Slug repellent plants not only add beauty to your garden but also protect your seedlings and mature plants from these pests’ damage. Slugs can wreak great havoc in your lawn, especially if you find yourself with an infestation of these slimy creatures.

Slug Repellent Plants To Protect Your Garden Landscape

In this complete guide, our gardening team will help you save your outdoor space by suggesting 13 species that slugs dislike.

List of Plants That Repel Slugs

1. Masterwort

The masterwort or Astrantia tightly packet flowers are among the most popular shade-loving cut flowers, so they’ll work for you if you don’t have a bright and sunny spot in your garden to support the growth of these brightly colored blooms. They appear in spring and summer and come in shades of pink, purple, green, red, and white. These plants have an upright growing habit, so they can be used as border plants.

Masterwort most popular shade-loving cut flowers

Masterworts are pretty hardy and don’t need any overwintering. However, the soil should be well-draining and rich in organic matter, and watering regularly is required, especially in hot climates. They should receive filtered shade all day long, or at least during the hottest hours of the day.

– Why Slugs Dislike This Plant

Astrantia repel slugs because of the astringent smell of the foliage, so these mollusks will avoid passing a row of them or eating them. As a result, these flowers are considered among the most potent bedding plants that slugs hate, so they can be used to protect nearby plants that these pests find tasty.

2. Lavender

Slugs eat most plants and flowers in your garden, but they hate the strong scent that lavender plants emit. This is why growing them in your garden will add beauty and protect the most vulnerable plants from slug attacks. These are fragrant perennials that come every year and have beautiful gray-green foliage. In summer, they grow lavender-purple flowers that attract pollinators.

Slugs hate the strong scent of Lavender

This plant has a moderate growth rate, and it should be grown in a sunny spot. It tolerates different growing conditions and becomes drought-resistant once established. You can grow it as a decoy to deter deer and other pests that attack your garden.

– What To Look Out For

You need to be careful about picking the right spot for this plant because it’s toxic to cats and dogs. In addition, it has a spreading root system but won’t tolerate growing in shady areas in your garden. This plant won’t last for more than ten years in optimal conditions.

3. Rosemary

The fragrance of rosemary repels slugs so much that they’ll avoid your garden if you grow it in your garden. This is why growing this fragrant herb is one of the most successful methods that gardeners use for slug control. You can even spray the essential oil around different plants, especially spring bulbs that these pests eat and destroy. 

gardeners use Rosemary for slug control

This herb grows from a perennial evergreen shrub with pointed needle-like gray-green leaves. In the summer, this herb will grow white or light blue flowers, but the plant can bloom at different times of the year. You should plant this herb once the ground has warmed after the last frost. If you have a serious infestation in your garden, pairing rosemary with a beer trap will kill slugs and keep your garden in excellent shape. 

– Growing Conditions

You should grow rosemary in a sunny spot with sharp drainage because too much moisture can cause root rot. It shouldn’t be grown next to taller plants that might shade it and affect its growth. It’s best to underwater this plant rather than overwater it.

4. Marigolds

These beautiful bedding flowers will add color to your garden when grown along the borders with their gray-green foliage and warm-colored flowers. Slugs are deterred by these flowers, so they will avoid the rest of your plants. Moreover, you can pair them with other plants that these pests hate or scatter some coffee grounds around them to make them more potent. 

beautiful bedding Marigolds flowers

There are several varieties of marigold flowers ranging from gold, red, orange, or yellow, although some types can be bi-colored. The open-center flowers attract bees and other pollinators, so you can grow them to border the plants in your pollinator garden.

– Special Features

These annuals grow fast in one season, and they start blooming about eight weeks after they’ve been planted. Continuous deadheading will encourage more flowers to appear. They can survive in different conditions, but the full sun will keep them healthy, while the shade will make them leggy. These flowers are mostly used for pest control, as most garden pests hate their pungent smell. 

5. Catmint

Catmint is a fragrant plant that deters slugs and other pests like deer and squirrels that don’t tolerate the plant’s fragrance. Catmint has lace-like delicate gray-green leaves and grows pink, lavender, and white flowers in the summer. The plant grows fast and can be planted anytime, from spring to fall, while the flowers will stay in bloom all season.

Catmint deters slugs and pests

Pests or diseases rarely attack this plant, and it thrives in well-draining, humus-rich soil. The plant needs watering in the first year and thrives in full sun, but you can also grow it in partial shade.

