Are You Being Driven Mad by Slugs and Snails? Here are 7 Plants They Hate

snail on leaf

Are You Being Driven Mad by Slugs and Snails? Here are 7 Plants They Hate

Regardless of their slow, laboured pace; slugs and snails have a terrible habit of turning up unexpectedly (and certainly without invitation) in gardens, munching on plants and leaving nothing but destruction in their wake.

The job of searching through the garden and picking up these slimy invaders is not one of the great, rewarding gardening tasks, and is one we’d all rather avoid. So rather than spritzing your plants with slug and snail killing formulas, why not introduce plants which the little blighters hate? This is an elegant solution which means you can reduce the number of slimy visits your garden receives without having to harm any little lives.

Slugs and snails may seem like greedy little leaf-chompers, chewing up all in their path; but there are certain plants they’ll turn their noses up at – most notably, thick-leaf plants which prove hard for them to chew their way through, and highly fragrant additions to the garden.

And to make things even easier, we’ve compiled a list of seven plants that slugs and snails absolutely hate – plant these and your garden will be left in peace.


Low maintenance, incredibly hardy and well down the slug and snail menu; ferns make an attractive, hassle-free addition to the garden. It’s the thick and difficult-to-chew leaves of ferns which put off slug and snail visitors from having a good munch.

fern snail slug resistent

Thriving in moist, well-drained spots with a decent amount of shade; ferns rarely require feeding when planted in the open ground, perfect for those who can’t commit a great deal of time to their gardening. Ferns make great ground-covering and background plants, wonderful if you’ve got a big garden and plenty of space to fill with attractive, slug-repellent plants.


The delicate pink, white and blue flowers of the hydrangea plant may look beautiful to you or I, but they are not a welcome sight for our slug and snail friends. Creating a beautiful barrier against slimy pests, hydrangeas are a wonderful addition to the back garden – and their ability to change colour in different soils adds another exciting element to planting these shrubs.

Like ferns, hydrangeas will flourish in moist, yet well-drained garden spots with a degree of shade. When planting hydrangeas, be careful about picking east-facing sites, as the cold winds could damage young spring growth.


The milky sap of euphorbias possesses a bitter taste which slugs and snails simply can’t stomach. They’ll avoid these plants, veering towards sweeter-tasting treats and young plants. Euphorbias are a hardy family of plants which really come into their own when the temperature dips and the less strong-willed plants die out and go into hiding.

Even as the surrounding plants turn to mush, euphorbias will continue to stand upright, projecting dark green tones over your winter garden. All whilst keeping slugs and snails at bay.


Slugs and snails are also known to have a dislike for plants with a strong fragrance, and lavender definitely gets up their collective nose. Whilst many humans adore the rich smell of lavender in their garden and around their home, garden-dwelling molluscs will be turned off. Strategically placing lavender in the garden could help protect other plants from slug and snail attacks, creating a whiffy barrier against the gastropods.

lavender slug snail


Similarly, rosemary’s fragrance can be off-putting for slugs and snails trying to slime their way into the garden. Despite its use in human aromatherapy for centuries, rosemary offers none of the same benefits to slugs and snails – warding them away from the garden.

Like many of the plants in this list, rosemary is simple to grow, flowering throughout the year. Incredibly hardy, a rosemary bush can be with you for up 20 years, offering two decades of slug-free living.


Another thing which will quickly turn the stomachs of slugs and snails is a plant with hairy stems and leaves. So grow some hairy geraniums in your garden if you’re looking for a kind way to dissuade slugs and snails from visiting your beautiful outdoor space. The hairy build of the geraniums make them incredibly uncomfortable for slugs to travel across and munch on.

With more than 300 species, it’s super easy to find the geraniums which will complement your back garden. Super hardy, geraniums are also great ground-covering plants which will help to suppress that other hated back garden pest, the weed.

Japanese Anemone

Although establishing Japanese anemones in the garden can sometimes be quite difficult thanks to their brittle roots; once they’re in, they tend to spread like wildfire and are really quite beautiful. Another plant which will help rid your garden of a weed infestation and deter slugs and snails; a Japanese anemone patch is a great pest-busting solution.

For a great range of bulbs and seeds, head over to our dedicated section here. Alternatively, visit us in one of our three stores for more information about slug and snail-repellent flowers or anything garden related.

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Comments (4)

  • Muni Reply

    Thanks for the info.
    Will try next season.
    Muni. Glasgow

    06/10/2017 at 12:04 pm
  • patricia Reply

    very helpful – had quite a lot of slugs this year eating polyanthus and pansys leaves, slug pellets didn’t work as well as before. Have just placed holly leaves around these plants to try to deter slugs.

    07/01/2018 at 2:48 pm
    • Simon Booth Reply

      Did this work just put some begonias in worried they won’t be there in the morning

      20/05/2018 at 5:49 pm
  • Andy Colley Reply

    They also do not like fuchsia, antirrihnum (snapdragons) and begonias

    18/05/2018 at 12:19 pm

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