Updated: October 12, 2022

Elephant bush plant, also known as Portulacaria afra, is a popular succulent that is commonly grown as a houseplant. It is prized for its ornamental value and low maintenance requirements. However, elephant bush plants are not immune to pest problems, and one of the most common pests that afflict them is slugs.

Slugs are slimy creatures that can cause significant damage to plants. They feed on the leaves and stems of plants, leaving behind unsightly holes and slime trails. If left unchecked, slug infestations can cause severe damage to elephant bush plants and even kill them. Here are some tips on how to get rid of slugs on an elephant bush plant.

Identify the Problem

Before you take any action to get rid of slugs on your elephant bush plant, it’s essential to identify the extent of the problem. Inspect the plant carefully for signs of slug damage, such as holes in the leaves or slime trails on the stems. You may also notice slugs themselves on or around the plant, especially if you check at night when they are most active.

Remove Attractants

Slugs are attracted to damp and moist environments, so it’s essential to remove any attractants around your elephant bush plant. Avoid overwatering the plant and make sure that excess water drains away from the roots. Also, remove any decaying plant matter or debris around the base of the plant, as this can provide a hiding place for slugs.

Use Slug Traps

Slug traps are an effective way to capture and kill slugs without harming your elephant bush plant. You can purchase slug traps from garden centers or make your own by placing shallow containers filled with beer or a mixture of water and yeast around the base of your plant. Slugs are attracted to these liquids and will crawl into the traps and drown.

Handpick Slugs

Handpicking slugs is a time-consuming but effective way to get rid of them. Check your elephant bush plant regularly for slugs, especially at night when they are most active. Wear gloves and pick the slugs off the plant by hand, dropping them into a bucket of soapy water to kill them.

Use Natural Predators

Introducing natural predators to your garden can help control slug populations. Ground beetles, hedgehogs, and birds are all natural predators of slugs and can help keep their populations in check. You can attract these predators to your garden by creating habitats for them, such as log piles or birdhouses.

Use Slug Repellents

Slug repellents are another option for getting rid of slugs on your elephant bush plant. These products work by repelling slugs with strong odors or flavors that they find unappealing. You can purchase slug repellents from garden centers or make your own by mixing garlic or hot pepper with water and spraying it onto the plant.


How do I prevent slugs from infesting my elephant bush plant?

To prevent slug infestations, avoid overwatering your plant and remove any decaying plant matter or debris around the base of the plant. You can also create barriers around the plant using copper tape or diatomaceous earth to deter slugs from crawling onto the leaves.

Are slug pellets safe to use around my elephant bush plant?

Slug pellets contain chemicals that can be harmful to plants and wildlife. It’s best to avoid using slug pellets around your elephant bush plant and opt for natural methods of slug control instead.

Can I use salt to kill slugs on my elephant bush plant?

Salt is a common method of killing slugs, but it’s not recommended for use on plants as it can damage the soil and roots. It’s best to use natural methods of slug control that do not harm your plant or the environment.

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