There are a number of plants which slugs and snails do not like to eat.
Knowing which vegetables and herbs slugs avoid, can save a lot of trouble and help you to cultivate mainly slug-resistant plants.
Also if the slugs do not find what they like, at least some of them will sooner or later wander off.
Here is a list of flowers they do not like to eat: Snail resistant flowers
- 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 Further Slug Control Alternatives
What makes some plants slug resistant?
Many plants have developed a natural protection against slugs.
They produce bitter substances or poisons that prevent the snails from eating them.
Or they develop a smell that scares off slugs.
Basically, most ferns, mosses and grasses are slug safe.
Others have covered their leaves with fluffy hairs that do not taste good to snails.
Still others have equipped their hard stems with pointy thorns, which make it difficult for the slugs to reach the juicy leaves.
So most plants know how to defend themselves.
On the internet it is possible to find sources that declare that in particular plants which seed themselves would be less susceptible.
However, this still needs to be closely monitored and confirmed.
Which plants are vulnerable?
Through modern plant breeding some plants have lost their defense and have thereby become a treat not only for humans, but also for slugs and snails.
More information here: What plants do slugs like best? (soon)
In addition, the resistance of many plants depends on the season and their location.
Young plants and especially weak plants are targeted by slugs even if the adult and healthy plants are resistant.
Apparently weak plants do not have the strength to defend themselves with effective countermeasures.
Which vegetables do slugs not like to eat?
Unfortunately, many vegetables are the favorite dish of slugs and some even of snails.
But there are also many vegetables that slugs are reluctant to eat.
The following list is not exhaustive and many plant families have still some varieties and representatives that are vulnerable, even though the family is relatively resistant in itself.
Basically, snails are omnivores but at the same time they are particular. They pick and choose carefully what to eat.
But beggars cannot be choosers. If the offered menu is small they will pick what they find, even if they do not like it very much.
That’s another reason why there is hardly any plant that is completely safe.
To plant only varieties they do not like, might cause the slugs to gradually migrate to more tasty areas and the density of the slugs will decrease.
So here’s a list of vegetables (plant-families) that under normal circumstances are left in peace by slugs and snails:
- beetroot (sometimes prone)
- celery (celeriac, smallage)
- cucumbers (young plants are endangered)
- lamb’s lettuce
- melons (young plants are endangered)
- peas (sometimes vulnerable)
- potatoes (depending on the variety)
- radish (sometimes, depending on place and species, susceptible young plants)
- red-leaved lettuce (Lollo Rosso)
- rhubarb (pieplant)
- sugar loaf
Which herbs do slugs and snails not like to eat?
Simpler is the selection of herbs. Because almost all herbs are snail and slug-resistant plants.
However, basil, young parsley, marjoram and lemon verbena are now and then on the menu of insatiable mollusks.
The following list includes herbs and medicinal plants (families) which are almost never eaten by slugs and snails.
(Although some might be eaten if the slugs are in great need.)
(in alphabetical order)
- curry plant
- gout weed (ground elder, masterwort)
- groundsels (ragworts)
- lady’s mantle
- lemon balm
- lovage (sometimes vulnerable)
- mints (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, sweetscented bedstraw)
Variety selection as slug control
You can make the life of slugs difficult by cultivating plants they do not like to eat.
Then they can not do a lot of harm and the anger about the slimy pests can be minimized.
In general, trees and shrubs are normally not particularly prone to snails attacks.
For example, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, cranberries or blackberries plants know ways to defend themselves against snails.
Also lemon or olive trees are usually spared by slugs.
The same applies to almost all fruit and nut trees.
Thus if you really want to be on the safe side, it is beneficial to plant many shrubs and trees.
Then it is not necessary to worry too much about slugs.
However, the above lists also show that the widespread assumption that there are hardly any snail-resistant plants is wrong.
The lists are long and the list of flowers that slugs do not or rarely eat is even longer.
More information here: Flowers and perennials snails do not like to eat
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 become a kind of protective barrier, which slugs and snails are reluctant to cross.
This can then be used to close gates through which slugs enter the garden.
With the strong smell of these plants it is possible to distract the pests also from the sweet smell of their favorite plants, which attracts them otherwise in droves.
This protection is not 100% secure and relying on it alone would be negligent.
There are also seed tapes available with a blooming mixture to create long protective strip around the endangered plants.
With the above lists you could also put together an individual mixture.
In combination with other means against slugs, it could be quite useful to create these protective anti-slug stripes.
Natural slug control alternatives
Unfortunately, most vegetables are the favorite food for many snails and slugs.
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, which are compiled and examined on this website.
First of all, there are simple home remedies that can be used to mulch against snails.
These materials could be applied as a protective ring around individual plants or around beds.
But are these methods actually effective?
Unfortunately, mostly not, especially after they become wet they lose their effectiveness.
More information here: mulching against snails (soon)
In the long term, it is a great help to locate as many natural enemies of the slugs in the garden as possible.
- hedgehogs (How to promote hedgehogs in your garden.)
- and many species of beetles.
Even some slugs are specialized predators, such as the leopard slug (Limax maximus) or the roman slug.
What to do to promote biodiversity in the garden?
More information here: Promote biodiversity and natural predators of slugs
If you do not want to fight the snails directly, there are also several effective obstacles and barriers that are difficult for the slugs and snails to overcome or even make it impossible for them to get to the plants.
More information here: obstacles for slugs (soon)
In addition, I can recommend using copper against snails.
More information here: copper against slugs
Further Slug Control Alternatives
There are some other slug control methods that might interest you:
slug fences (soon)