What Flowers Do Snails Hate?

Snails can be a significant nuisance, causing damage to flowers, plants, and vegetable crops. Many gardeners face the challenge of planting flowers only to see them devoured by snails. However, there is hope! Not all flowers are palatable to snails, and some actually serve as natural repellents.

Why Do Snails Hate Some Flowers?

Snails have specific preferences when it comes to the flowers they feed on, and their aversion is often based on two primary factors: smell and texture.

Smell: The Power of Aroma

Certain flowers produce strong scents that repel snails. These fragrances act as natural deterrents, discouraging snails from venturing near them. Flowers like lavender, rosemary, catmint, geraniums, and snapdragons fall into this category. Their delightful scents to us are decidedly unappealing to snails, making these flowers excellent choices for deterring them.

Texture: Nature’s Defensive Mechanism

Snails also hate flowers with certain textures that make it difficult for them to feed or move across. Flowers with fuzzy or hairy stems, leaves, or petals create an uncomfortable surface for snails, dissuading them from attempting to feast on these plants. Flowers such as geraniums, Jacob’s ladder, and snapdragons possess these textural features, making them a formidable barrier against snails.

Flowers that Snails Hate Due to their Smell

Let’s dive deeper into the specific flowers that snails hate due to their smell. By incorporating these flowers into your garden, you can create a natural snail-repelling defense.

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Lavender: A Fragrant Shield

Lavender, renowned for its sweet and soothing aroma to humans, repels snails effectively. These charming purple flowers emit a scent that snails find highly displeasing. Planting lavender strategically around your garden can protect vulnerable flowers from snail infestation. Consider using it as a natural barrier to safeguard specific areas you want to keep safe.

Rosemary: A Versatile Herb

Rosemary, primarily known for its culinary uses, also boasts lovely little flowers with a powerful scent. This fragrance is not just attractive to us, but it serves as a deterrent to snails and other pests, including slugs. You can grow rosemary outdoors to protect surrounding plants or keep it inside on a windowsill to deter snails from entering your home.

Catmint: The Odorous Guardian

True to its name, catmint produces a strong and unpleasant odor for snails. It serves as an effective snail repellent due to its robust fragrance. There are various catmint varieties available, each with the same snail-repelling qualities. However, some can grow rapidly, so careful consideration is essential when choosing which one to cultivate in your garden.

Flowers that Snails Hate Due to their Texture

Now let’s explore the flowers that snails hate because of their texture. By incorporating these flowers, you can create an additional layer of defense against snail invasions.

Geraniums: Furry Stems for Protection

Geraniums have stems covered in a thick layer of short fur, creating an uncomfortable surface for snails. They avoid climbing up geraniums due to this texture, making these flowers an excellent choice for repelling snails. Some geranium strains have leaves and stalks that stay close to the ground, serving as effective barriers against snails in flower beds.

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Jacob’s Ladder: Hair as a Barrier

Jacob’s ladder plants boast beautiful flowers and stems covered with long, thin, and wiry hairs. This hairiness makes it incredibly challenging for snails to climb or feed on these plants. The leaves also possess a texture that snails dislike. By planting Jacob’s ladder, you can create a lovely walkway in your garden while simultaneously keeping snails at bay.

Snapdragons: Petals with a Purpose

Snapdragons exhibit stems and petals with a similar hairy texture to geraniums. Snails find the texture of snapdragons unappealing, and as a result, they avoid feeding on these flowers. Incorporating snapdragons into your garden not only adds beauty but also contributes to the defense against snails.

The Advantages of Texture-Based Repellents

Using flowers to repel snails based on texture has its advantages over scent-based repellents. While some snails might tolerate unpleasant smells if hungry enough, they cannot overcome the physical barriers presented by certain textures. Flowers with hairy or fuzzy surfaces effectively prevent snails from climbing or feeding, making them highly effective as snail deterrents.

Furthermore, the added benefit of texture-based repellents is that they also work against slugs. Snails and slugs move in similar ways, so any flower that proves a challenge for snails will do the same for slugs. By incorporating texture-based repellents into your garden, you address both snail and slug infestation, protecting your plants from two of the most destructive garden pests.


Gardening enthusiasts often find themselves frustrated by snail invasions, which can wreak havoc on their carefully tended flowers and plants. However, there are flowers that snails hate, and understanding their preferences can be a game-changer for maintaining a healthy and vibrant garden. Flowers like lavender, rosemary, catmint, geraniums, Jacob’s ladder, and snapdragons serve as natural deterrents due to their strong scents or textural defenses.

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By strategically planting these snail-repelling flowers, you can enjoy a beautiful garden without the constant threat of snail damage. Embrace the power of nature and create a sanctuary for your plants while keeping snails at bay.


Are these flowers safe for pets and children?

Yes, the flowers mentioned in the article are generally safe for pets and children. However, it’s essential to research specific plants and their potential effects before planting them in areas accessible to pets and children.

Do these flowers repel other pests too?

Yes, some of the flowers mentioned, such as lavender and rosemary, can also deter other pests like slugs and certain insects.

How often should I replant these flowers?

The frequency of replanting depends on the flower variety and environmental factors. Generally, most of these flowers are perennials and will last for several years with proper care.

Are there any natural alternatives to chemical pesticides?

Yes, using plants with natural repellent properties, like the ones mentioned in the article, is an eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides.

Can I grow these flowers indoors?

Some of the flowers, such as rosemary and certain catmint varieties, can be grown indoors as well. Just ensure they receive sufficient sunlight and water.

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