Finding snails on your succulents isn’t a lot of fun, and what makes it even worse is the fact that snails love succulents! It’s easy to find holes in the leaves of your succulents and other parts of the succulents missing altogether.
To get rid of snails on your succulents, here are some suggestions that work:
1. Trap Snails With Beer
The best way to do this is to take a cup and bury it up to the rim in the soil. Then, fill the cup half-way with beer and wait for the snails to jump in, which they’ll do because they are attracted to the yeast that’s in the beer.
Once snails fall in the cup, they’ll usually drown and perish.
2. Spray Snails With Ammonia
A 1:10 ammonia-water solution kills snails, but you have to remove them by hand from the plants first.
To do this, make sure you wear gloves and wait until nighttime. Then, pick off as many snails as you can and place them in a bucket. Once they’re in the bucket, they’ll be fair game and you can spray all you like.
3. Put Eggshells in the Soil
Eggshells are biodegradable and do not harm pets or children, but snails hate them.
You’ll want to start by crushing the eggshells into a fine powder, then sprinkle them around the borders of the soil around the entire plant. Snails will find it next to impossible to cross this barrier.
4. Insert Copper Screens Into the Soil
Finally, you can insert screens made of copper a few inches into the soil all around the plants.
Many people swear by this method, but just know that if you place these screens all around your garden, it might get expensive. Nevertheless, it does a great job of preventing the snails from going any further.
How to Keep snails away from succulents
In addition, if you’re looking for methods that keep the snails away instead of methods that rely on killing the snails after they have reached the succulents, try the following tricks:
1. Use Coffee Grounds
Snails do not like caffeine, so if you sprinkle coffee grounds (not decaf!) around the borders of your plants, the snails will stay away.
This means you don’t have to kill them since they never get near your succulents in the first place. Even better, the coffee grounds are great for your soil!
2. Add Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
DE has silica in it, which is sharp and therefore stops the snails from going any further. You can place it around the borders of the soil and the snails won’t go any further.
DE is made up of ground-up fossil remains of freshwater prehistoric diatoms, which are tiny green algae. The only thing you have to remember is to add more after it rains.
3. Use Plants to Repel Them
There are numerous plants that snails hate, so if you plant these next to your succulent plants, they will stay away.
These include mint, chives, and herbs such as parsley, rosemary, thyme, and sage. Lavender, while not an actual herb, works the same way, and all of these plants are easy to find and even easier to afford.
4. Use Recycled Wool Waste
Recycled wool waste is often made into pellets and can be placed around your plants to deter snails.
What happens is that the pellets swell and then reveal fibers, which are major irritants to snails. The pellets are especially good for perennials and seedlings that have just been planted.
Do Snails Harm Succulents?
Snails can harm succulents because they eat through the leaf material. Even worse, not only do they eat through the leaves and eventually cause them to die, but they also eat the stems, flowers, and every other part of the plant.
This starts with holes in the leaves, but once that happens and the stems and flowers are eaten, the plant eventually wilts and dies.
How Do You Kill Snails Without Killing Plants?
It is actually very difficult to kill snails without killing the plants. Most of the items you can use to kill snails do a lot of damage to succulents
Many people look for natural ways to kill snails, including vinegar and ammonia, but these things often kill the plants as well. To avoid this, you can do one of two things.
First, you can use natural methods that are not harmful to plants, such as salt, corn meal, and garlic spray.
The second thing you can do is use a method that deters and repels the snails so they don’t go towards the plant in the first place.
An example of this is described above, including using coffee grounds and eggshells around the border of the plant to stop the snails in their tracks. Using a method that stops them dead in their tracks is always effective.
How Do You Get Rid of Snails on Potted Succulents?
Snails on potted succulents can be destroyed much the same way as the snails in your garden. This includes the following methods, which are the most common ones:
- Pick the snails off by hand, making sure you use gloves the entire time.
- Use homemade organic spray, such as garlic spray.
- Use something that has iron phosphate in it.
- Use either regular table salt or Epsom salts and sprinkle over the plants.
- Use a beer trap.
- Introduce natural predators to the soil, such as nematodes and ants.
Are Slugs Good for Succulents?
Slugs and snails are definitely not good for succulents. They eat all parts of the plants and cause them to die rather quickly.
Slugs have ravenous appetites and can eat large amounts of food in a day. What’s worse, snails and slugs consider your succulents, as well as your other plants, to be a food source, which is why they are frequently found there.
If snails or slugs have been around your succulent plants, you’ll notice holes in the leaves or leaves with jagged edges.
How to get rid of snails on succulents | Summary
Snails can be devastating to succulents chewing on the leaves and causing them to look brown, broken and uneven. Use a trap or sprinkle natural diatomaceous earth around the area to protect your plants. This will keep them away from your beautiful succulents.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.