Are You Hosting A Slug Party?

There are some plants which slugs just love to eat and planting them can be a party call to all the slugs in the neighbourhood to gather, leaving the party host with irregular shaped holes in leaves, and that famous, silvery, slime trail. 

It is useful to know which plants are more attractive to slugs before you buy them so you can build in some slug control methods to protect your plants, or chose plants less attractive to slugs.

Slugs are active all year round but they become a bigger problem as the weather starts to warm up while the ground is still damp so they become most active from March onwards. This coincides with the time when new herbaceous growth and young seedlings start to appear.

Slugs love to find a good herbaceous perennial to get their teeth into and the fact that these plants return year after year means that it is a regular decimation party stop for the slug population, with annuals and bedding plants added in as dessert.

Slugs are particularly fond of:

  • Hosta
  • Dahlia
  • Delphinium
  • Lupin
  • Sweet Peas
  • Gerbera
  • Heuchera
  • Zinnia
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Marigold
  • Petunia
  • Pansy
Slugs are particularly fond of hosta leaves

The veg patch is not a safe place either and the slug party can often move there so the veg which will attract them most are:

  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Courgette
  • Dwarf Bean
  • Runner Bean

This may read like a depressing list but there are lots of plants which slugs do not like and will actively avoid eating.

Which Plants Do Slugs Not Like to Eat?

Whilst it may seem that slugs are having a party in your garden, there are plants on which they are not so keen. Shrubs with hard stems or plants with with tough, hairy, or waxy leaves are not so attractive to slugs as they are more difficult to chew. Similarly, plants which smell unpleasant to them, or taste bitter, will be left alone.

The hairy leaves on Alchemilla mollis are less attractive to slugs

This is not a definitive list but these are plants which are commonly thought to be less attractive to slugs, although if they are hungry and they cannot find any of their favourites then they may just try the odd nibble:

  • Alchemilla Mollis
  • Hardy Geranium
  • Asilbe
  • Peony
  • Lavender
  • Dianthus
  • Salvia
  • Euphorbia
  • Agapanthus
  • Vibernum
  • Sedums
  • Echinacea
  • Anenome
  • Ferns
  • Saxifaga x urbium (London’s Pride)
  • Rudbeckia
  • Diacentra
  • Geum
  • Scabious
  • Astrantia
  • Campanula
  • Eryngium
  • Verbascum
  • Potentilla
  • Pelargonium
  • Begonia
  • Cosmos
  • Antirrhinum
  • Fuchsia

On the veg patch, there are veg which slugs will slide by so you can plant things like:

  • Onion
  • Leek
  • Garlic
  • Red Cabbage
  • Red Lettuce
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
Red lettuce is a safer bet to grow

Which plants in your garden are most liked and devoured by slugs, or are left well alone? Do let us know in the comments or on the Scotland Grows’ FacebookInstagram or Twitter pages!

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