In this article, you will find lists that will help you to make slugs hate your garden.
The article focuses on slug-resistant vegetables and herbs.
Have a look here if you are interested in slug-resistant plants.
- 1 What Makes Some Plants Slug-resistant?
- 2 Which Plants Are Vulnerable?
- 3 Which Vegetables Do Slugs Not Like to Eat?
- 4 Which Herbs Do Slugs and Snails Not Like to Eat?
- 5 Variety Selection as Slug Control
- 6 Use of Slug-repellent Plant Stripes
- 7 Natural Slug Control Alternatives
- 8 Slug Control: Further Alternatives
What Makes Some Plants Slug-resistant?
Most plants have developed a natural protection against slugs.
They either produce bitter substances or poisons that prevent slugs and snails from eating them, or they have developed a smell that deters and repels them (most shrubs, trees, and grasses, for example, are slug safe).
Some plants have covered their leaves with fluffy hairs that do not taste good.
Others have equipped their hard stems with pointy thorns, which make it difficult for slugs to reach the juicy leaves.
So, most plants know how to defend themselves.
Some people have observed plants and have concluded that those that are self-seeding are especially likely to be less susceptible.
However, this still needs to be carefully monitored and confirmed. If you have any information, please leave a comment.
Which Plants Are Vulnerable?
Through modern plant breeding, some plants have lost their defenses and have thereby become a treat not only for humans but also for slugs and snails.
You can find more information on plants that slugs like to eat here.
Also, the slug-resistance of plants depends on the season, their strength and their location.
Young and exceptionally weak plants are targeted by slugs even if the adult and healthy plants of the same species are slug-resistant.
Apparently, weak plants do not have the power to defend themselves with effective countermeasures.
Ideas to Protect Vulnerable Plants
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Which Vegetables Do Slugs Not Like to Eat?
Unfortunately, many vegetables are the favorite dish of slugs and some even of snails.
However, there are also many vegetables that slugs and snails are reluctant to eat.
The following list is not exhaustive, and many plant families still have some varieties and representatives that are vulnerable, even though the family itself is usually resistant.
Most slugs and snails are omnivores, but at the same time, they are particular.
But beggars cannot be choosers. If the menu on offer is small, they will eat what they find, even if they do not like it very much.
That is another reason why there are hardly any plants that are entirely safe.
Below is a list of vegetable and plant families that are hated by slugs and under normal circumstances are left in peace:
- beetroot (sometimes prone)
- celery (celeriac, smallage)
- cucumbers (young plants are endangered)
- lamb’s lettuce
- melons (young plants are threatened)
- peas (sometimes young plants are vulnerable)
- potatoes (depending on the variety)
- spinach (some species and young plants can be susceptible)
- radish (depending on place and species, young plants can be susceptible)
- red-leafed lettuce (Lollo Rosso)
- rhubarb (pieplant)
Which Herbs Do Slugs and Snails Not Like to Eat?
Selecting slug-resistant herbs is simple because almost all herbs are disliked by snails and slugs.
However, basil, young parsley, marjoram, and lemon verbena are on the menu now and then.
The following list includes herbs and medicinal plants that are almost never eaten by slugs and snails.
Some might be consumed if they are weak or if slugs and snails are left without alternatives.
Herbs in alphabetical order:
- curry plant
- gout weed (ground elder, masterwort)
- groundsels (ragworts)
- lady’s mantle
- lemon balm
- lovage (sometimes vulnerable)
- mint (almost all varieties are safe)
- Nigella Damascena (love-in-a-mist, ragged lady, devil in the bush)
- origanum (oregano)
- parsley (young plants are vulnerable)
- pimpinella (burnet)
- purple loosestrife
- rue (herb-of-grace)
- sage (depending on the variety)
- southernwood (lad’s love or southern wormwood)
- St. John’s wort
- stonecrop (Sedum reflexum, Sedum rupestre)
- wild garlic (bear’s garlic, ramson)
- winter savory
- woodruff (Galium odoratum, sweet-scented bedstraw)
Variety Selection as Slug Control
You can make life difficult for slugs by mostly cultivating plants they do not like to eat.
Then they cannot do a lot of harm, and anger about the slimy pests can be minimized.
Trees and shrubs are not usually particularly prone to snail attacks.
For example, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, cranberries, and blackberries know ways to defend themselves against snails.
The same applies to almost all fruit and nut trees.
It is therefore beneficial to plant many shrubs and trees.
The above lists show that it is incorrect to assume that there are hardly any snail- and slug-resistant plants.
The lists are long, and the list of flowers that slugs do not eat or rarely eat is even longer.
Use of Slug-repellent Plant Stripes
Some of the above plants are even able to repel snails.
For example, particularly strong-smelling herbs can be planted in stripes to form a kind of protective barrier that slugs and snails are reluctant to cross:
These plants can be used to close off gates through which slugs enter the garden.
With the repelling effect/smell of these plants, it is also possible to distract the pests from the sweet aroma of their favorite plants, which otherwise attracts them from far away.
However, the protection is not 100% secure and it would be negligent to rely on it alone.
There are also seed tapes available with a mix of blooms to create protective stripes around endangered plants.
Using the above lists, you could also put together your own mix.
Creating these anti-slug stripes in combination with other means against slugs is useful.
Natural Slug Control Alternatives
Unfortunately, for many slugs, most vegetables are a favorite food.
For example, the Spanish slug likes to dine on what the gardener has cultivated with great care.
If you do not want to give up these varieties, there are different options available.
Some people recommend home remedies that can be used to deter slugs and snails.
These materials should be applied as a protective ring around individual plants or beds.
But are these methods effective?
Unfortunately, usually not, especially after they become wet, as they then lose their effectiveness.
You will find more information here: mulching against snails
In the long term, introducing as many natural enemies of slugs as possible into the garden is a great help.
- and many species of beetles.
Some slugs are even specialized predators, such as the leopard slug (Limax maximus) or the Roman snail.
Here are some ideas on how to promote biodiversity in your garden.
If you do not want to fight snails directly, there are several useful obstacles and barriers.
They are difficult for slugs and snails to overcome and can even make it impossible for them to find their way to the plants.
You will find more information here: Barriers for slugs
I can also recommend using copper to protect flowerpots and raised beds against slugs.
Slug Control: Further Alternatives
Some other slug control methods that might interest you are:
Slug Control Recommendations
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Last update: April 25, 2020
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