London (change)
16 messages
15/04/2013 at 14:30

Hi everyone, I wonder if anyone would know whether Rudbeckia plants are prone to slug damage or any other damage as far as that goes.  I am really fed up with fighting off slugs and snails and want to grow some tall, hardy flowers like rudbeckia, that are able to survive the 'slug attack'.  Thanks for any advice.

15/04/2013 at 14:36

hi sterelitza they are the pain of gardening , i think they are lovers of rudbekia, but have listed some plants that are slug resistant, Hellebores, Roses, Gerniums, siddalecca, Agathpanthus, Kantia, sedums and penstemon, not guaranteed because they have just ate my acanthus which is very tall, so good luck

15/04/2013 at 17:15

Hi kimrosefreak, thanks for replying and your advice which has made me think twice about Rudbekia.  I loose loads of plants to the dreaded slugs so the war is on against them.  Do you know if they like achillea?  I had some lovely Hollyhocks that had survived a number of years but the slugs ate them last year, they were climbing to the top of the plant which grow to some 6ft and over in my garden, they were munching everything and the stalk as well.  Thanks.

16/04/2013 at 11:49

sterelitza not sure if they like achillea , i dont think so because the leaves are a littl brittle, i have placed collars made from plastic bottle with copper tape around all my delphinums, lupins, poppys and they have kept the blighters away, also put flour and water in yogurt pots around the garden, they are drawn to the  yeast in the flower, anything is worth a go.

16/04/2013 at 12:44

I find slugs will try anything, sometimes just to annoy you. kimrosefreak list is what I would say. Soil conditions is also important. Drier the soil the less slugs live their, wetter the soil the more slugs you find. My garden is on a slope and they rarely attack anything at the dry top and lots of slugs at the damp bottom. I do find vine weevil, thrips and caterpillars will damage as much as slugs, so a slug free garden is not damage free! 

16/04/2013 at 16:44

have alook at this list -

A good tip is to buy some wildlife friendly pellets based on ferrous sulphate rather than metaldehyde and start scattering them thinly on St Valentine's Day - purely because it's an easy date to remember.   Repeat the scattering every 2 weeks as you then get them as they emerge from hiberantion or hatch from eggs and before they can feed and breed.

This was advice given by a hosta nursery exhibiting at Malvern and featured on GW one spring.  It works for me and I have hostas and cleamtis and hemerocallis all over the place - all slug magnetes in spring - as well as salads and young veggies they like to feast on.

16/04/2013 at 16:47

Last year was especially bad it seems, i had slug damage on alot of so called resistant plants like sedums and foxgloves.. surprised the sluds didn't all have heart attacks lol... 

So far up in newcastle it's been cold, dry and windy which has meant i've hardly seen a slug (YET!) but things are only really just starting to come now, so the slugs will no doubt arrive soon enough! I know they will just be hiding somewhere, i've already started putting down my organic pellets in anticipation of the battle to come.

Achilea seemed to not have any problem last year, i think the only truely resistant plants are the wild flower types, of which achilea probably falls into, so think like red valarian too would be a good shout.



16/04/2013 at 17:16

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and advice, great to have your experience.  In our local paper this morning there was a passage stating that last year the slugs had a field day because of all the wet weather.  So far this year they have had a lean time as ground frozen for so long and no food for the blighters.  Now though, its milder and rain has arrived so they will emerge again.  Perhaps we could continue this thread at the end of the season to see how we all got on in the fight against slugs... and all the other pests after our precious plants.

16/04/2013 at 21:29

Hi sterelitza - they didn't touch my echinops last year (big blue thistle-y thing) - probably because the leaves are vaguely spiky.  The plants were in the same beds as some rudbeckias, which they munched to extinction

16/04/2013 at 22:29

thanks obelixx - will try that! ferrous sulphate probably isn't what's in my bright toxic blue pellets then...

16/04/2013 at 22:34

Jess - My ferrous sulphate ones are pretty vibrant blue too !

16/04/2013 at 22:54

Oh! Maybe I should read ingredients first then as trying to be more wildlife friendly this year...

sterelitza - I've noticed that the snails avoid most things with a tiny leaf eg: achillea, leptospermum, cosmos, artemesia etc and also I second that they dislike roses plus leaves that are aromatic like rosemary and lavender. 

I am about to apply my yearly dose of slug nematodes now that the soil has warmed a bit - it worked very well last year - slugs obliterated. Now just trying to tackle damn snails.

Apparently there are also hostas with rougher, more corrugated leaves, which these pesky molluscs hate, though I have to see it to believe it.

16/04/2013 at 22:55

Andy, by organic pellets do you mean the ferrous sulphate ones or something else?

17/04/2013 at 00:47

Yeah the ferrous sulphate ones. Ie the safe one for pets, other wild animals.

18/04/2013 at 08:47

Thanks Obelixx for that website, had a look and there are quite a few flower varieties on there that slugs avoid.  I will try these to add to my flag iris. day lillies, roses, rock roses, and marguerite flowers.  The latter seem to thrive in any condition, only blackfly attack those!!!  Thanks to everyone for contributing, much appreciated.

18/04/2013 at 08:59
Yes the slugs are just waking up here as well, have a small patch of primroses growing in lawn,they were there one day have half gone the next!!! Also they love my helenium so am ready with "friendly" slug pellets.I grow a lot of plants in pots hoping that I can outwit the swines, but they seem to be able to climb Everest! I grew Rudbeckia last year in pots and they did survive any attacks so give it a try. Good luck.
email image
16 messages