Stop Slugs Eating Your Hostas in Pots

The snails as well as the slugs can be a gardener’s enemy because they love eating their delicious leaves and create their distinctive holes when they eat in the evening.

I have personally tried every one of the standard suggestions like copper strips, coffee grounds, and everything else that is needed to prevent slugs away from my potted hostas , but none of these methods actually are effective.

This was until I tried the tips below together ….

  1. Create an outline with Vaseline around the entire circumference of the pot (or with raised feet under it) then rub the salt over it. The vaseline holds your salt securely in its place and also helps to keep it from dissolving. Slugs and snails won’t traverse a salt line, and your hostas will remain secure.
  2. Hosta varieties that are slug resistant like “Sum and Substance” with thicker leaves that snails and slugs are unable to eat.
  3. Always make sure to water hostas in the morning, allowing them dry. The sides as well as the surrounding space dry prior to nightfall, when snails are active since the damp conditions encourage slugs and snails.

The three steps taken together make for a highly effective method to keep slugs away from the pots and away from hostas , which has proven more effective than any other method I’ve ever attempted.

Find out the steps to follow and to learn more about the best methods (that don’t harm wildlife) to keep snails and slugs away from your hosts inside containers…

Make sure to keep slugs as well as Snails away from Hosta Pots with Salt and Vaseline

This is the most efficient method I’ve ever come across to stop snails and slugs from eating succulent hosta leaves.

Slugs and snails cannot traverse the salt ( as this will cause them to dehydrate and possibly cause death) as well as dry wood ash. But wood ash is not as effective after rain and can be easily blown away by winds and winds, making it not a long-term repellent.

Salt can also dissolve in water, appear to rule it out as an effective repellent to slugs when outside.

Here’s the awesome trick…What you can do is apply an elongated circle of Vaseline (about 1/2 inch wide) around the exterior of the pot, ideally on the top since it is likely to be located in the shadow of rain.

What you have to apply the salt in the Vaseline around the circumference that the container is. The Vaseline will keep the salt in place and prevent it from slipping away in the rain.

snail on pebbles

It will create an insurmountable barrier to slugs that could crawl into the pot, but when they see the salt, which is held in place by Vaseline it will be impossible for them to traverse the line and then crawl back into the pot, stopping a mid-night attack on the potted hostas.

This easy method to be an extremely efficient in tackling the most common issues gardeners confront when they grow hostas.

It is important to note that you must keep the Vaseline and salt barrier on a regular basis because the effects from rain, ice, snow, and humidity in the air will slowly dissolve some of the salt and weaken the slug barrier.

But as long that you can see that the lines of Vaseline and salt are in the shadow of rain on the pot, this method will last for a long time before you have to adjust.

If you own an oval or rectangular pot that doesn’t have an umbrella for rain, you can lift the pot off of the ground using ‘feet’ or stones, and create the salt and Vaseline barrier around your feet. By placing the feet beneath the pot, they will be shielded from rain to ensure that salt stays in a state of non-dissolving and a powerful repellent to slugs for a longer period of time.

The benefits of salt over pellets and other traps or slug repellents:

  • Salt and Vaseline method is extremely discreet in appearance. It is difficult to observe the barrier unless you are close to the pot, so it won’t detract from the beauty of the lush decorative hosta leaves. Slug pellets and other techniques like beer traps are more visible and unattractive.
  • Salt can cause slugs be dehydrated (via Osmosis) when they sprinkle it on their bodies. But if it is placed around the Vaseline around the exterior of the pot, the slugs will be able to detect the salt and then retreat without being affected. Slugs and snails that are bitten by pellets, however they will die and transfer the chemical up in the chain of food to birds and raccoons, hedgehogs and other natural predators of garden slugs that ultimately have an adverse multiplier effect on the ecosystem in the gardens.
  • Vaseline and salt are inexpensive, and the process is simple to use and has no adverse effects on wildlife.

