The Q&A Archives: Slug-resistant Hostas

Question: Would you be able to suggest some slug-resistant varieties of hostas? I am especially fond of the bluish hostas with the crinkled leaves. The area where they would be planted is the back corner of my property where a poplar and maple tree are growing .It tends to be a damp area, heavily shaded. Last year I planted some pachysandra along the perimeter of the garden, and I thought hostas would be a good choice to fill the center. I have heard that some varieties are slug resistant and would like a medium or large growth size. Would you please advise?

Answer: You realize, of course, that the garden spot you describe has all of the elements for a perfect 'slug home'. You may have to resort to slug bait, traps, or barriers to keep the critters from eating your new plants right down to the ground! The hostas that seem to be less attractive to slugs are those with thick and/or wavy leaves. Hosta ventricosa (Blue Plantain) has those characteristics, as does Hosta 'Krossa Regal'. After planting, spread some diatomaceous earth, crushed eggshells, or dry sawdust around the new hosta's, just to keep the slugs away until the plants are established. You can help reduce the population of slugs in your garden by going out at night when they're feeding and collecting as many as you can find. Drop them into a bucket of hot soapy water, or one with water and a little ammonia mixed in. If you keep after them, you'll eventually get the upper hand.

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