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to take action.

1. Remove any decaying organic matter

Slaters are attracted to damp environments and feed on decaying organic matter. Therefore, the first step in getting rid of them is to remove any dead leaves, fallen flowers, or other debris around your donkey tail plant. This will reduce their food source and make it less attractive for them to stay.

2. Avoid overwatering

Overwatering can create a damp environment that slaters love. Make sure you’re not watering your donkey tail plant too frequently or leaving it in standing water. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and make sure that the pot has proper drainage.

3. Use a natural insecticide

If the infestation is severe, you may need to use an insecticide to get rid of the slaters. However, it’s important to use a natural insecticide that won’t harm your plant or the environment. One effective option is diatomaceous earth, which is a natural powder made from fossilized algae. Sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth around the base of your donkey tail plant and on the soil surface. When slaters come into contact with the powder, it will dehydrate and kill them.

4. Set up traps

Another way to get rid of slaters is to set up traps around your plant. You can use a piece of damp cardboard or a rolled-up newspaper and place it near the base of your donkey tail plant. Slaters will be attracted to the moist environment and crawl inside the trap. Check the trap regularly and dispose of any slaters that you find.

5. Introduce natural predators

If you’re looking for a longer-term solution, you can introduce natural predators that feed on slaters. One option is to add nematodes to your soil. Nematodes are microscopic worms that are harmless to plants but will eat slaters and other pests. You can purchase nematodes online or at your local garden center.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are slaters harmful to my donkey tail plant?

Slaters can cause damage to the leaves and roots of your donkey tail plant if left unchecked. It’s important to take action as soon as you notice any signs of infestation.

Can I use chemical insecticides to get rid of slaters?

Chemical insecticides can be harmful to your plant and the environment. It’s best to use natural insecticides or other non-toxic methods to get rid of slaters.

How do I prevent slaters from coming back?

To prevent slaters from coming back, make sure you’re not overwatering your donkey tail plant and remove any decaying organic matter around it. You can also introduce natural predators or set up traps as a preventative measure.