Slug & snail resistant plants: flowers, perennials & vegetables


I grew up on a small, organic family farm and after a gap year spent working on an American ranch, I started studying agricultural science. Soil, organic farming practices, and plant science are what I am most drawn to. At home, when I'm not in our garden, you can find me in the kitchen, cooking and baking with our harvested fruits and vegetables.

Favorite fruit: Even if a bit boring - apples
Favorite vegetables: Bell peppers, red beets, zucchini, white cabbage

The fight against snails in the garden is a battle that you cannot win. One way out of the dilemma is the use of snail-resistant perennials, flowers and vegetables.

Slug on a flower stem
If snails cannot find suitable food, their numbers naturally diminish [Photo: Geo-grafika/]

There are countless plants which are not eaten by snails. These snail-resistant plants have developed multiple defense mechanisms. Such mechanisms include, for example, the formation of spines, thorns or stinging hairs. Alternatively, the plants produce defensive substances such as tannins or alkaloids. In this way, the plant fends off predators and thus protects itself from damage. Here is a list of plants that snails do not like, so you can safely plant them in a snail-infested garden.

Snail resistant perennials

If you are not only interested in beautiful flowers, but also like a certain robustness, consider the following perennials that repel snails. Since they are perennials, the plants mentioned here are both snail-resistant and hardy.

Grape hyacinths along a wall
The Armenian grape hyacinth is a slug-resistant perennial [Photo: Miglena Boneva/]

Which flowers do snails not like?

Voracious snails are relatively indifferent to beautiful flowers. But, fortunately, there are many flowers that snails avoid. Some of the flowering plants listed here, for example geraniums, are even suitable as snail-resistant balcony flowers or as snail-resistant flowers for graveyards.

Potted wax begonias in bloom
Wax begonias are not eaten by snails [Photo: Yuttapol Phetkong/]

Tip: All foresight and common sense aside – sometimes we just want to grow our favourite summer flower or vegetable, even if they often get eaten by snails. In our tips for fighting and preventing snails you will learn which measures make your garden less attractive to snails.

Snail resistant ground cover

Even ground cover is not immune from snails. Again, the easiest way to protect against snail damage is to use snail-resistant groundcovers.

  • Andean cushion (Azorella trifurcata)
  • Bergenia species (Bergenia spec.).
  • Woman’s mantle species (Alchemilla spec.).
  • Balkan cranesbill (Geranium macrorrhizum)
  • Little periwinkle (Vinca minor)
  • Japanese spurge (Pachysandra terminalis)
  • Brown red prickly pear (Acaena microphylla)
  • Creeping bugle (Ajuga reptans)
  • Chinese plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides)
  • Pinna (Cotula potentillina)
Lesser periwinkle along a wall
Dwarf periwinkle forms flowering carpets avoided by slugs [Photo: Peter Turner Photography/]

Snail resistant shade plants

Snails do not like light, so plants in shaded corners of the garden are usually particularly vulnerable. But there are also some snail-resistant shade plants.

  • Wild garlic (Allium ursinum)
  • Japanese spurge (Pachysandra terminalis)
  • Three-lobed liverwort (Hepatica nobilis var. nobilis)
  • Prachtspiere (Astilbe x arendsii)
  • Purple bellflower species (Heuchera spec.)
  • Forest honeysuckle (Aruncus sylvestris)
  • Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
  • Barren strawberry (Waldsteinia ternata)
Barren strawberry plants in bloom
The Waldsteinia ternata, also called barren strawberry, is a flowering, slug-resistant plant for shade [Photo: Beekeepx/]

Snail resistant plants for sunny locations

There are also countless suitable plants for sunny locations, which are avoided by snails. Here are some examples of sun-loving ornamental plants that are good at fighting snails:

Large purple balloon flowers
Balloon flowers are slug-resistant summer flowers [Photo: Linda McKusick/]

Which herbs do snails avoid?

There is a huge range of herbs that snails, so it would almost be easier to list the few herbs that are not snail resistant here. These include, for example, basil, young parsley and lemon verbena. For a selection of herbs that snails hate, see this list:

  • Wild garlic (Allium ursinum)
  • Savory (Satureja spec.)
  • Borage (Borago officinalis)
  • Southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum var.maritima)
  • Curry leaves (Helichrysum italicum)
  • Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
  • Ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria)
  • St. John’s wort (Hypericum).
  • Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
  • Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)
  • Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
  • Caraway (Carum carvi)
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • Violet (Levisticum officinale)
  • Mint (mentha) (variety dependent)
  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • Salvia (Salvia) (variety dependent)
  • Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
  • Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
  • Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
  • Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
Rosemary in a rock garden
Many Mediterranean herbs, such as rosemary, are avoided by slugs [Photo: SANLYN/]

Snail resistant vegetables

Now, you have a colourful, flowering garden, where snails will not find much to eat, but of course, we all want to have vegetables in our beds. The following vegetables are resistant to snails:

  • Chicory (Cichorium intybus var. foliosum)
  • Endive (Cichorium endivia)
  • Peas (Pisum sativum)
  • Lamb’s lettuce (Valerianella)
  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • Garden onion (Allium cepa)
  • Garlic (Allium sativum)
  • Leek (Allium porrum)
  • Radish (Cichorium intybus var. foliosum)
  • Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)
  • Celery (Apium graveolens rapaceum)
  • Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)
  • Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
Onion bulb growing in soil
Slugs and snails are not fond of the taste of bulb plants [Photo: weha/]

There are also plants designed to repel snails and keep them away from more susceptible plants. We present further snail repellent plants in our dedicated article.