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Slug Collars to Protect Vulnerable Plants

Slug collars are small snail protection rings made out of plastic and sometimes of metal.

Their edge is bent like the edge of a slug fence pointing outward – similar to a collar.

Snails are irritated by this edge and thus have difficulties to overcome the barrier – slugs more than snails.

slug collarThey lose their grip and therefore turn around or fall down (test video below).

Commonly slug collars are used to protect young plants, as they are particularly vulnerable.

Their green transparent color continues to let the sunlight through.

Connected with a protective plant cover as a lid the collar creates a small greenhouse, which slugs and snails can hardly penetrate.

Slug and snail collars in the test

The effectiveness of slug collars is controversial. That’s why I performed an experiment.

For this, I placed marigolds inside a slug collar and put some freshly collected slugs and snails around it.

Slug collar test video

The video shows a time-lapse over 32 minutes:

While some snails tried to get to the marigolds – one of their favorite dishes – none of them made the way inside.

The snails seem confused that they would have to take a detour to get to their destination.

Also, the sharp outer edge is a problem for slugs and snails – same as with the metal slug fence.

So the test shows that snail collars are a peaceful way to protect endangered plants from slugs and snails.

Therefore, I use them myself and can recommend them to all gardeners who would like to protect single plants.

The long-term test shows that the collars do not stop all invaders but most of them.

This helps endangered plants to survive critical phases.

In the title picture, you can see runner beans, which probably would not have survived without the collar.


Slug collar products

Durable Slug Collars Cabbage Slug Collars Slug Collars x 18
Find more information on Amazon Find more information on Amazon Find more information on Amazon

In North America slug collars are not yet available – except the cabbage collars.

Slug collar application

The application is simple and self-explanatory.

The slug collars are slipped over the plants and pressed lightly into the ground.

For large plants, you can carefully unravel the collar.

Then it is put around plants that are too big to slip it over.

If it is still cold, the collar can be combined with a plant protection bell (Victorian bell), if the diameters match.

Then both become a small greenhouse under which the plants can thrive against snails, wind, and weather.

An efficient way to be 100% sure is to close the opening with mosquito nets.

Then the plants are protected not only from snails but also for example from the cabbage white butterfly or other pests.

The net can be left on the collar during the day without any problems.

This may not look very nice, but it is a safe protection, which I recommend especially in the self-made models.

Video: Self-made slug collars

If you do not understand German just copy what you can see or use the generated subtitles for more information:

DIY- Make slug collars yourself

As the video shows: Old plastic buckets can easily be transformed into slug collars – especially super if they come with a lid.

Therefore to save money, you can make homemade slug collars.

Just take big yogurt cups or plastic buckets with a wide margin.

Homemade Slug Collar Control
Perfect is a slug collar with a lid.

Remove the bottom of the cup/bucket, and you’ve finished the self-made collar.

But unfortunately, these home-made models are usually less effective because their edges are not wide enough.

A small drawback to self-construction is also that these buckets or pails are usually not transparent and can thus cast a shadow over the plants.

Hence for small plants, nontransparent models are not ideal, but for larger plants, this is no problem.

If possible, try to use transparent materials.

It’s even better if they also have a lid. Because as long as the plants are still small, a cover adds excellent additional protection.

If the cup does not come with a lid, it is also possible to build it yourself.

Thus easily a piece of wood, plastic or cardboard can be cut in form so that it fits precisely in or on top of the collars opening.

This enhances the safety of the plants and protects them also against frost, hail, birds, and rabbits.

Even more ideas on the subject here: self-made snail protection

Disadvantages weaknesses of this slug controlDisadvantages of slug collars

The main downside is that slug/snail collars offer protection only to a few plants.

Therefore, it can be difficult to secure a large garden and many plants in this way.

Another problem is that bigger plants can only be protected cumbersome, also because they grow over the edge more quickly, and thereby bridges arise which slugs can use.

Since the collars are not deeply embedded in the soil (only one or two inches/centimeter), they are not able to protect the plants against slugs which live and move underground (grey field slug).

Moreover, cheap versions are not very stable and can break by pushing them into the ground. You need to use them with a lot of mindfulness.

Another drawback may be that the plastic rings might be regarded as unaesthetic in the garden.

advantages strengths of this slug controlAdvantages of slug collars

Also against the Spanish slugs, a snail collar works relatively well and safely.

As a result, for example, individual salads or young cabbages, can be protected quickly and easily.

With this method, no snail will is injured or needs to be killed, and yet the plants are protected from slugs.

Another advantage is that the collars help to pour water better more efficiently.

The collar serves as slug protection and pouring ring at the same time.

The combinability with plant protection bells or mosquito nets offers many possibilities and makes this method additionally attractive.

plus minusConclusion

Slug collars provide good protection that defends the most vulnerable plants.

In combination with garden bells, they make a lot of sense, because they become miniature greenhouses.

The price of around 1.50 dollar/ pounds/euros per piece does not seem too expensive, considering that they can be used again and again with the appropriate care-taking for several years.

One significant point is that no snail needs to be killed or injured to protect the plants. That’s why I recommend this method.

Snail collars will make gardening more peaceful and enjoyable, and that is maybe their most important benefit.

Once you get used to their sight, they can even look pretty neat.

Anyway, since snail collars only help individual plants and are not 100% safe, they should be combined with other measures.

Products and prices

Usual slug and snail collars are made of transparent green plastic and have a height of about 12cm / 8 inches.

The diameter at the bottom is about 14cm / 9 inches and about 20cm /12 inches at the top. The dimensions vary depending on the manufacturer.

The cost per snail collar amounts to about 1 to 2 dollar/ pounds/euros per piece.

Prices are depending on the quality and quantity. Usually, you can buy them in sets of 5 to 10 pieces.

Cheaper models are usually a little fragile and not as durable as the more expensive variants.

Since snail and slug collars are useful and at the same time harmless, I recommend them as a means of efficient slug control.

Slug collar products

Durable Slug Collar Cabbage Slug Collar Slug Collars x 18
Find more information on Amazon Find more information on Amazon Find more information on Amazon

In North America slug collars are not yet available – except the cabbage collars.

Alternatives to slug collars

There are some other slug control methods that might interest you:

Attract natural enemies of slugs

Slug barriers overview

Slug deterrent paint

Copper against slugs

Slug-resistant vegetables and herbs

Slug-resistant flowers: perennials and annuals

Self-made electric slug fence

Slug Control Recommendations

Slug Repellent Copper Tape Garden Cloches Slug Fence
Find more information on Amazon Find more information on Amazon Find more information on Amazon


Slug Collars to Protect Vulnerable Plants
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