Journal of a Gardener 04/05/2017

Protecting your Hostas from snails and slugs

Despite Hostas being truly beautiful, and very practical shade plants, many people are put off growing them by the inevitable annual munching they receive from slugs and snails, to whom Hostas are simply irresistible.

At Country Garden Plant Centre we love Hostas too much to give in to these little trouble makers without a fight! We surround our Hostas with wool pellets, by Slug Gone, which expand when wet to form a mat around the plant, and eventually breakdown into the soil. You must be careful when applying these to make sure that no leaves are touching the mat, or the surrounding ground, providing a bridge for snails and slugs. Leaf debris must be removed from around the bases of the plants, so that there are no hiding places.

This is just one of many, many methods, which exasperated gardeners have come up with.

Below is a brief compilation of some common tips - can you add to it?

  • Encourage birds into the garden, or keep chickens, to eat the slugs (bear in mind the chickens will eat the Hostas too left to roam free!
  • Apply crushed egg shells/coffee/sand around the shoots so that they cannot be climbed up.
  • Apply a garlic wash. The smell discourages the slugs and snails, and its oil kills.
  • Put copper bands around pots to give the slugs an electric shock.
  • Night time slug picking with a torch….possibly not for everyone.
  • Plant Hostas in pots and grease with Vaseline or WD40.

Send us your Hosta protection photographs on Facebook – we are always keen to trade tips!