Vegetables and Herbs Slugs Do Not Like | Plants Resistant to Slugs and Snails

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.

What vegetables do snails and slugs not like to eat
Most garden slugs – and humans! – prefer sweet plants.

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).

borago officinalis hairy leaves slug resistant
Slugs dislike hairy plants.

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.

Flowers as protection against snails & slugs

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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.

basil: slugs like it a lot
Basil has lost its natural protection against slugs.

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.

Moreover, 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.

Peaceful Slug Control & Plant Protection

Slug Repellent Copper TapeSlug Collars | Multipack
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Slug do not like Swiss chard
Slugs dislike Swiss chard.

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.

snail eating plant leave
Slugs and snails pick and choose what to eat carefully.

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 dislike it very much.

That is another reason why there are hardly any plants that are entirely safe.

slugs don't like leeks
Slugs usually hate vegetables and herbs that are spicy and bitter.

Below is a list of vegetable and plant families that are hated by slugs and under normal circumstances are left in peace:

  • artichokes
  • asparagus
  • beetroot (sometimes prone)
  • celery (celeriac, smallage)
  • chard
  • chicory
  • chives
  • cucumbers (young plants are endangered)
  • endive
  • fennel
  • garlic
  • lamb’s lettuce
lambs lettuce is slugproof
Lamb’s lettuce is one of a few greens that are still slug-resistant.
  • leeks
  • melons (young plants are threatened)
  • onions
  • peas (sometimes young plants are vulnerable)
  • potatoes (depending on the variety)
  • spinach (some species and young plants can be susceptible)
  • radicchio
  • radish (depending on place and species, young plants can be susceptible)
  • red-leafed lettuce (Lollo Rosso)
  • rhubarb (pieplant)
  • rocket
  • sugarloaf
  • tomatoes.
chamomile snail resistant herb
Most herbs are spared, e.g., chamomile.

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 seldom eaten by slugs and snails.

Some might be consumed if they are weak or if slugs and snails are left without alternatives.

comfrey-snail resistant medicinal herb
Comfrey is typically safe.

Herbs in alphabetical order:

  • allium
  • borage
  • chamomile
  • chervil
  • comfrey
  • coriander
  • curry plant
  • feverfew
  • gout weed (ground elder, masterwort)
  • groundsels (ragworts)
  • horsetail
  • hyssop
bee-hyssop herb garden
Bees like hyssop.
  • lady’s mantle
  • lavender
  • lemon balm
  • lovage (sometimes vulnerable)
  • marjoram
  • meadowsweet
  • mint (almost all varieties are safe)
  • nasturtium
  • Nigella Damascena (love-in-a-mist, ragged lady, devil in the bush)
  • origanum (oregano)
  • parsley (young plants are vulnerable)
  • pimpinella (burnet)
  • purple loosestrife

    rosemary slugs do not like
    Rosemary is able to repel slugs.
  • rosemary
  • rue (herb-of-grace)
  • sage (depending on the variety)
  • savory
  • southernwood (lad’s love or southern wormwood)
  • St. John’s wort
  • stonecrop (Sedum reflexum, Sedum rupestre)
  • tarragon
  • thyme
valerian-flower slug resistant medicinal plant
Slugs will not eat valerian.
  • valerian
  • wild garlic (bear’s garlic, ramson)
  • winter savory
  • woodruff (Galium odoratum, sweet-scented bedstraw)
  • yarrow.
most berries are slug resistant
Furthermore, most berries are safe.

Variety Selection as Slug Control

You can make life difficult for slugs by mostly cultivating plants they dislike eating.

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.

olives-branch tree black
Slugs also tend to steer clear of lemon and olive trees.

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.

lavender-slug protection strip
Lavender: a treat for bees, but not for slugs.

Use of Slug-repellent Plant Stripes

Some of the above plants should 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:

  • tansy
  • soapwort
  • wormwood
  • begonia
  • geranium
  • rosemary
  • lavender.

These plants can be used to close off gates through which slugs enter the garden.

Flowers as protection against snails & slugs

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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.

herbs-slugs do not like to eat
Repellent stripes should be as wide as possible.

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 mix.

Creating these anti-slug stripes in combination with other means against slugs is useful.

slug-control and plant protection
How to protect plants?

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 would rather not give up these varieties, there are different options available.

