Return to the California Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

what plants don't snails and earwigs eat

Posted by napapen ca 15 (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 17, 07 at 12:19

I am writing an article next Feb. about what plants snails, slugs and earwigs pass up. I walked through my garden and it's not many so I would appreciate input!!

Thanks Penny

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: what plants don't snails and earwigs eat

I could be wrong, but they seem to avoid the 'pine-y' ones for me, like rosemary and lavender... but that may be because they're munching down elsewhere. :o)

RE: what plants don't snails and earwigs eat

I don't know about earwigs, but Fuchsias seem to be immune from snails and slugs. I've never had them bother Daphne either. They don't munch on my poker plants, but it's a favorite hiding spot.
Many of the CA natives, such as Cleveland sage, Salvia apiana, tiny leaved ceanothus (i.e., 'Julia Phelps', Dark Star, 'Concha', etc) seem immune.

Interesting topic. Please post a link for us when it's available.



RE: what plants don't snails and earwigs eat

It may sound strange, but I have never found snail damage on my agapanthus, even though they are a favorite incubator of snails which every night releases a horde upon the rest of the garden. Snails have been clocked at 13 feet per hour, so they have plenty of darkness to reach every plant in the garden. Al

RE: what plants don't snails and earwigs eat

You know, the only place I have real trouble with slugs is on the vegetables, except for the one time I made the mistake of planting a hosta. I don't think they like anything aromatic--any kind of sage, rosemary, rockrose, lantana etc. they'll leave alone. Sadly, planting sage next to broccoli doesn't seem to work.

And maybe it's just me, but I agree with Wanda--they don't bother any of my natives! I've got ceanothus, manzanitas, all kinds of native sages, flowering currants, coffeeberry, huckleberry, fremontodendron, redbud, small and large oaks...keeping the deer away is impossible, but the slugs don't seem to be interested.

Wanda's also right about the fuchsias, they don't seem to bother them at all.

RE: what plants don't snails and earwigs eat

I noticed too as I walked around the garden, the things they skip are saliva, sages and things in those families. A nurseryman also told me things with thick leaves such as camilla's.

Please keep ideas coming.


RE: what plants don't snails and earwigs eat

I have no snails but lots of tiny slugs. Earwigs too of course, but I didn't realize they damaged plants much.

In my yard, critters don't seem to bother the mondo grass, Mexican heather, star jasmine, clivia, begonias, although these plants do provide nice, cool hiding places for the the plant munchers. This summer I found if I used Sluggo regularly, about every 7-10 days, I had a lot less damage.

I also have a couple ferns which nothing bothers.

RE: what plants don't snails and earwigs eat

I tore everything out back. One area was just full of freeway daisy stuff. Tons of snails I killed.
I put in mostly salvias, sages, ca natives and lavenders.
So now I know where the snails went...they left!

RE: what plants don't snails and earwigs eat

Years ago on a tour of Filoli gardens in Woodside I noticed green pellets everywhere in the garden. Thinking it might be fertilizer I found a garden staff member and asked. When he said it was snail bait I asked why it was everywhere and not just around the plants being damaged. His reply that the snails are not just where the damage is evident, and when they bait they bait everywhere, made a lasting impression. To this day when I bait, I bait the entire garden. Al

RE: what plants don't snails and earwigs eat

I am surprised that most of you writing this have snails not eat your salvias. I have two salvias (red flowering kinds) and snails attack them on a daily basis; worse when it is raining daily. I have to pick 4-5 snails from the base of the plant where there is mulch every day or they will climb up the plant and make holes on the leaves. I also pinched the laves from the base of the plants so that it is not dark and protected for the snails to siesta during the day but every time it rains, the snails find their way there. The salvias are flowering nicely but I am sick of snails. I read that snails leave slimy trail behind them as they come to find an edible crop so the next one finds its way by following the trail even if you pick the snails and throw them on to the road (or whatever special way you have of killing them, my favorite is line them in bunch and stomping on them). The good thing is, I only have two of these plants so I can easily get rid of them and replace them with something else. I used snail baits for a while but these things are expensive, though they do work (for a while). I also have read and also believe that poison run off from the snail baits kill earthworms (who wants that?). It also killed the whole nest of birds that were nesting on a loropetalum tree in our garden once, and that was that! I had a lump in my throat for days because I think the mother bird picked some snail baits and took it to the nest to feed the chicks. All three chicks were dead the next day (I found them under the tree, they might have twitched and fell as the poison made them suffer).

