Slug Resistant Plants

Slugs can ravage a plant. They love the tender shoots of delphinium, and hosta and crave bedding plants. It's disheartening to find a lovely plant covered in slime trails and reduced to a few sticky branches.

It's true to say some gardens and gardeners suffer more from slugs than others, and no amount of slug defences keep them at bay. Fight the war against slugs, here are some tips. My favourite is beer traps, effective, but smelly. All the various means of warding off slugs take time, and what if there isn't enough time, or perhaps in shadier and wetter gardens the slugs seem to win?

One answer is to choose plants the slugs don't choose. Some plants have better defences against slugs. This may be because they have hairy leaves or are spiny. There are also plants which contain bitter substances which are repellant to slugs. We know Hosta is amongst the slug's favourite snacks, but there are slug-resistant Hostas with tough leaves that even the raspy tongue of a slug cannot chew. There is an excellent selection of Hostas which are resistant to slugs and well worth growing.

Listed below are some easy-to-grow perennials which are resistant, but not infallible to slugs. It means when planning and planting, if slugs are a bugbear, rather than planting, say Lobelia cardinalis, which has lovely red flowers, pick the Astilbe Fanal, illustrated below, which is also a lovely red, and the slugs will give it a miss. 

Click on the individual images for more information, including growing tips- There are other plants which are slug-resistant. This is a selection of easy-to-grow perennial plants which flower reliably and require little or no maintenance.

Some of the Best slug resistant plants

Geranium is an easy to grow hardy perennial, most of which are herbaceous. 

Tolerant of most growing conditions and long flowering they are a popular garden choice in a good range of colours and sizes,  read more.

Allium is a (mostly) late spring flowering bulb which will return year after year, provided the growing conditions are not too wet.

Not prone to slug damage Allium add style to the border,  Read more.

Astilbe is a herbaceous perennial which grows best in semishade and will tolerate moist soils, where slugs often lurk. Plants which will grow in damp conditions and resist slugs are a gem and Astilbe are easy to grow, Read more.

Hydrangea are deciduous summer flowering shrubs which are shade tolerant and have large showy flowers.

There are a good range of flower shapes and colours, ideal to brighten up a damp shady corner without any slug problems, read more.

There is a range of Poppies and different varieties suit different growing conditions but the slugs leave them all alone. Easy to grow, maintance fsee and often self seeders ideal if you have a slug problem,  read more.

Aquilegia is a self seeding perennial which flowers in early spring in a wide range of colours.

Aquilegia is a grow anywhere plant, it requires no maintance and will self seed around the garden, read more. 

Nepeta is a summer flowering perennial which is tough, and will grow almost anywhere. Nepeta is often grown in grown as a lavender substitue where growing conditions are too wet. Despite the damp it is ignored by slugs, but not always by cats. Read more.

Erigeron, a summer flowering herbaceous perennial is ideal for growing in cracks and crevices, walls and rockeries.

Although reputed to prefer moist soil, Erigeron will grow in some very dry corners of the garden. An easy to grow self seeder read more.

Easy to grow, herbaceous perennial with lovely lime green foliage and bright flowers. It will grow almost anywhere and is one of the more vigorous self seeds which needs to be checked, read more.

Digitalis is a self seeding biennial, attractive to bees and butterflies and will re appear all around the garden. It is easy to grow, naturally a woodland plant, but tolerant of most growing conditions. Read More.

Sedum, probably the best plant for attracting butterflies and pollinators but no slugs. Late summer flowering it is easy to grow read more.

Video: Sedum A bee and butterfly magnet

Achillea is a summer flowering perennial, which has flat flower heads comprising hundreds of tiny flowers. Popular with pollinators but not slugs, there is a wide range of flowering colours, read more.

The bees like Lavender but the slugs leave it alone as they do most of the herbs such Mediterranean as Rosemary and Thyme.

Lavender is easy to grow in the right conditions, dry well drained soil with lots of sun read more

Illustrated is Japanese anemone hupehensis Pamina, one of several lovely pink and white flowering anemones. They are herbaceous perennials which are easy to grow, a little too easy as they can be a bit of a garden thug. read more

As a general rule, slugs and snails are not interested in grasses. There are many to choose from, some of which mix well with the various slug resistant plants on this page, such as Alliums, Achillea, Lavender -read more.

Other slug resistant plants


Thalictrum common name meadow rue, a tall herbaceous perennial with large fluffy flower heads.
Pulmonaria common name Lungwort, an early spring flowering perennial.

Pelargonium, also known as geranium, a summer flowering tender bedding plant.

Salvia a summer flowering perennial.

Aubrieta, a spring flowering low growing perennial,ideal for walls.

Hellebores a late winter/early spring flowering perennial.

Agapanthus a showy summer flowering perennial.