Some people recommend home remedies that can be used to deter slugs and snails.

These include, for example, coffee grounds, eggshells, sheep’s wool, ash, and a few more.

sheep's-wool against slugs and snails
Sheep’s wool can 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.

Sheep wool pellets as protection against snails & slugs

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You will find more information here: mulching against snails

ground beetle-slug predator
How to attract natural predators?

In the long term, introducing as many natural enemies of slugs as possible into the garden is a great help.

These include:

  • hedgehogs
  • toads
  • lizards
  • songbirds
  • shrews
  • moles
  • harvestmen
  • 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.

slug collar
Protect single plants with a slug collar.

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 Collars | Alternative Snail & Slug Control for single plants | Multipack

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Slug Control: Further Alternatives

Some other slug control methods that might interest you are:

Slug barriers

Slug and snail deterrent paint

Electric slug fence

Slug-resistant flowers and flowering plants: perennials and annuals

DIY slug and snail control

Runner ducks against slugs and snails

Peaceful Slug Control & Plant Protection

Snail & Slug Repellent Copper Tape | AdhesiveAnti-Slug Fence | Protective Barrier
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Sheep Wool Pellets | Natural Snail RepellentAnti-Slug Collars | For Single Plants | Multipack
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Mindful consumption: Please only buy what you or your garden really need.

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24 thoughts on “Vegetables and Herbs Slugs Do Not Like | Plants Resistant to Slugs and Snails”

  1. Sorry, in my garden I have 3 things that slugs absolutely love, and two are on your don’t like list. The will happily demolish half a leaf of silverbeet (Swiss chard) overnight. They also love my radishes (the red round ones. I’m yet to see how they go with French Breakfast.) They will strip most of the leaves, especially before the root starts to develop, after that, they will nibble at the root for preference. So far they are preferring Cos Lettuce to Iceberg.
    For seedlings, cut the bottom half of a 2L drink bottle (clear plastic), drill plenty of small holes in the bottom of it to allow air and water to pass. Up-end over the seedling. This gives a barrier that will stop anything but the smallest (and they will often get caught in the sun the next day.) It has the bonus of being a standalone greenhouse during the cold months.

    • Yep – all my early rhubarb (Timperley Early) have been munched and don’t look as if they’ll survive – Almost May and 1 tiny sliver (less than 5 cm) poking out of the ground. All the other leaves are munched to the base.

    • Hello Liz,

      thank you for your comment. It’s true sometimes slugs love even tomatoes.
      It may depend on the variety and the strength of the plants. Young plants are generally vulnerable.
      You could try to distract the slugs by putting e.g. lettuce leaves next to the tomatoes.

      More ideas here: natural slug control.

      May you and your tomatoes be strong and healthy,

  2. I don’t have sheep’s wool but I do have plenty of dog hair (we have three heavy shedders, lol). Do you think that would work? I’ve got beer traps set out, and last night I laid a barrier of fresh wormwood clippings around my most vulnerable bed, only to find that the slugs still went in. Copper and egg shells do not work and my chickens aren’t fond of slugs.

  3. I have a huge slug problem behind my house, beside a farmers field and forest strip. They always go after my cucumbers (I transplanted 12 30cm tall plants out between two gooseberry bushes with rings of coffee grounds around the cucs and they were all gone 2 days later – either all the leaves were eaten or the stems were cut), devour my radishes (the same as Peter Bowron, the greens are eaten when young then big bites out of the radishes once they start bulbing), nibble on my tomatos (they especially love the growing tips but also eat the leaves and take chunks out of the stems), love my full grown chard, chomp down on my peas (again strong 10cm transplants that did amazing in the front garden, eaten or filled with holes within a week) and they have even started hanging out on the leaves of my garlic, although I haven’t seen any actual bites taken from those yet, who knows if the bulbs have survived…

    I’ve tried sacrificial plants (extra pumpkins, zucchini and mustard – it makes finding slugs easier), I’ve tried planting strips of basil and geranium’s (the slugs ate both within 2 weeks of transplanting them in), I keep the meter of ground between the forest edge and my garden clear of grass/weeds – it’s all gravel, I’ve tried beer traps (a great way to attract slugs and waste beer) and I’m out picking them off 2-3 times per day. Still the plants just can’t grow fast enough to out compete the slugs.

