May the garden flower in spite of slugs in a thousand colors.
There are some flowers that slugs and snails are especially attracted to. Anyone who has larkspur, sunflowers, hosta, dahlias or zinnias in the garden, knows that slugs love to eat these flowers.
Fortunately, there is a much longer long list of flowers that snails do not like and do not eat, because normally they can find something more tasty.
But why are some plants more snail and slug resistant than others?
Which flowers and plants do snails and slugs not like?
Many plants know how to fight against predators. They need to, because they can not run away.
Therefore, they have developed various methods to become unsavory for herbivores:
- Toxic ingredients
- Hard and leathery leaves
- Hairy leaves
- Bitter substances
- Hard to digest substances
- Thorns and spines on stems and leaves
- Burning hair
These are just a few defense mechanisms and there are plants that can even call other animals to help by emitting perfumes.
In the case of the plants, which are particularly preferred by slugs, it was also through professional breeding methods that some of them have lost their defense mechanisms.
Most humans do not like to taste bitter salad leafs or vegetables, and the same is true many slugs.
Therefore, it is also important to know which plants are particularly threatened by slugs.
More information here: plants which snails and slugs love to eat
Since the following list of flowers is very extensive, I have made a third list for all vegetable gardeners who would like to know which vegetables are resistant to snails.
More information here: Herbs and vegetables which snails do not like to eat
Slug resistant flowers and perennials
The flowers of the following list have been able to defend themselves against the snails.
But snails and slugs are omnivores and in a shortage of alternatives, they will not only eat flies, but also some of the listed plants are no longer safe.
But anyway there are some plant families that are particularly resistant towards slugs.
These include, for example, most geraniums, phlox, asters, veronicas or poppies.
Also the leek and the spurge families are relatively safe.
Same is true for roses, dianthus, astilbe, hydrangeas, succulents, mints and many more.
In some plant families, susceptibility or snail resistance are strongly dependent on the species and its location.
For example, day lilies or irises are sometimes spared, but sometimes eaten.
The season and the power of the plants to protect themselves also play a role.
Snails prefer weak, freshly transplanted and sick plants and especially young plants are vulnerable.
I therefore recommend to cultivate young plants in designated areas to be protected by slug fences or slug collars.
If one looks at the following list, it becomes clear that there is a massive selection of beautiful and flowering plants that can be cultivated without much danger to be eaten by slugs or snails.
Therefore it is possible to create several snail-resistant flower paradises. Many summer flowers and also perennials are among them.
Some seed companies already offer special seed mixtures and tapes consisting only of seeds of flowers, which snails avoid and are reluctant to eat.
Slug-resistant flowers and flowering plants (from A to Z)
1. Aconite ++ (aconitum, monkshood, wolf’s bane, leopard’s bane, mousebane, women’s bane, devil’s helmet, queen of poisons, blue rocket)
2. Alkanet (anchusa officialis, common bugloss)
3. Alpine Anemone (pulsatilla alpina, alpine pasqueflower)
4. Alpine aster (aster alpinus)
5. Alyssum ++ (genus)
6. Amaranth family (eg. quinoa, kaniwa, spinach, beetroot, chard)
7. Angel’s trumpets (brugmansia)
8. Appalachian barren strawberry ++ (waldsteinia fragarioides)
9. Aquilegia (granny’s bonnet, Columbine) ++
10. Artemisia (genus)
11. Astrantia ++ (genus)
12. Avens + (geum genus)
13. Baby’s breath ++ (gypsophila paniculata, panicled baby’s-breath)
14. Balsam + (impatiens, jewelweed, touch-me-not, snapweed, patience)
