10 Slug Resistant Plants

Slugs are drawn to seedlings or the tender leaves of established plants. It’s not a nice sight to have your well-cared for plants being eaten alive by slugs. Therefore, I have compiled this tried and tested list of the top 10 slug-resistant plants that will repel pesky slugs and flourish for good.

Ideal slug-resistant plants are either decorative grasses or woody hedges that have built an exceptional resistance to slugs as their defensive leave textures are either covered with wax, too stiff, pointy, bitter, aromatic, toxic, or too complex to navigate.

Related: Are Slugs Poisonous?

1. Ferns (Adiantum Raddianum)

Ferns in the forest
Yay Ferns in the forest

Ferns are ancient plants that are not palatable for slugs – it’s no wonder that they have survived for so long! While there are numerous fern varieties ranging from Cinnamon and Japanese to Christmas ferns, the Maidenhair fern is the most popular.

Maidenhair ferns have leaves that resemble fans; they are normally clustered and attached to wiry black stems. While these slow-growing ferns are trendy houseplants, they grow amongst rocks in the wild.

They may be grown outdoors if you reside in a warm location (USDA 10-11) in a semi-shaded or partially sunny area with well-draining soil that needs to be kept moist. Once the Maidenhair fern has matured, it should reach a height of 1–2 feet.

Related: Are Ferns Poisonous?

2. Lenten Rose (Helleborus Orientalis)

Yay Helleborus

Slugs and other animals like voles avoid perennial Lenten Roses due to their unpalatable waxy robust leaves – they are certainly hardy plants. They are a Helleborus and Hybridus genus hybrid and part of the delightful buttercup family.

This slow-growing plant was named after Lent, as it produces long-lasting multi-colored, hanging clustered blooms during that time in red, yellow, purple, green, blue, pink, lavender, or pink.

Lenten roses should ideally be planted at the beginning of fall or during the latter part of spring in a partially sunny area with well-draining, loamy soil, which is a bit acidic (6.5 to 8). They should take eight to ten weeks to produce magnificent, rainbow-colored blooms.

3. Tree Peony (Paeonia Suffruticosa)

White Paeonia Suffruticosa
Yay White Paeonia Suffruticosa

While Tree Peony seedlings are vulnerable to slugs and need to be safeguarded until they reach maturity, slugs normally avoid them – except for the odd nibble, which won’t harm your plant. Besides – they’re simply beautiful!

Tree Peonies are deciduous, woody hedging plants that grow up to 5 feet tall and produce gorgeous blooms in either red, white, yellow, pink, or purple during the latter part of spring. They also feature lushes’ green leaves.

They should ideally be cultivated in areas with warm summers and icy-cold winters in the midwestern, western, and eastern areas of the United States. To enjoy their magnificence, plant them in a sunny or semi-shaded area of your garden with loamy, fertile soil.

4. Wormwood (Artemisia Spp)

wormwood - insect repelling plants

Slugs and other insects can’t stand fragrant Wormwood leaves, especially the hardy 12-inch tall Silver Mound variety, one of 200 plant species commonly known as either Sagebrush or Mugwort shrubs with compact silver-tinged lacy foliage.

It’s a low-maintenance perennial plant, a superb edging shrub in hot climates, and it does not spread widely like other invasive plants in the same genus. If you are looking for a fragrant and taller, slug-proof variety, choose the Powis Castle (not suited to edging landscapes).

Silver Mounds should ideally be planted in a sunny or partially shaded area in well-draining soil with an average moisture content with a soil pH of approximately 7.0.

5. Yucca (Yucca Filamentosa)

Yucca palm
Yay Yucca palm

Slugs detest Yucca leaves as their rough-textured foliage is pointed like swords, especially the Adam’s Needle variety. Therefore, it’s not surprising that they are marketed as slug-resistant plants at your local garden center.