    Yesterday I tried adding Nemaslug – I hope it works to give the plants a few weeks breathing room to grow this year. Either way I think next year I’ll be planting more gooseberries and currents back there and leaving the vegetables for the front garden!

    • I absolutely empathise with you. I have tried all of these methods and can confirm that they are utterly ineffective. Copper is another failure as is wool. The only thing that works for me is blue pellets. Not those more salt-like crystals. I’m sure my slugs enjoy those as a kind of condiment after dining on mint, thyme and basil.

  4. I am now trying vegemite dissolved in hot water, then cooled and poured into a 1 kg yoghurt container which is oiled on the inside walls making it too slippery for the slugs to climb out and it works like a charm. After reading your article though I fear it may also be attracting beneficial leopard slugs and as you mentioned slugs from further afield. Any thoughts?

  5. Our Yorkshire slugs don’t seem to have read this article. All our vegetables have been eaten, the raspberries were half – eaten and weren’t too appetising with silver trails on them. Some of the flowers have survived, but only tough ones like pansy, poppy, peonies and bluebells. Even daffodils have gone. Eggshells and copper tape are useless, slug pellets are the only answer.
    I haven’t tried metal rings on things, yet, and I shall have a go at some of the herbs, but I’m fed up of feeding the little buggers with (over the past few years) hundreds of pounds worth of previously healthy plants.

    • No Neil, pellets are not the only answer. They are the lazy answer when people half heartedly tried a couple of things and given up. Pellets can kill other wildlife – even the so called safe ones.

      Sharp sand will do the trick, but it needs to be boarded in so it doesn’t just wash away.

      Make a sand moat with boarding and fill with sharp sand and you’re pretty much done. Top up here and there. Very cheap to buy from B&Q or wherever.

  6. I find the advice that slugs don’t like thyme extraordinary considering they have eaten mine four years in a row. I am currently trying to save my final one by bringing it back into the house. I don’t hold out much hope.

  7. I have seen slugs on my radishes (eating root) and cucumbers (eating fruit).Yesterday found a teeny slug crawling on the inside of my bag of freshly harvested lettuce and cucumbers.Threw it all out. Last year I found some hiding under my chocolate mint.I am trying sluggo but have only put it around lettuce. Have to put it around everything I guess. Discouraging.

  8. Having read your very useful article – with many thanks – and then all the comments – I share the frustrations of my fellow gardeners wholeheartedly. The snails in my garden even clime on top of chicken wire and balance themselves along over the wire and then pressing their body through the wire downwards to reach the small mizuna, rocket, and coriander plants underneath… It seems to me that there are many factors, type and state of plant, but also maybe type of slug and snail, which might explain why some plants are okay in one garden, but ravished by these pests in another. I try and avoid the blue pellets – I don’t want to risk harming wildlife and rather collect the perpetrators in the morning and carry them to the nearby river bank. When doing this I often wonder, how quickly will they be finding their way back :))

  9. I have cracked it…after losing five tubs of kale overnight. I made a moat out of mini-guttering (and four elbow joints), and filled it with acetic acid and salt water (salt & vinegar). I made sure I levelled the moat (guttering) on a slab of concrete. Works 100%. I found one dead slug in the moat after a week. You do have to keep topping it up every few weeks, as the solution evaporates. I will be posting a YouTube video of it when I have the time.

  10. By putting beer in an empty ice cream box you can get rid of slugs. The slugs go to drink and fall in the container.

  11. Sorry but there seems to be a lot of misinformation in this article! My husband read this as it comes up as the first point of reference on Google and purchased some of the said plants you claim are not liked by slugs. Well both slugs and snails like our tomato, chard and thyme plants. Shame that we’ve wasted a lot of money and time listening to this when actually further research shows the opposite

  12. I have been growing some kind of mystery lettuce that is delicious to me, it’s a light yellowish green, with loose floppy leaves, and neither bugs nor slugs are interested in it at all. Unfortunately for the life of me I can’t figure out what it is! I know I planted them deliberately, even started them as seed in peat pods. I had been labelling them as “lettuce tree” but they don’t look like tree lettuce at all. They look more like butterhead, with the rounded floppy leaves. And the writing on the little plastic bag the seeds came in has rubbed off. No search of receipts reveals any clues. Anyone have a clue?


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