15. Barrenwort (epimedium, bishop’s hat, fairy wings, horny goat weed, yin yang huo)
16. Beardtongue (penstemon)
17. Begonia + (genus)
18. Bellflowers (campanulla genus – vulnerability depending on the species)
19. Bergamot ++ (monarda didyma crimson beebalm, scarlet beebalm, scarlet monarda, Oswego tea)
20. Bergenia ++ (elephant-eared saxifrage, elephant’s ears)
21. Bidens (beggarticks, black jack, burr marigolds, cobbler’s pegs, Spanish needles, stickseeds, tickseeds)
22. Bitter fleabane (erigeron acer, blue fleabane)
23. Black Mullein (verbascum nigrum, dark mullein)
24. Blanket flower ++ (gaillardia genus)
25. Bleeding heart + (lamprocapnos spectabilis, lyre flower, lady-in-a-bath)
26. Blue-eyed-Mary + (omphalodes verna, creeping navelwort)
27. Bluebeard (caryopteris)
28. Bluebells (hyacinthoides genus)
29. Bugle (ajuga, reptans, blue bugle, bugleherb, bugleweed, carpetweed, St. Lawrence plant)
30. Burningbush (bassia scoparia, ragweed, summer cypress, kochia, belvedere, Mixican firebush)
31. Bushy aster (symphyotrichum dumosum, rice button aster)
32. Busy Lizzie + (Impatiens walleriana, Impatiens sultanii,, balsam, sultana, impatiens)
33. California poppy (eschscholzia californica, golden poppy, California sunlight, cup of gold)
34. Campion + (silene, catchfly)
35. Canadian goldenrod (solidago canadensis)
36. Candytuft ++ (iberis genus)
37. Carex + (genus, sedges)
38. Carnations + (dianthus species – pink, sweet william)
39. Catchflies (lychnis genus, campion)
40. Catnip + (nepeta cataria, catswort, catmint)
41. Centranthus +++ (genus)
42. China aster + (callistephus genus, annual aster)
43. Christmas rose ++ (helleborus niger, black hellebore )
44. Cinquefoils + (potentilla genus, tormentils, barren strawberries)
45. Clove pink (dianthus caryophyllus)
46. Cohosh (cimicifuga genus, bugbane)
47. Comfrey (symphytum)
48. Coneflowers (echinacea genus, sometimes infested)
49. Coral bells ++ (heuchera genus, alumroot)
50. Corn marigold (glebionis segetum, corn daisy)
51. Cotton thistle (onopordum acanthium, Scotch thistle)
52. Cowslip (primula veris, cowslip primrose)
53. Cranesbills (geranium genus)
54. Creeping phlox + (phlox subulata, moss pink, mountain phlox)
55. Curry plant + (helichrysum italicum )
56. Cyclamen + (genus)
57. Cymbalaria muralis (ivy-leaved toadflax, Oxford ivy, mother of tousands, mennywort, wandering sailor)
58. Daisy (bellis perennis)
59. Dalmatian Bellflower (campanula portenschlagiana, Adria bellflower, wall bellflower)
60. Dame’s gilliflower (hesperis matronalis – dame’s rocket, damask violet, night-scented gilliflower, summer lilac, sweet rocket, mother-of-the-evening, winter gilliflower)
61. Dane’s blood (pulsatilla vulgaris, European pasqueflower)
62. Daylilies (hemerocallis, strongly varietal and location dependent)
63. Dense blazing star (liatris spicata, prairie gay feather – vulnerability dependents on the species)
64. Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)
65. Dianthus plumarius + (common, garden, wild pink)
66. Dog violet (viola riviniana, wood violet)
67. Dotted loosestrife (lysimachia punctata, large yellow loosestrife, spotted loosestrife)
68. Erigeron (genus)
69. Evening primrose (oenothera genus, suncups, sundrops)
70. Everlasting (antennaria, catsfoot, pussytoes)
71. False goat’s beard ++ (astilbe genus, false spirea)
72. Fern-leaved beggarticks (apache beggarticks)
73. Festuca (eg. blue fescue)
74. Feverfew (tanacetum parthenium, bachelor’s buttons, featherfew)
75. Fleabane (erigeron annuus, annual fleabane, daisy fleabane, eastern daisy fleabane)
76. Fountain grass (pennisetum alopecuroides, Chinese pennisetum, Chinese fountaingrass, dwarf fountain grass, foxtail fountain grass, swamp foxtail grass)
77. Fuchsia (genus)
78. Fumaria (fumitory, fumewort)
79. Gamanders (teucrium)
80. Garden Cosmos + (Mexican aster, Cosmos bipinnatus)
81. Gazania ++ (genus)
82. Giant onion (allium giganteum)
83. Gladiolus (genus)
84. Globe thistles ++ (echinops genus)
85. Globeflower (trollius europaeus)
86. Goatsbeards ++ (aruncus genus)
