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What Flowers Are Toxic to Slugs?

You invest time, labour and expense when you cultivate a garden. The pleasure the plants and flowers provide make your efforts worthwhile. Unfortunately these beautiful plantings attract garden pests which can devour the foliage. If you see leaves with holes and slimy trails between them, the problem is a slug infestation. Slugs resemble snails without their shells. They eat tender leaves and stems during the night, causing damage to your plants. While there are no toxic flowers that will control slugs, there are flowers and plants that will deter them.

Annuals

Slugs don't eat fragrant flowers, thick foliage, hairy or rough laves and stems. Include fragrant annuals among your plantings. Some annuals to consider are alyssum, geraniums, zinnias, petunias, snapdragons and Sweet William. The herb, rosemary, is also very fragrant and can be helpful in controlling slugs. Poppies and cosmos deter slugs due to their hairy stems. The fibres cut the slugs' skin as they crawl over the stems, which will kill the slugs.

Perennials

Enjoy some of your favourite perennials without the fear of your flowers being destroyed by slugs. They won't bother foxgloves or alstroemeria. Astilbe, bleeding hearts, columbine, dianthus and coneflowers resist this pest and are colourful additions to your garden. To further protect your flowers from slugs, place strips of copper flashing around your garden. When slugs crawl across the copper, it generates an electrical shock that kills them.

Bulbs

The daylily is an easy-to-grow bulb that won't be invaded by slugs. It boasts brilliant colours and tolerates average soil and dry conditions. It's important to note that slugs prefer damp areas and are most active at night. Keep your garden as arid as possible and water your plants in the early morning.

Flowering Shrubs

Flowering shrubs are often used as foundation plantings. If slugs are a concern in your area, choose shrubs with thick leaves or rough foliage. Old-fashioned favourites include roses, hydrangeas, rhododendrons and azaleas. Enjoy the blooms they produce without the worry of slugs attacking your plant.

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About the Author

In 1982, Mary Love's first book, "Shakespeare Garden," was published. She also authored professional brochures. Love was the subject of a PBS special profiling Northwestern Pennsylvania artists, highlighting her botanicals and birds. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in art education from Edinboro University in Edinboro, Pennsylvania.