Alphabetical Plant Listing

Prevent Slugs from Feasting on your Hostas


Primarily grown for their beautiful foliage, hostas are long-lived, shade-loving perennials highly esteemed by gardeners. Easy and adaptable garden plants, there are hundreds of cultivars to choose from, ranging from incredibly tiny plants to giants, with leaves in pretty shades of green, chartreuse, gold, dusky blue or beautifully variegated.

The ravishing foliage of hostas is not only attractive to humans. Slugs and snails are the most troublesome pests to hostas. They feed on their leaves and leave conspicuous holes. They can kill young seedlings by completely eating them.

Most slugs feed at night, and the slime trails, if present, can alert you to the level of activity. Damage is usually most severe during warm, humid periods. 

There are several options to prevent slugs and snails from treating your hostas like an all-you-can-eat salad bar.

1) Non-chemical solutions to reduce slug and snail damage

There are several preventive measures that have been used by gardeners to reduce slug damage.

  • Torchlight searches at night, particularly when the weather is mild and damp, to collect these pests in a container that is suitable for destruction. 
  • Encourage predators, including birds, frogs, toads, hedgehogs, slow-worms and ground beetles. They will feast on your slugs.
  • Sprinkle used coffee grounds around the plants. The caffeine is poisonous to the slugs and it also acts as a natural fertilizer.
  • Home-made garlic wash, used regularly, deters slugs.
  • Raking and removing dead or dying leaves and not allowing decaying vegetation to build up in the garden.
  • Slugs and snails avoid surfaces that are sharp or very absorbent, substances thought to be distasteful or strong smelling. Create barriers with sand or wood ashes. Copper-base barriers have been shown to repel slugs. Crawling over copper gives mollusks an electric shock.
  • Attract with pieces of raw potato or cabbage leaves set out in the garden. Collect and destroy every morning.
  • Trap in shallow pans of beer sunk into the soil near vulnerable plants. Check and empty these every morning.

2) Choose Slug-Resistant Hostas

Hostas vary in their susceptibility to slugs. The heavier the leaf thickness (substance) the less tasty to slugs. Consider purchasing thick-leaved varieties, which tend to be more slug resistant.

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Hosta - Plantain Lilies
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Maintenance Low
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Compare All Hosta - Plantain Lilies Great Plant Combination Ideas with Hosta - Plantain Lilies Guides with Hosta - Plantain Lilies

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Hosta - Plantain Lilies
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Maintenance Low
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Compare All Hosta - Plantain Lilies Great Plant Combination Ideas with Hosta - Plantain Lilies Guides with Hosta - Plantain Lilies

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