87. Golden starthistle + (centaurea solstitialis, yellow star-thistle, yellow cockspur, St. Barnaby’s thistle)
88. Goldenrod + (solidago genus)
89. Grape hyacinth (muscari genus)
90. Great mullein (verbascum thapsus, common mullein)
91. Heartleaf ++ (brunnera macrophylla, great forget-me-not, largeleaf brunnera)
92. Helipterum + (h. genus, eg. silver bells, Australian strawflower, timeless rose)
93. Hepatica nobilis (anemone americana)
94. Himalayan meadow primrose ++ (Primula rosea)
95. Hollyhocks (alcea)
96. Honeysuckles (leonicera , caprifolium)
97. Horned violet (viola cornuta, horned pansy – some species are vulnerable)
98. Houseleeks + (sempervivum, liveforever, hen and chicks)
99. Hydrangea + (hortensia)
100. Hymenostemma (h. pseudanthemis)
101. Immortelle + (xeranthemum annuum, annual everlasting)
102. Impatiens (I. genus, jewelweed, touch-me-not, snapweed, patience)
103. Inula (eg. elecampane)
104. Iris + (i. genus – strongly dependent on variety and location)
105. Jacob’s ladder + (polemonium genus)
106. Japanese iris (iris ensata)
107. Japanese meadowsweet (spiraea japonica, Korean spiraea)
108. Knapweeds ++ (centaury, centory, starthistles, centaureas, bluets, loggerheads, cornflowers, basketflowers)
109. Knotweeds + (persicaria genus, smartweeds)
110. Lady’s mantle (alchemilla genus)
111. Leucanthemum (l. genus – depending on location)
112. Lily of the valley ++ (May bells, Our Lady’s tears, Mary’s tears)
113. Linaria (genus)
114. Lobelia ++ (genus)
115. Lobularia maritima ++ (alyssum maritimum, sweet alyssum, sweet alison)
116. London pride (saxifraga x urbium, whimsley, look-up-and-kiss-me, St. Patrick’s cabbage)
117. Loosestrife + (lysimachia genus)
118. Love-in-a-mist (nigella damascena, ragged lady, devil in the bush)
119. Maiden Pink + (dianthus deltoides)
120. Mallows (malva genus but depending on the species and location)
121. Marigold (calendula officinalis, ruddles, depending on location)
122. Meadowsweet + (filipendula genus)
123. Meconopsis (genus)
124. Monarda (m. genus, bee balm, horsemint, oswego tea, bergamot)
125. Moneywort + (lysimachia nummularia, creppng jenny, herb twopenny, twopenny thot)
126. Montbretia (crocosmia genus, coppertips, falling stars, antholyza, curtonus)
127. Mountain avens (dryas octopetala, white dryad)
128. Myosotis + (m. genus, forget-me-not, scorpion grasses)
129. Myrtle spurge (euphorbia myrsinites, blue spurge, board-leaved glaucous spurge)
130. Narcissus (n. genus, daffodils, daffadowndilly, jonjuil)
131. Nasturtium + (tropaeolum)
132. Nemesia ++ (genus)
133. Nicotiana (n. x sanderae)
134. Obedient plant ++ (physostegia virginiana,, obedience, false dragonhead)
135. Oriental poppy + (papaver orientale)
136. Pasque flower + (pulsatilla, wind flower, prairie crocus, Easter flower, meadow anemone)
137. Peavines (lathyrus genus, vetchlings)
138. Peony ++ (peonia genus)
139. Pericallis × hybrida (cineraria, florist’s cineraria, common ragwor)
140. Periwinkle + (vinca genus)
141. Perovskia (genus)
142. Phlox ++ (genus)
143. Pilewort (ficaria verna, lesser celandine, fig buttercup)
144. Platycodon grandiflorus ++ (ballon flower, chinese bellflower)
145. Plume-poppy ++ (macleaya cordata)
146. Portulaca grandiflora ++ (rose moss, ten o’clock, Vietnam rose, Mexican rose, sun rose, mose-rose purslane)
147. Pot-of-gold (coreopsis verticillata, whorled tickseed, whorled coreopsis, thread-leaved tickseed, thread leaf coreopsis)
148. Primroses (primula genus, – vulnerability dependents on the species)
149. Primula vialii (species)
150. Purple foxglove (digitalis purpurea, common foxglove, lady’s glove)
151. Purple mullein (verbascum phoeniceum, temptress purple)
152. Ragworts ++ (senecio, groundsels)
153. Rhododendrons (genus)
154. Rockcress (arabis genus)
155. Rockrose + (helianthemum nummularium)
156. Rosa (r. genus – depending on the variety)
157. Rubiaceae (coffee, madder, bedstraw family)
158. Santolina genus ++ ()
159. Saxifrage ++ (s. genus, rockfoils)
160. Sea lavender (limonium, statice, caspia, marsh-rosemary)
161. Siberian flag (iris sibirica)
