Slugs seem to eat everything and anything. The assumption many gardeners make is that they’ll eat any plant you put into the ground. But is this the case for geraniums? Do slugs eat geraniums or not?
Slugs do not eat geraniums; however, they will sit and hide in the plant before heading out to munch on other plants.
You will find slugs lurking in dark and damp corners. Similarly, the geranium plant also grows in these dark corners in and around other plants.
Even though you will often find slugs around geraniums, slugs still do not consume this plant but will spend their time sitting on it.
Do Slugs Eat Hardy Geraniums?
Slugs do not eat hardy geraniums (also known as cranesbill geraniums). The leaves are oily, rough and thin. The stems of the plants are also hairy.
It’s these reasons that cause slugs to avoid eating hardy geraniums in most cases.
Do Slugs Eat Bedding Geraniums?
Although they have the same name, bedding geraniums have a completely different appearance to hardy cranesbill geraniums.
Bedding geraniums tend to have thicker, sturdier and smoother leaves compared to hardy geraniums which mean slugs are not put off by crawling over them.
Unfortunately, this can result in slugs eating bedding geraniums.
What is Eating My Geranium Leaves?
So slugs might avoid eating geraniums and their leaves but that doesn’t make them completely resistant to pests in the garden. Unfortunately, there are still some bugs that will munch away on the leaves of geraniums.
But what is eating those geranium leaves? Unfortunately, the list isn’t short. There are a number of bugs that could be eating your geranium leaves including geranium budworm, sawflies, thrips and caterpillars.
Geraniums can also get infested with aphids, whitefly and greenfly which will slowly cause the leaves to wilt.
What Other Plants Do Slugs Hate?
Believe it or not, but there are plants that slugs hate to eat. While slugs have a reputation as plant-eating monsters destroying gardens, some plants are safe from them.
Here are some plants which slugs hate:
Hydrangeas are many people’s favourite flowers. These flowers will add a wonderful pop of colour to your garden. In addition, slugs, as well as snails, do not like these flowers.
Hydrangeas prefer an environment that is moist and has some shade which, like geraniums, may mean you see slugs hiding away beneath your hydrangea plants but they are unlikely to cause damage.
Many people like to use lavender for its perfumed scent and ability to attract pollinators. While we may seem to enjoy lavender and the benefits it offers, the slugs in your garden will be sure to hate it.
Lavender has a strong smell that slugs cannot tolerate; therefore, having this plant in your garden is a great way to keep them away. Like with hydrangeas, you can create a barrier with lavender around your other plants by simply interplanting.
Another plant you can use to keep slugs away is columbine. This plant has a pleasant appearance that can be added to borders to add height. What is great about columbine is its ability to grow and thrive in multiple environments.
Not only are ferns low-maintenance plants but they also keep slugs away. The leaves of ferns are what come off as unattractive to slugs. As a gardener, you will want to have as much beauty in your garden as possible. But beauty doesn’t have to come in the form of flowers.
To grow ferns in your garden, you need to have a spot that has a lot of moisture. It would also be best if you keep ferns away from any direct sunlight. Growing ferns will help drive slugs out without any extra effort if you are a beginner at gardening.
Speaking of foliage plants, wormwood is another plant you can add to your garden. Wormwood has unique leaves that give off a pleasant scent, making them more than just foliage.
Wormwood does not grow high and hence, provides great ground cover against slugs. However, with so many wormwood varieties available, you can also get a taller plant for your garden.
Gazanias are quite popular bedding plants that grow in the summer. These plants have large flowers which look like daisies. The flowers come in a lot of different vibrant colours that make a great addition to gardens. In addition to the beautiful flowers, gazanias have silver foliage which makes them more attractive.
These flowers are there for the summer, but when the weather changes, they close. Gazanias can also grow in poor soils.
Another bedding plant that is resistant to slugs is fuchsias. These plants have over a hundred species. You can grow fuchsias and watch them bloom over the summer. Some species of these plants can survive through the winter too.
Another wonderful bedding plant you can grow in your garden is begonias. These plants are resistant to slugs even if all the surrounding plants are affected by them. You can grow begonias in small containers and hang them around your garden.
Begonias can add beautiful colours as they come in white, red, and pink. You can enjoy begonias in the summer until winter arrives.
There are Plants that Slugs Hate
If you want a garden filled with slug-resistant plants then try planting begonias, fuchsias, gazanias, ferns, wormwood, hydrangeas, cranesbill geraniums, columbine and lavender.
Slugs are annoying pests found in gardens destroying plants and leaves. While slugs are known to eat many plants, some are safe from the damage.
Geraniums are one of the plants which slugs do not eat because of the high oil content in the leaves – this only applies to the hardy varieties, unfortunately.
There are some plants that slugs hate, like hydrangeas, ferns, and columbine. You can grow these plants as barriers to protect your other plants against slugs.
Bedding plants add beauty to gardens but can also fall prey to slugs. Therefore you can grow bedding plants like begonias, fuchsias, and gazanias which are resistant to slugs.
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden