Lungwort Pests

Lungwort is not often targeted by pests, although, as a landscape plant, there are always some insects that can cause harm. This flowering perennial emerges in the early spring and features bell-shaped blooms on tall stalks. The pests that are likely to damage Lungwort plants are the usual suspects: slugs and aphids. Controlling and preventing infestation will protect Lungwort plants so you can enjoy the unique foliage and lovely flowers.

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Common Lungwort Pests

Slugs

Slugs are pests that feed on plants, usually leaves and flowers. Signs of slug damage include irregularly shaped holes caused by the slug eating through the foliage or flower petals. Slugs often leave a trail of mucus that makes it easy to confirm when they have been on the plant. Some Lungwort plants have hair-like growth on the foliage that is natural to the plant but not favored by slugs.

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Treating Slugs on Lungwort

The quickest way to treat slugs on Lungwort plants is to pluck them off as you find them. Slugs are most active at night when the air temp becomes cool. Head outside and inspect the plant for slugs. Look under foliage and on the ground around the plant. Another option is to set a slug trap. A half-full container of beer will attract slugs, and they’ll drown in the fluid.

Preventing Slugs on Lungwort

Preventing slugs can be challenging, but space the plants far enough apart to allow for increased airflow. Slugs like damp conditions, so spacing plants further apart or dividing when growth becomes full makes the environment less welcoming to slugs. Remove debris, like plant matter or dead growth, from around the plant to keep slugs away.

Aphids

Aphids are tiny sap-sucking insects, sometimes known as black flies or green flies. These pests harm plants like Lungwort by sucking the sap, which is how the plant transports nutrients. Signs of aphid damage include curling, yellow foliage, and stunted growth. The insect's waste, known as honeydew, is another indicator that aphids are around. 

Treating Aphids on Lungwort

Remove vegetation damaged by aphids. Treat aphids by spraying the plant with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. It typically takes several attempts to remove all of the pests and their eggs, so plan to spray the plant several times. You may want to continue to treat the plant even if you no longer see signs of damage, to ensure the entire colony was removed.

Preventing Aphids on Lungwort

Keep aphids from becoming a problem for Lungwort plants by preemptively spraying the plant with products like horticultural oil and insecticidal soap. Companion plantings, like onion, chives, and garlic, also prevent aphids. A healthy lungwort is less susceptible to aphids, so keep up on watering to make sure the plant doesn’t dry out too much.

Sources

"Pulmonaria longifolia." The North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. plants.ces.ncsu.edu

"Pulmonaria officinalis." The North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. plants.ces.ncsu.edu

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 05-10-2023