How to Get Rid of Snails in Potted Plants?

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting to dabble in the joy of planting, dealing with snails in your potted plants can be frustrating. These pesky mollusks can wreak havoc on your beloved greenery, leaving you wondering how to keep them at bay. Fear not, as we delve into the world of snail-proofing your pots with effective and natural methods that won’t harm the environment.

Why Snails in Potted Plants Are a Problem

Potted plants offer a safe haven for your green friends, shielding them from the harsh outdoor elements. However, they are not immune to snail invasions. Snails can climb into pots and feast on tender leaves and shoots, causing damage to your plants and impeding their growth. To ensure your potted plants thrive, it’s essential to protect them from these slimy intruders.

How to Snail-Proof Your Pots

Use Rough-Textured Pots

One way to discourage snails from invading your pots is to choose containers with rough textures. Snails are picky about crossing surfaces that feel uncomfortable to their soft bodies. If the sides of your pots are rough or have irregular textures, snails will likely avoid attempting the climb.

Use Vaseline

Vaseline, a common household item, can be an effective snail deterrent. By applying a thin layer of Vaseline along the sides of your pots, you create a slippery barrier that snails find challenging to climb. Remember to reapply the Vaseline regularly, as rain or watering can wash it away.

See also  Are Snails Herbivores?

Use Rough Terrain

Creating rough terrain around your pots can be another natural barrier to keep snails at bay. Here are some examples of rough materials you can use:


The sharp edges of gravel make it an uncomfortable surface for snails to traverse. Placing gravel around the base of your plant pots creates an obstacle that deters snails from attempting to climb up.


Slate flagging or smaller pieces of slate can be placed around the base of your pots. Snails find the cold, sharp edges of slate difficult to navigate, keeping them away from your precious plants.


Mulch, composed of decomposing organic matter, presents an inconsistent and rough surface for snails. When placed around the base of pots, it becomes an effective deterrent against snails’ climbing efforts.

Use Snail Traps

Snail traps are a humane and eco-friendly way to capture and remove snails from your potted plants. Here are a couple of natural snail traps you can easily create:

Beer Traps

Surprisingly, snails are attracted to beer. Placing a small dish with beer near your plants overnight will lure the snails into the container, allowing you to relocate them far from your pots. Commercial beer traps are also available for added convenience.

Grapefruit Trap

Half of a grapefruit can act as an enticing snail trap. Cut a grapefruit in half, leaving the skin facing up, and create holes in the side to allow snails access to the fruit. Once the snails have gathered inside, remove and dispose of them away from your garden.

See also  Do Coffee Grounds Deter Snails?

How to Remove Snails Surrounding Your Pots

If you’re facing a persistent snail problem and need a more permanent solution, consider these snail elimination methods without resorting to harmful insecticides:


Sprinkling salt around the base of your pots acts as a deterrent for snails. The salt causes dehydration, effectively keeping them away from your plants. Bicarbonate of soda or baking soda can also be used for the same purpose, as they dehydrate snails through osmosis.


Similar to salt, vinegar can deter snails with its distinctive smell. If snails come into direct contact with vinegar, it can be fatal to them. Use vinegar around the pots to keep snails at bay.


In conclusion, dealing with snails in potted plants can be a challenging task for gardeners. However, armed with the knowledge of various effective and eco-friendly methods, you can keep your precious plants safe from these garden pests.

Choosing rough-textured pots, applying Vaseline, or using rough terrain are simple yet effective ways to deter snails from climbing into your pots. Additionally, snail traps using beer or grapefruit provide a natural and non-toxic means of relocating snails away from your plant area.

For a more permanent solution, consider using salt or vinegar to deter or eliminate snails. These methods will help protect your potted plants, allowing them to flourish without being threatened by snail invasions.

Remember, a healthy and thriving garden starts with effective pest management, and with these tips in mind, you can confidently keep snails at bay and enjoy the beauty of your potted plants all year round.

See also  Galago Spiritual Meaning, Symbolism, and Totem

So, next time you encounter snails in your potted plants, you’ll be well-prepared to take action and create a flourishing garden sanctuary. Happy gardening!

en_USEnglish (United States)
Scroll to Top