Bedding plants are an easy way to add instant impact to your borders and beds. You head to the garden centre, pop them in the ground and you’ve got instant colour.
That is, until the next morning when you discover they’ve been demolished by slugs! So, which bedding plants do slugs not eat?
There are a surprising number of bedding plants that slug will actually avoid eating. These plants include begonias, fuchsias and nasturtiums.
Top Bedding Plants Slugs Do Not Eat?
There are a few bedding plants you can choose to prevent any slug damage. These are our picks for bedding plants that slugs do not eat too often:
The number one bedding plant on this list is begonias. Begonias are beautiful flowers that come in different colours. These flowers are well-known for fighting slug damage even if other plants around them have suffered.
You can grow begonias in containers or put them in hanging baskets. You can select your favourite colour of begonias which go well with your garden.
Another well-known bedding plant that works well against slugs is geraniums. You need to use annual geraniums (also known as pelargoniums) and not the cranesbill variety.
Geraniums are suitable for growing in hanging baskets, boxes, or beds. These plants are great at handling heat but should be placed in free-draining soil. For the flowers to grow healthy, it is important to prevent waterlogging.
Fuchsias are one of the hardy plants which slugs do not bother damaging. It is best to grow these plants in a container with well-drained soil. Trailing fuchsias are also fairly resistant to slugs and are perfect for hanging baskets.
You can grow fuchsias outside, but they do like some shade, especially if it is too hot. In addition, it is best to keep them away from cold winds.
Gazania is a beautiful plant with great flowers which look like daisies. Adding this bedding plant to your garden is a good idea because it not only adds colour but will also be protected against slugs.
The big flowers bloom in late spring but close during dull weather.
As the name suggests, Creeping Jenny is great for growing in hanging baskets. This plant is a green perennial with small, round leaves that are yellow in colour.
During the summer, you will notice yellow flowers on the plant. You can grow this plant in the sun and give it some shade from time to time, along with well-drained soil.
Busy Lizzies are one of the many iconic bedding plants many of us head to the garden centre to buy. Slugs will demolish young plants so make sure you keep them protected if you’re sowing them yourself.
If you’ve got established plants that have been hardened off then this can be planted out and should remain free from major slug damage. There is a small risk that they’ll get eaten if that’s all there is in the garden.
Like many of the plants listed here, slugs will eat away on young, tender campanula plants. But this is often the case for many annuals. Instead, sow in a seed tray before thinning out, potting on and then planting out when established.
Larger, stronger plants are big enough to fight off a slug attack.
Nasturtiums are wonderful plants to use in the garden to add colour, attract pollinators and to also provide you with an unusual edible (the leaves and flowers are peppery in taste).
Slugs will eat seedlings and young plants but will leave established plants of all varieties alone.
Which Bedding Plants Attract Slugs?
You may now know what slugs hate and have a list of bedding plants you can plant knowing that slugs (should) leave them alone. But what about bedding plants that slugs love?
Marigolds are beautiful flowers that gardeners love to add to their gardens. However, while these annual bedding plants add colours, they attract slugs. Marigolds are one of the slug’s favourite plants to eat.
Slugs are known to destroy these plants overnight.
Slugs will mainly target any baby marigold plants you have and not necessarily the mature ones. There is a high chance you will not get to witness the growth and maturity of your marigolds.
Dahlias are one of the most exquisite plants you can grow in the garden. Their petal formations are intricate and unique… But that’s only if you can keep them safe!
Slugs love them, especially the leaves. Before you know it, your dahlias have no leaves which means the plants struggle to photosynthesize leaving you with a dead dahlia.
Petunias are annuals and come in different colours and patterns. These beautiful flowers can make any space appear to be bright and lively. Apart from the appearance of these flowers, gardeners like them because of their smell.
Unfortunately, these flowers can fall prey to slugs. If you still wish to have these plants, you must avoid wetting the leaves and flowers too much.
Another popular bedding plant is the pansy which is an annual. These flowers like the cold weather and do not like the heat. Pansies need to be watered daily for them to be healthy. Therefore, they can attract slugs as the moisture level is the perfect ground for a slug.
These are some of the bedding plants which you must avoid planting. If you have experience, you can take important measures to ensure slugs do not come for your plants.
Bedding plants are an easy and effective way to add instant colour and brightness to flower beds. But many bedding plants are attractive to slugs. Fortunately, there are some bedding plants that slugs hate including begonias, nasturtiums and campanulas.
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