– Planting Ideas

Because this plant is resistant to most pests, it will be an excellent decoy plant to grow in your garden. Different varieties can be grown as edging plants, as a ground cover, or along borders to protect your most vulnerable garden plants. Staking might be needed if you grow a tall variety to protect the stems from flopping over.

6. Lamb’s Ear

Lamb’s ear is an attractive ground cover that adds beauty to your garden and can also deter different pests. This plant grows as a ground cover and will be a fantastic choice for your rocky garden. Most people grow it for its gray-green foliage, and it rarely flowers. It’s a fast-growing plant that quickly covers a large garden spot when grown from a spring cutting.

Slugs Dislike Lamb's Ear

This plant thrives inferior soil and needs full sun to grow in cold climates. In warmer temperatures, partial shade is recommended to protect the leaves from scorching. You should water it only when the soil feels dry. It might grow spikes of white or pink flowers that attract pollinators.

– Why Slugs Dislike This Plant

The leaves of this plant are covered by tiny white hairs that hurt the soft bodies of the ground-dwelling mollusks, so they will avoid them. This prickly texture will also make them resistant to most pests like squirrels and deer. Set up some beer traps or some wool pellets next to this plant, and you can kiss slugs goodbye. 

7. Black-Eyed Susan

Slugs love feeding on different plants, but they won’t tolerate these pretty flowers. The yellow blooms of the black-eyed Susans with their dark centers will add beauty to your garden and also keep slugs away because these pests don’t find them tasteful. This is why growing them next to vulnerable plants will help keep your landscape in shape. Some varieties can grow red or orange flowers, but yellow is the most common, and the blooms appear in summer and fall for a late-season display.

Slugs don't find Black-Eyed Susan tasteful

Regular deadheading will keep these plants looking attractive. You can leave the late-season flowers on the plant to form seed heads that birds and wildlife forms feed on. This also guarantees self-seeding, giving you more of these pretty flowers.

– Why You Should Grow Them

In addition to being slug deterrent plants, black-eyed Susans are very easy to establish, so they’re suitable for beginner gardeners. They can tolerate different soil and light conditions and will only need regular watering during their first season. After that, they will become drought-resistant. In addition, the flowers and the seed heads add beauty to dry flower arrangements.

8. Lenten Rose

A lot of flowers attract slugs, but the Lenten rose isn’t one of them. This flower is one of the first bloomers in your garden, and it comes in pretty shades of purple-rose, pink, and white. However, you can also find some rare cultivars that grow cream, yellow, or even maroon flowers.

Lenten Rose slug-resistant plant

This is not really a rose, but it’s a perennial hybrid hellebore with leathery, thick foliage. Slugs won’t attack this plant because the leaves are very tough, so they can’t feed on them. They also have a waxy coating that makes them slippery. These plants deter other pests like voles that damage the plants in your garden. To make them more slug-resistant, you can surround them with copper tape to prevent these pests from crawling into flower beds and ruining your landscape. 

– Plant Care

This shade-tolerant plant has a slow-growing rate, taking about three years to mature when grown from seeds. Flowering happens near ground level, but you should pick the right spot to grow it because it’s toxic to humans, pets, and horses. The plant thrives in rich, well-draining soil and needs to be consistently watered to stay in great shape.

9. Yucca

Yucca plants belong to a family that includes different varieties, and some of them can be grown as house plants. These are fast-growing plants that will work for you if you want to change the look of your landscape, but some varieties will grow slowly. These plants grow white or pink flowers in the summer and fall, but indoor plants rarely flower.

Yucca slug repellent for the house

All these plants are drought-tolerant and should grow in sandy, well-draining soil. They thrive in partial sun and can tolerate the shade, although too much shade will make them weak. Slugs won’t feed on these plants because their leaves are too thick, so they’ll look for food somewhere else. Having an indoor variety means that you’ll have a successful slug repellent for the house

– Issues

In optimal conditions, these plants can overtake your garden and shade shorter plants and flowers, depriving them of sunlight. You should be careful about picking the right spot to grow your yucca plants because they’re toxic to pets and horses. When grown along pathways, the sharp tips of the leaves can injure people as they pass by. Too much sun can scorch the leaves, so you should protect them.

10. Tree Peony

Although slugs will feed on different plants in your garden, they rarely attack these flowers. These are herbaceous perennials that grow white, pink, purple, yellow, and red flowers from woody shrubs. The blooms appear in the spring, and after they fade, the attractive foliage will be a stunning backdrop to late-season bloomers.

