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How to deter slugs with copper tape


Slug damage can ruin the appearance of lush, foliage plants, flowers and vegetables. Among others, hostas, dahlias and peas are regularly eaten, which can make them difficult to grow in areas where slugs are common.

While you could choose to grow a range of slug-proof plants, like rodgersia and brunnera, slugs may also be diverted from your container-grown plants by fixing copper tape to your pots. The tape is thin, easy to cut and simple to apply. Plus, the copper will gradually turn green over time, giving it an attractive aged look.

Follow our step-by-step guide, below, to protecting your plants from slug damage with copper tape.

How to do it


Cut a piece of tape that's long enough to fit around your pot then, using the pinking shears, cut a decorative edging along one side.


Carefully stick the tape just below the rim of the pot. Remove a little bit of the backing at a time, smoothing out any creases as you go.

Our tip

Try salads in a pot decorated with this copper tape - it'll give slugs a run for their money and you'll have luscious leaves.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to deter slugs with copper tape
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barbandjohn 24/11/2011 at 15:27

We have a real clay soil and I just cannot weed properly as the soil just sticks to the fork or hoe. Please give me some suggestions, I cannot even break the soil up after it has been turned over. We cannot afford to spend much money on the soil so please help.

pog_mahone 24/11/2011 at 15:28

@Tea-Rose, i'm no expert but i'm not sure if its true about the slugs cutting themselves, i saw a programme on t.v last week & the guy said that slugs could crawl over the edge of a razor blade without cutting themselves as they don't actually touch anything when they crawl as the slime acts as a barrier, similar to a hover craft effect, in away.Like i said though, i'm no expert : )

Tea-Rose 24/11/2011 at 15:28

I've never tried this but others have told me they've tried it and it has not worked. My mother uses egg shells, washed, dried and crushed, sprinkled around plants. This works for me. Also those abrasive wire kitchen scrubber things, pulled apart and put round the pot like a skirt or collar: the slugs cannot get past as they'd cut themselves (like with the egg shells). This does not stop the little bar-stewards from mounting an aerial attack by accessing plants from walls or other plants.

Tea-Rose 24/11/2011 at 15:28

barbaraandjohn, I had this soil in my last garden, it was really hard to work with. I was advised to grow potatoes in it as this would help break up the soil. I've also heard if you can dig in organic matter that will help a lot too. We have clay soil here too, very boggy, but not as heavy as our last place.

NettyMezz 24/11/2011 at 15:29

I too hate snails and slugs; I'm still in the learner stage of veg growing and they seem to know it!!! However, I've just read somewhere on this site that someone puts their collected snails down the drain.......... please don't. I work in the industry and I would appeal to everyone to keep the drains for human waste and toilet tissue and absolutely NOTHING else. Too much distress is caused already by blocked sewers, I know, I deal with this every day.

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