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How To Get Rid Of Slugs On Hostas?

All owners of hostas sooner or later face a threat – slugs. These creatures can destroy young leaves entirely, and the plant will no longer be decorative throughout the season. In this article, we will talk about anti-slug remedies and start with the most effective ones.

To get rid of slugs on hostas, sprinkle iron phosphate pellets around the plants. Also, clean up any plant debris and water the hostas only in the morning. In addition, install beer traps, and you will forget about slugs forever!

How To Get Rid Of Slugs On Hostas

Effective methods Useless methods
Iron phosphate pellets Coffee grounds
Beer traps Eggshell
Cleaning plant debris Berrier, cooper tape
Morning watering Picking snails
Slug resistant hostas Garlic spray and others

Effective remedies against slugs on hostas

When I started growing hosta and faced the problem of slugs, the solution was to use different home remedies full on the Internet. But aside from the frustration and the tedious work, they did not bring anything, and snails continued to damage my hostas. Therefore, please do not repeat my mistakes and use only proven methods.

Granules are the most effective and convenient way to deal with slugs. You do not need to do the routine work of collecting snails in the garden. You need to put every 2 to 3 weeks pellets around your hostas and can forget about the problem for a long time.

Although this is an effective method, it has some drawbacks. Let’s look at the types of granules, their advantages, and disadvantages.

Iron Phosphate is best for preventing damage

Today the granular iron phosphate is the most effective and safe way to rid your hostas of slugs.

It has several advantages:

  • safe for pets;
  • safe for wild animals;
  • acts only on snails;
  • non-toxic;
  • decays in the soil;
  • can be used for vegetables and fruit trees.

This is a very convenient remedy that gives excellent results with minimal effort. It is safe for your hostas, and it works throughout the entire growing season. All you need to do is pour some pellets from time to time around hostas.

Don’t use metaldehyde!

Metaldehyde is probably even more effective than the previous remedy. It will destroy all the slugs in your yard and even those that will crawl from neighbors. You will need a relatively small amount of this product throughout the season because it copes very well with snails and slugs.

However, it also has drawbacks. This remedy can cause harm to other animals such as birds and rodents.

Despite its disadvantages, it is an extremely effective remedy against slugs.

Use trap to prevent eating

Snail traps are the next most effective way to fight these pests. It would be best if you placed traps all over the yard where hostas grow, fill them with beer, and the slugs crawl into those traps.

This method is not harmful to nature or animals. It is also safe for your pet. These traps are not expensive, and you can even make this device yourself.

If you have a large yard, you will need many traps to protect the entire area. Accordingly, a lot of beer will also be required. It is one of the best slug control for hostas.

For the traps to work effectively, you need to clean them from time to time and fill them with a new beer. In addition to beer, you can fill traps with a mix of water and sugar; this mix will begin to ferment and attract snails.

Clean up plant debris

One important thing you can do in addition to using pellets is to clean up plant debris in your garden. The fact is that slugs like to hide and multiply in a moist decaying environment. The more plant debris you have, the more slugs there will be.

Pick up anything that starts to rot and throw it far away from your yard. Never make a compost pile near a garden with hostas.

Also, use mulch that lasts a long time. The best option would be pine bark or pebbles, which will retain moisture in the soil and not rot. Besides, this mulch type will give an eggshell effect, though it does not help much but still.

Water the hostas only in the morning

As I said before, slugs are very fond of moist environments. That doesn’t mean they can’t move around on a dry surface. These pests have a lot of mucus, and they can move even in the sand, but the drier the surface, the less distance they can go.

Therefore, if you water your hostas in the morning, the ground will be dry by evening. Slugs are known to be active at night, and if it is dry at this time, they will not be able to do much damage to the plants.

Otherwise, if you water the hostas in the evening, the surface will be wet, and you will make it easier for the pests to move around.

If you use the above methods separately, you will not get a 100% result. But if you use them in combination, your hostas will be well protected.

Weak remedies

The Internet has a wealth of information on various methods of slug control. Some recommend collecting them; some recommend scattering eggshells around hostas. However, all these recommendations are either ineffective or generally useless.

Many people continue to look for home remedies for snails, so let’s discuss alternative ways to defeat slugs.

Coffee grounds

Some people think that coffee grounds can drive slugs away from hostas and even kill them, but this is not true. Of course, snails will not eat coffee grounds; they will bypass it, and with pleasure, will taste your plants. Don’t waste your time on poorly performing things.


Another common myth is that the eggshell will not allow the slugs to approach the plants. It’s not true; they easily move on eggshells, on sharp stones, even on broken glass. Believe me, I tried.

Yes, they do not like it, but their hunger is so strong, and they go to a great distance to get to the food. The eggshell will not stop them.

Besides, hostas mulched with eggshells do not look very aesthetically pleasing.


Creating a barrier around hostas will not protect them from slugs. They will easily climb over any obstacle. Creating such a barrier will not be cheap and will take a lot of time, especially if you have many hostas.

This also includes copper tape. This product has some effectiveness, especially when used on potted plants. But in general, it works poorly and is not very cheap.

Picking snails

Collecting slugs is another pointless piece of advice. Trust me, the number of snails is so large that you won’t collect them all even if you do it all day. They also hide where you will never find them. There will be some that will still damage your hostas.

Also, they reproduce fairly quickly, so if you have plenty of time, I wish you success in collecting snails.

Garlic spray

Garlic can repel a snail from the plant. But after the first rain, the garlic smell will no longer be as pungent, and after a short time, it will disappear completely.

Plant slug resistant hostas

In this section, I want to talk a little bit about slug-resistant hostas. Let’s look at the most popular varieties that slugs don’t eat.

  • Hosta Abiqua Drinking Gourd The variety is slug resistant, belongs to large hostas. It has large leaves of blue hue strongly corrugated, and the growth rate is slow.
  • Hosta Abundant Love This is a giant hosta that is not afraid of slugs. Leaf color is green, and leaf shape is slightly narrowed.
  • Hostas Afterglow It has leaves of heart-shaped, yellow color with green middle. The size is large, growing quite intensively. It is resistant to snails—the parent variety Climax.
  • Hosta American Halo It is a giant plant, not afraid of snails. The leaves are large, corrugated, blue-green color with a cream-white border. It grows slowly.
  • Host Alex Summers Originally from the Gold Regal variety, it is a large plant. The center of the leaf is blue and green; the edge of the leaf is yellow. The growth rate is average.
  • Sum and Substance Another beautiful hosta that has dense leaves that sticky pests can’t damage.