Tree Peony Special Features

You can grow this plant in slightly alkaline well-draining soil, and it needs access to full sun or some partial shade. It doesn’t tolerate overwatering and has moderate watering needs. You can use diatomaceous earth around this plant as one of the safest control methods or surround the plants with egg shells that these pests will avoid. 

– Special Features

This plant doesn’t tolerate being transplanted, so you need to choose the right spot to grow it. You can grow these four-foot shrubs as edging plants or along a hedge to deter slugs and keep them away from your more vulnerable plants. Adding a layer of compost in the spring will keep this plant healthy and boost flowering.

11. Ostrich Fern

The fiddlehead fern has a unique shape that adds significant beauty to your garden. This is a fast-growing fern that doesn’t bloom, but the fronds look distinctive with their coiled heads that look like the head of a fiddle. This type of fern is edible, but just like all other ferns, slugs won’t eat these plants. However, if you deal with a serious infestation, you can pair it with commercial snail repellent or potent slug pellets to protect your garden.

Slugs won't be able to digest Ostrich Fern 

The plant should be grown in moist soil that shouldn’t be left to dry out. It prefers to grow in humus-rich, fertile soil and thrives in different light conditions. This fern can tolerate full sun or full shade if the soil is rich enough.

– What You Need to Know

Slugs aren’t fond of ferns because the leaves are too thick and they won’t be able to digest them, so growing ferns will be like adding a natural pest repellent to your outdoor space. Just like other ferns that grow from rhizomes, these plants should be left with enough space to allow their roots to grow to form new plants. The best time to harvest this edible fern is in the spring before the head uncurls.

12. Mint

If you ask yourself, “do slugs eat mint?” then you’d be happy to know that the answer is no. These plants are hardy perennials that emit a powerful smell that bothers slugs and other pests like squirrels and wasps in your garden, so you can grow them to protect your outdoor space.

Mint deter voles and different pests

This edible herb has opposite leaves, and in summer, tiny purple and white flowers will bloom to attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. It’s essential to pick a spot where the roots can spread without restriction. The herb is so versatile and can survive in shady locations, although the full sun will make the leaves more fragrant. It prefers slightly acidic, organically rich soil and shouldn’t be overwatered. If you can’t grow mint in your garden, you can use its essential oil to prepare a natural slug repellent spray

– What To Look Out For

Mint plant contains chemicals that are toxic to pets and other animals like horses. In the right conditions, this plant can become invasive in your garden. As the stems grow too long, they touch the ground to grow new roots. This is why it’s recommended to monitor the plant or grow it in containers to prevent it from affecting nearby plants.

13. Japanese Anemone

These wildflowers belong to a versatile species that vary in size, but all grow long stalks that support single or double-petaled flowers. Some varieties are short-lived, but others can last for decades in your garden. The flowers bloom in the first season after being grown from bulbs, and they come in different shades of red, orange, red-purple, yellow-green, blue, purple, pink, ivory, and white.

coarse leaves of the Japanese anemone

The shorter varieties look best when they’re grown in a large group to fill your garden with color. The plants thrive in well-draining soil, and enriching it with organic matter will boost flowering. Some varieties of these sun-loving plants will tolerate partial shade, but they still need to receive at least four hours of sun exposure.

– Why Slugs Dislike This Plant

Slugs naturally feed on several plants, but they don’t like the thick, coarse leaves of the Japanese anemone. As a result, they’ll avoid your garden altogether and look for food elsewhere. Moreover, the plant contains several toxic chemicals that harm these mollusks, so you can grow them in large numbers to protect other nearby plants from slug damage.


Slug attacks can quickly ruin the look of your landscape, so you should be careful about the plant species you grow in your garden, as some of them will drive these pests to look for food away from your outdoor space.

  • Astrantia or masterwort repel slugs because of the astringent smell of the foliage, so the mollusks will avoid passing a row of them or eating them.
  • Mint is a good slug repellent, but if you can’t grow mint in your garden, you can use its essential oil to prepare a spray instead.
  • Slugs naturally feed on several plants, but they don’t like the thick, coarse leaves of the Japanese anemone.
  • Slugs will avoid plants with thick leaves because they can’t feed on them, and some plants emit strong fragrances that push slugs away.
  • Plants with coarse leaves won’t appeal to slugs because they hurt their soft bodies. Some bulbs, flowers, and leaves simply don’t taste good, so slugs won’t be tempted to attack them.

Getting rid of slugs is possible only if you make some intelligent planting decisions. So, which among these plant species are you picking to drive them away from your garden?

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