May your garden flower in a thousand colors—in spite of slugs.
There are some flowers that slugs and snails are especially attracted to, for example:
Fortunately, there is a much longer list of flowers that slugs and snails do not like to eat.
Here you will find nearly two hundred different annuals and perennials that under normal conditions are slug-resistant.
Why Are Some Plants More Slug-Resistant Than Others?
Many plants developed a way to protect themselves against predators.
They had to because they cannot run away!
Therefore, they have developed various methods to become resistant:
- Toxic ingredients
- Hard and leathery leaves
- Hairy leaves
- Bitter substances
- Hard-to-digest substances
- Thorns and spines on stems and leaves
- Stinging hairs
These are the main defense mechanisms of plants, and there are many more.
Some plants, such as the tobacco plant, even call other animals to help by emitting scents.
Plants that are preferred by slugs have often lost their defense mechanisms as a result of plant breeding.
Most humans do not like to taste bitter salad greens or vegetables, and the same is true for most slugs and snails.
For a gardener, it is also important to know which plants are especially loved by slugs and snails.
Then you can avoid some of them and replace them with resistant varieties.
Apart from resistant flowering plants, there are also many herbs and vegetables which slugs do not like.
Slug-Resistant Flowers: Annuals and Perennials
The alphabetical list below consists of flowering plants which have been able to defend themselves against slugs and snails.
However, please be aware that most slugs and snails are omnivores, which means they can eat anything.
If they do not find alternatives, they may also eat some of the listed plants.
Nevertheless, some plant families are particularly resistant towards slugs, such as the following:
But even these families might not always be safe.
There are many factors that influence the resistance of a plant.
In some plant families, the susceptibility is dependent on the subspecies.
For example, mints, daylilies, or irises are sometimes spared but sometimes eaten.
Also, the location where a plant is growing can play a role, as can the season and the power of the plants to protect themselves.
Slugs prefer weak, sick, dying, or freshly translated plants.
Young plants may be especially vulnerable and prone to attacks by slugs and snails.
The following list provides a selection of beautiful flowering plants that can be cultivated without much danger of slugs or snails eating them.
Many summer flowers, annuals, and perennials are among them.
With this list at hand, it is possible to create a snail- and slug-resistant flower paradise.
Some seed companies already offer special seed mixtures and tapes consisting only of flower seeds, which slugs avoid and are reluctant to eat.
Some breeders already focus on slug-resistant varieties.
For example, slug-resistant hostas are available (more information from Amazon).
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Slug-Resistant Flowering Plants (From A to Z)
(The plus sign (+) signifies that a plant/family is particularly resistant.)
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 (e.g., 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 (Campanula 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, Mexican 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, e.g., silver bells, Australian strawflower, timeless rose)
93. Hepatica nobilis (Anemone americana)
94. Himalayan meadow primrose ++ (Primula rosea)
95. Hollyhocks (Alcea)
96. Honeysuckles (Lonicera 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 (e.g., 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, creeping 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 ragwort)
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, moss-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 ++ (e.g., 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, sweet-scented 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 are perhaps the easiest ways to avoid a snail problem from the start!
If you do not want to give up on marigolds, hostas, dahlias, larkspurs, and company—all favorites of the snails—you can use different means and methods to protect them.
Peaceful Slug Control & Plant Protection
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How to Protect Endangered Plants?
There are a number of things to consider when dealing with snails and slugs.
First, you need to understand the causes and condition behind the snail or slug boom in your garden.
Then you will be able to find sustainable solutions and countermeasures.
If you find out that the natural predators of slugs have left your garden the solution will be to reintroduce them, which will take some time.
In this situation, slug barriers can help by providing immediate protection for plants mechanically stopping slugs and snails.
They will help your plants to withstand slug attacks until more natural enemies start to settle.
Another interesting option is to distract slugs and snails from vulnerable plants by creating sacrificial flower and vegetable beds.
In these beds, you feed them with plants and food they love to eat.
Then they might leave everything else, and it will become easy to set up live slug traps and to pick them up.
These methods can help a little but usually do not lead to the desired success.
Please do not put too much hope in these techniques.
I tested and compared the recommended mulch materials against slugs.
Most of them fail completely if it begins to rain.
However, sheep wool pellets had a deterring effect on slugs and snails and can be recommended.
I hope you liked this article and that I could help you a little!
Video: Pest Resistant Plants
Ideas to control against slugs and snails:
Recommendations slug control
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Last update: December 26, 2020
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