162. Silene coronaria (rose campion, dusty miller, mullein-pink, lamp-flower)
163. Snake’s head (fritillaria meleagris, chess flower, frog-cup, guinea-hen flower, leper lily, dropping tulip, fritillary, chequered lily)
164. Snapdragons + (antirrhinum genus, dragon flowers – depending on species)
165. Sneezeweed (helenium genus)
166. Solomon’s seal (polygonatum genus, King Solomon’s-seal
167. Southernwood + (artemisia abrotanum, lad’s love, southern wormwood)
168. Sowbread (cyclamen hederifolium, ivy-leaved cyclamen)
169. Spiked speedwell (veronica spicata, royal candles, red fox, Noah Williams)
170. Spur valerian + (centranthus ruber, red valerian, kiss-me-quick, fox’s bush, Jupiter’s beard)
171. Spurflowers (plectranthus genus)
172. Spurge + (euphorbia genus)
173. St. John’s Wort (hypericum genus)
174. Stachys genus + (hedgenettles, heal-all, self-heal, woundwort, betony, lamb’s ears)
175. Stonecrops ++ (sedum genus)
176. Storksbills (pelargonium genus, geranium)
177. Succulents (almost all species of succulent plants)
178. Tansy (tanacetum vulgare, bitter buttons, cow bitter, golden buttons)
179. Teasel (dipsacus genus, teazel, teazle)
180. Thistles (cynareae)
181. Tiarella (genus)
182. Triple-veined-pearly everlasting (anaphalis triplinervis)
183. Tulips (tulipa genus)
184. Verbena (verbena officinalis, common vervain)
185. Veronica ++ (eg. heath speedwell, common gypsyweed, common speedwell, Paul’s betony)
186. Vetches + (vicia genus, variety and location dependent)
187. Waldsteinia genus (barren strawberries)
188. Wallflower + (erysimum cheiri)
189. White stonecrop (sedum album)
190. Wild teasel (dipsacus fullonum, fuller’s teasel)
191. Winter jasmine (jasminum nudiflorum)
192. Wood Anemone + (windflower, thimbleweed, and smell fox, anemone nemorosa)
193. Woodruff (galium odoratum, sweetsecented bedstraw, wild baby’s breath, master of the woods)
194. Woolly hedgenettle ++ (stachys byzantina, lamb’s-ear)
195. Wormwood (artemisia absinthium, absinthe, grand wormwood)
196. Yarrow (achillea millefolium)
Planting and sowing these plants is perhaps the easiest way to avoid a snail problem from the start.
But even if you do not want to give up on marigolds, funkies, dahlias, larkspur and co. – the favorites of the snails – you can use certain methods and means to protect these plants.
How to protect endangered plants?
In general, there are a number of things to consider dealing with snails and slugs in the garden.
If the snails have proliferated and it has become a kind of plague, it is important to research the causes of snail or slug population booms and to understand the causes and condition that came together to make them possible.
Then it is possible to use effective countermeasures.
More information here: effective measures against snails (soon)
But unfortunately it usually takes a few years before the garden has been transformed from a paradise for slugs into a place in which a natural equilibrium is reestablished.
Therefore help is needed right away. Once you realise the dangers of slug pellets, slug fences become the best way to set mechanical limits for the pests.
More information here: Barriers against snails (soon)
These barriers can be used to protect the most important plants and help them to withstand until the garden becomes more natural and thus more hostile to slugs.
Another interesting option is to distract slugs and snails from the important plants by creating a sacrificial flowerbed.
In there you can plant their favorite plants. Then they might leave everything else and it becomes relatively easy to set up traps and to pick them up.
More information on trapping slugs alive here: slug traps
Unfortunately, this does not usually lead to the desired success and you should not put too much hope in this method.
I compared the most widely used mulch materials.
More information here: Mulching against snails (soon)
I hope you liked this article and that I could help you a little.
Further methods to control slugs and snails
slug fences (soon)