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I thank my lucky stars that we really don't have a slug or snail problem so my hosta's always put on a fab display. I think encouraging the birds into the garden helps us.
I have grown great hostas in pots for four years now with no slug problems. But, can you tell me if I need to change the soil or add feed or something. I just leave the pots alone, let them stay out all winter and they just seem to grow very well.
I have 4 hostas slugs don,t really bother with them maybe an odd nibble but if i were to put delphiniums or dahlia,s in the gardens they wouldn't last 5 mins
Just went through my flickr stats and noticed is linking to some of my hosta pictures, so let me tell you their story as well. They are my first attempt at "growing stuff" myself after receiving them as a gift last year. I've never been much of a gardener, and living in an apartment isn't much of an incentive to become one either. But they just sit in their pot in their little corner of my balcony and do their growing all by themselves, with the occasional helping of water in very dry periods. That way they liven up the concrete jungle and make me feel like the gardener I'm really not. Priceless!
I put a really thick mulch of builders sand around the spikes as they appear and have found this keeps damage to a minimum.


Physical barriers, whether copper or gel are fine on pots and containers, but the only thing I found to be really effective in the borders are nematodes. They are non-chemical and really solved my problems last year. This year I'm going to treat the area around my hosta bed as soon as there's a sign of real growth and the soil's above (I think it's)6 degrees C. However, I'm not so certain that they're quite so effective on snails.
I have heard crushed egg shells are meant to help also coffee grounds. Not that I have tried them as I haven't any hostas yet.
It makes a change for someone to give such praise to Hostas. I think that they are a wonderful plant and I have been growing them in pots for years. As far as Slugs and Snails are concerned, I use Copper Tape, fixed just below the rim of my pots and have not seen any damage to my Hostas from the "BEASTS".
I will be trying the method of crushed sea shells around my hostas this year and will let you know the results.
I too use nematodes very successfully on a Hosta bed but they do NOT work on snails at all. Certainly encouraging wildlife helps protect Hostas, frogs, toads, hedgehogs as well as birds love devouring slugs and snails.
Egg shells didn't work for me last year.slugs 4'' long and snails as big as golf balls it was a all year battle. I had hostas in pots large and small with the sheeps wool pellets surounding them, I've got organic pellets this year ready and waiting. They also ate my lupins and hollyhock. I have a good frog population and hopeing with all my tadpoles i'll triple that, you never know. I will give the copper a go.
I grow a lot of Hostas, 1 or 2 have just disappeared, a few have the odd hole but 1 ends up like a lace curtain!!! This is snails not slugs. I think the ones that have vanished may have been slugs. what i dont understand is why one next to another may nt have a mark on it. By the way i also cant keep delphiniums for more than one night!!!
I have had an increasing collection of Hostas for years now. All are grown in pots and whilst I have never found slugs on them snails are abundant. Any barrier (eggshells, sand, hair etc.) works to a degree but overhanging leaves foil the barrier effect. Coffee grounds are said to work but I have heard recently that using used coffee grounds in the water is a killer for both slugs and snails. This advice comes from Vietnam orchid enthusiasts of which there are many. (I have a close link with VN) I have not tried it yet but plan so to do this season. It is said that the caffeine in the coffee has the same effect to raise their heartbeat with lethal consequences.
I grow a couple of varieties of Hostas in borders and have always had major problems with slugs and snails - despite encouraging birds into the garden (although the blackbirds always look as if they are doing their best). As I have both cats and dogs I am reluctant to use pellets so this year have bought some copper slug rings by mail order and have already put them around the emerging shoots - seems to be working so far!...
I've got my hostas in pots with fine grit on the soil, these pots in turn sit in a tray which has a good level of grit too - the last 2 years the hostas have been fine.


I was talking with a friend the other day and she said she had heard that vaseline put just under the rim of the pot helps deter slugs and snails. Haven't tried it yet, but it sounds quite logical.
I just love Hostas, I have about 50 different ones, most of my dwarf hostas i keep in the green house in similar settings to a alpine house, the larger ones in the garden, i find the only way to keep slugs and snails at bay is to check them every couple of days in the early evening or after it has rained, collect all the snails and slugs up in a plastic contains and on the way to work which is along country lanes i let them go theres no houses about so they will not trouble anybody else they have to live too, but not in my garden you will soon cut their numbers down in your garden.
If you put bran (under a tile or similar to keep it dry) close to vulnerable plants the slugs and snails will eat that instead of beloved plants, with the added satisfaction of seeing that they sort of explode with the swelling bran the birds and other wild life will then clear up the mess without coming to any harm. This method actually works, its inexpensive and perfectly safe for pets, and children too.
I've never grown Hostas for myself but have the care of them in my clients gardens. They seem to flourish in dappled shade and not over moist locations - with very little slug damage; but when planted in a main bed they become, 'plat de jour',to anything that moves. My client of several years standing developed a crush on them last year, and as the plants have arrived, I've settled them in shady spots; but as I've been asked to corner the Hosta market at our local charity plant sale - new places and slug solutions will have to be found, so the 'bran' tip and planting in tubs is timely - thankyou happy gardening
I grow hostas both in the ground and in pots and I have always used garlic to deter the slugs and snails.Sprinkle with powder or granules,makes no difference,as soon as the tips appear.The slugs and snails hate it!My hostas are beautiful.