Water Hostas in the Morning (Not in the Evening)

This is among the most simple tips to follow but it can make a huge impact. Hostas require their soil to remain damp So you need to water your potted hostas often to ensure they are content as the pots dry faster than when the hostas were cultivated in the soil.

Many gardeners prefer to water their plants at night, which makes the ground, soil and hostas damp for the next evening.

The most popular time for snails and slugs to come out is in the evening and are at their most active during moist conditions which increases the chances that they will head straight to your hostas, and leave their distinctive holes in your leaves.

Make sure to water your hostas in the early morning to provide the hostas by providing them with water to last the next day and will allow the soil and the area surrounding your pot to dry out somewhat prior to nightfall. Together with other options, this will make your hostas less of a prey for snails and slugs.

Slug Resistant Hostas for Pots

Another tip to utilize alongside salt in your pot: plant only “slug resistant” hostas. There is no hosta that is completely snail and slug-proof, but there are some varieties that are more resistant to attack by molluscs.

The most well-known and readily available hostas is the’sum and substance’and ‘halcyon’which are extremely hardy and quite large hostas with beautiful foliage. “Sum and Substance” is believed to be the most resistant to slugs among all.

Hosta ” Krossa Regal is, in comparison, a smaller size hosta that is 24 inches high and 24 inches wide when at maturation. This variety has more waxy, thicker leaves, which aids in its resistance to snails.

The reason these hostas are more resistant to slugs than other hostas due to the fact that their leaves are more dense, waxier and stronger, which means they are more difficult for snails and slugs to consume.

Hostas that resist snail and slugs is a excellent preventative measure that can reduce the chance of snail and slug prevention.

More Best Practices

Other best practices to stop snail and slug predation on hostas in pots:

  • Don’t leave areas of grassy lawn in your garden. Slugs are attracted to long grass in the daytime because it holds moisture and shelter , thus providing the best conditions. Cut your grass at least once a week, and make sure that you walk along the edges and edges of your lawn, which is a popular hideout. The less space you have for slugs in your garden, the more beneficial.
  • Clean up dead leaves in the pots and in their surroundings. The primary function of snails is to eat organic matter that is decaying, including leaves and dead wood, in particular. In the fall, ensure that dead leaves do not remain for long periods in the corners of your garden and thus provide other sources of shelter or food that can encourage a snail and slug population.
  • Encourage natural slug predators. Raccoons, hedgehogs, birds, hedgehogs badgers, frogs, and a variety of other animals can easily control the number of slugs. Birds are effective predators of slugs. It is easy to locate a place for the bird feeder in many gardens, and you’ll contribute to wildlife conservation as well!
  • Be sure that your hostas are in good health. Hostas are the most durable when taken care of. Therefore, ensure that you plant them in a high-quality potting mix and ensure that the soil stays humid during hot weather. Hostas that are given excessive amounts of fertilizer can wilt and become soft and fragile which is perfect for slugs, so ensure that you adhere to the instructions of the fertilizer manufacturer since more fertilizer isn’t more beneficial.

Key Takeaways:

  • To prevent slugs and snails from eating hostas, you must take various steps that are all taken together.
  • The most efficient method is to draw an outline made of Vaseline around the entire circumference of the pot, then rub salt in it to ensure that it remains in the correct position.
  • Slugs won’t move across the salt-saturated barrier. The barrier should be placed away from the rain shadow or around the top of the pot , or at the bottom , on elevated feet to prevent the salinity from dissolving. This method can work for months prior to the need to add more Vaseline or salt, and won’t cause harm to wildlife as pellets of slugs can.
  • Hostas that are snail and slug resistant like “Sum and Substance” tend to be less likely be a victim to snails because of their larger leaves.
  • Pots of water hostas are used in the morning , allowing the pot and the soil around to dry at night, when slugs begin to emerge.
  • Get rid of dead leaves, cut the lawn frequently to reduce the potential for snail and slug habitats.


Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)