What Flowers Do Snails Hate?

Snails are a pest that is largely responsible for damage that may occur to your flowers, plants and vegetable crops. Many people have problems with planting flowers that snails love, but there are a few flowers that snails actually dislike. So what flowers do snails hate?

The Quick Answer

Surprisingly, there are actually a number of flowers that snails hate. These flowers include lavender, rosemary, catmint, geraniums and snapdragons.

Why Do Snails Hate Some Flowers?

There are two primary reasons why a snail may hate a certain flower or plant. These two reasons are smell and texture.

Many flowers produce strong scents that snails do not appear to like and will therefore avoid being around. Other flowers have particular textures on their petals, leaves or stem that snails do not like to eat, nor do they like to travel across.

We’ll look at certain flowers that snails hate by whether they are repellent due to their smell or due to their texture. 

What Flowers do Snails Hate Due to their Smell?

Below are some flowers that are repellent to snails due to their strong scents. Remember to be careful when buying these, as some plants have unscented strains that will not necessarily repel the slugs as intended. 

  • Lavender
    Many people love lavender for its sweet smell, but snails actually strongly dislike the smell of lavender and avoid it. Lavender is great for repelling pests as its smell also repels slugs too.

    You can plant lavender quite strategically around your garden, either interspersing it with flowers that are vulnerable to snail infestation or simply creating a barrier around a particular area of the garden that you want to keep safe.
  • Rosemary
    Whilst rosemary is a herb, it does actually produce lovely little flowers when in season. And, as well as producing these flowers, it helps to repel snails with its strong scent.

    This scent is also believed to deter other similar pests such as slugs. Rosemary is quite a hardy herb, and you can grow it outside to keep snails away from certain plants or inside on a windowsill to deter snails from coming into your house. 
  • Catmint
    As expected from the name and its place in this article, catmint flowers have a very strong odour greatly disliked by snails.

    However, there are many varieties of this plant, and you should be careful when picking which one to grow. All of them have strong odours that repel slugs and snails, but some of them can grow rapidly and be a bit difficult to maintain. 

Snails Hate Catmint

These plants all work well to deter snails due to their smell. Most of these plants are easy to maintain, but it is always a good idea to research your plants and see if you would be able to successfully grow them amongst your gardens. 

What Flowers do Snails Hate Due to their Texture?

Snails hate certain textures because they are either difficult for them to eat or move across. In fact, most of the time, they can do neither. Here is a list of some flowers that have textures that make them repellent to slugs. 

  • Geraniums
    The stems of geraniums are best described as ‘furry’. This fur on their stems is quite thick and short and feels very uncomfortable to snails, so they will not climb up geraniums to reach their flowers.

    Geraniums are very useful at repelling snails as some have leaves and stalks that stay quite close to the ground. This means that snails would be forced to cross them if they wanted to get to neighbouring plants, so geraniums can act great as a barrier, and some strains work really well in flower beds. 
  • Jacob’s Ladder
    Jacob’s ladder plants are beautiful little flowers that are also great at being snail and slug resistant. The reason for their resistance to these molluscs is their hairy texture.

    The stems of Jacob’s ladder plants have long, thin and wiry hairs that grow from them and make it extremely difficult for slugs to climb. Because of this hair, they also dislike the texture of the leaves, so they will not eat them. You can use these flowers to make a lovely walkway through your garden that will also act to keep slugs out. 
  • Snapdragons
    Snapdragons have hairy textured stems, very similar to geraniums. As well as their stalks being furry, their petals have a similar texture. This means that even if snails didn’t have difficulty climbing them, they would have no desire to feed on their flowers. 

Snails Hate Jacobs Ladder

Using flowers to repel snails because of their texture is arguably more effective than repelling them through the smells of certain flowers. This is because a lot of these plants make it physically impossible for snails to climb, whereas some snails would be willing to deal with the smells that they dislike if their hunger was strong enough. 

As well as this, you also have the added benefit that all of these plants will work to deter slugs as well. This is because slugs and snails travel in the same way, so if a snail cannot grip onto the stalk of a plant, then a slug will not be able to either.

Snails and slugs will cause a similar amount of damage in your garden to one another, and they are arguably the quickest pests to destroy your plants. 

Summary

Although snails eat a lot of plants, there are actually some flowers that they won’t touch. Snails primarily hate certain flowers based on either their smell or their texture. Some flowers that will repel snails due to their smell include lavender, rosemary, and catmint.

Flowers that repel snails due to their textures include geraniums and Jacob’s ladder plants. Flowers that repel snails due to their texture also repel slugs since the two invertebrates move in the same way and find certain plant surfaces uncomfortable. 

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