Back to snails, they dont seem to bother a blue flowering variety of salvia that I also have, this one has sort of hairy leaves.


Plants I have in my garden that snails DONT bother:

-Roses of Sharon (including Jean dArc Althea) (they do love to eat the fallen spent flowers but not the plant)
-Hibiscus (again, they will eat the fallen spent flowers on the ground)
-Rangoon creeper
-China doll (planted in the garden) (they ate some leaves touching the ground but gave up) (I think it didnt taste delicious the way they have expected)
-Japanese magnolia
-Poisettia (also planted in the garden) (they might hide under it due to bushy nature of these plants when planted in the garden) (I have found sporadic snails during rainy days under my poinsettias but they never ate the leaves)
-Heavenly bamboos (both tall & dwarf varieties)
-Duranta erecta (Cuban gold, honey dew drops, & alba I grew them all, although Cuban Golds were killed last winter which was a record breaking freeze)
-Palm (sago)
-Ginger (edible)
-Butterfly Ginger (flowering type, not the one you eat)
-Gladioluses (every now and then a snail will climb on them but dont know what they are doing)
-Dahlias (though I was warned snails like to eat these but they never bother except for a few holes at the base of the plants)
-Mexican heathers
-Red Yucca (I did find a slug at the base of the plant but it was just living in the mulch without ever eating the plant)
-Spider lilies (they will taste a few leaves to see if they like it, but mainly they will leave these climbers alone)
-Sedum (although snails avoid them, birds love them!) (Also snails may taste a few leaves before leaving them alone)
-Bleeding hearts (white flowers, red center)
-Devils ivy
-Mother-in-laws tongues (no pest bothers these poisonous things in my garden, also in outdoors containers)
-Weeping fig (Benjamina)
-Golden euonymus (I have the dwarf kinds)
-Oleanders (the good news is, they dont eat the small plants either)
-Jade plants
-Snake plant
-Texas sage
-Calla lilies
-Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)
-Yellow mini-roses
-Silvery Sunproof Lily Turf
-Hydrangea (snails were present around these but never really bothered them)
-Peonies (small one without true leaves are germinated but still havent attacked by snails so I am assuming it is safe to say they wont bother)


What snails WILL eat (experience gained from my own garden)

-Marigolds (A hungry snails will eat these despite myths that they are repellent to pests)
-Salvia (red flowering ones as mentioned before)
-Hostas (will destroy them)
-Chrysanthemum (they climb onto my outdoors container every day)
-Verbenas (I have red flowering creeping kinds)
-Justicia Carnea (a beauty but snails destroyed this plant for me)
-Hen and chicks (I have the silvery-bluish variety with long stocks with flower-like leaves on top) (they dont eat the plant per se but they love the decaying matter found on these weird things)


Where they love to hide/breed/live (also from experience observing in my garden)

-Ajugas (snails dont eat them per se but the multiplying nature of this ground cover makes an ideal place for them to hide during the day under well protected moist, dark crowds of ajuga plants, ideal place to breed too since eggs are able to hatch undisturbed here)
-Verbenas (if planted in the ground and they creep, covering the ground)
-Creeping Juniper (they wont eat these beauties but this creepy grass makes a great place for them to breed/hide during the day, also for overwintering because this thing is evergreen)
-Monkey grass (monkey grass looks beautiful along our driveway but the crowded nature of this beauty makes ideal snail breeding ground although they never damage the grass itself, also a great place for snails to overwinter since it is evergreen)
-Calla Lilli garden (where a crowd of these are growing along the yard, especially the weedy invasive red flowering kind makes a perfect moist hiding and breeding grown, also overwintering)
-Pine bark mulch (yes, pine barks are there to preserve moisture, snails love moisture too, and protection, also ideal place for them to overwinter).


I hope you find this informative. I dont normally have slug (the one without shells) problem but I have a lot of problems with the brown garden snails. Did you know snails are sexless? They can basically reproduce by themselves and they dont have a male or female gender. Each snail can breed many more snails no matter what! Urgh!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the California Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here