An Adam’s Needle is a great addition to any landscaped garden. While it takes time to mature into a 4-8 feet tall shrub, it’s a hardy plant with filament foliage that majestically fans out and produces an elegant white blooming stalk, with bell-shaped flowers in the middle.

Yuccas may be planted most times of the year in a sunny area of your garden where you need a focal point, preferably in well-draining soil, with a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. They are ideally suited to coastal areas as they grow around beaches in sandy soil.

Related: Are Yucca Poisonous?

6. Columbine (Aquilegia)

Yay Aquilegia

If you are looking for elegant perennial flowering plants that slugs mostly avoid – Columbines would be a great edging plant option as they are also drought-tolerant once matured.

Columbine flower shapes present elegant flowers, within flowers with spurs in a wide array of colors that resemble either doves, birds of prey, or jester’s caps and are beloved by delightful hummingbirds. Their beautiful clover foliage is yet another great feature.

To enjoy your own Columbine magnificence in spring, plant them in a sunny area in your garden with well-draining soil that is moderately acidic. While they will only bloom for approximately a month, refrain from deadheading them so that they can self-sow.

7. Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium)

Jacobs Ladder or Greek valerian or Polemonium
Yay Jacob’s Ladder or Greek valerian or Polemonium

If you require a beautiful perennial plant that can tolerate shady areas, Jacobs Ladder (or Greek Valerian) is a great choice! Moreover, slugs avoid them as they are probably too lazy to transverse the plant’s gentle-green ladder leave structures.

While Jacob’s Ladders foliage is certainly attractive, their bell-shaped clustering flowers attached to elongated stems that blossom during spring are simply beautiful. There are numerous flower varieties ranging in color from lavender, white, yellow, pink, blue, or purple.

Jacobs Ladders may be successfully grown from seeds planted in shady areas with richly organic, acidic soil at the beginning of spring. They may grow up to 24 inches tall and produce a magnificent abundance of blooms at the latter part of spring, into summer.

8. Spurge (Euphorbia)

Yay Euphorbia

Euphorbia (or spurge) plants like the Purple Wood Spurge contain a milky substance that is bitter and poisonous, and it seems like our pesky slugs have cottoned on to that fact. Other popular cultivars include the Cypress, Cushion, and Mediterranean varieties.

The perennial Purple Wood Spurge is an evergreen plant with stems ringed by dark green leaves with a purple hue. Furthermore, it is a medium-sized (3 feet tall), low-maintenance plant resistant to deers as it contains toxic sap.

They should ideally be planted amongst rocks, as an attractive edging plant, or on the perimeters of a wooded garden with adequate sunlight in a shaded area with sandy soil.

9. Catmint (Nepeta Spp)

Catmint Nepeta cataria
Yay Catmint – Nepeta cataria

Slugs avoid pungent-smelling herbs in general, especially Catmint plants. Taller plants like the Six Hills Giant varieties are excellent ground covers, especially if you want to grow them in a large area.

While the weedy Catnip is certainly the most well-known Catmint plant and beloved by most of our feline friends, Catmint varieties are abundant. They include the flowering Nepeta Racemosa or Walker’s Low variety.

Catmint plants are easy to grow in any sunny part of your property, and they are drought tolerant. If you are planting them along garden paths, place them far away from the walkway as they will spread out fast and provide larger varieties with enough space.

10. Lamb’s Ears (Stachys Byzantina)

Stachys Byzantina
Stachys Byzantina

Slugs, deer, and rabbits avoid Lamb’s Ears as their velvety hairy leaves make them run a mile – ironically, it is their best feature, and most gardeners love touching this fast-growing plant’s baby-soft, downy textures.

Hardy Lamb’s Ears are mostly cultivated for their color and texture. Nonetheless, they produce lavender-colored 12-18 inches tall flowers on elongated stems in summer and tend to thrive in rocky terrains where other ground covers might perish.

To enjoy your own Lamb’s Ears splendor, plant them in dry to slightly moist and acidic and well-draining soil.