Can you suggest any white annuals that will grow in part shade that slugs don’t touch?


 Can you suggest any white annuals that will grow in part shade that slugs don’t touch? 


Jonathan Foster, Home Horticulture Outreach Professional

Slugs can be quite a headache in the garden, as you no doubt already know! Good growing practices to mitigate the pest’s impact include removing bricks, flat board, old flower pots, etc., that they shelter under during the day, trapping them with shallow bowls baited with apples or beer, and scouting/hand-removal after dark when they are active and feeding. We do not encourage the use of salt or vinegar, as you typically get plant damage and changes in soil chemistry in addition to killing slugs.

However, to your question, another key component of any plan to deter limacine critters (i.e., slugs!) is selection of plants they don’t care for. Most lists of resistant plants focus on perennials, but you’ve helped narrow down the parameters. For annuals that bloom white and tolerate some shade, my first recommendations are beardtongue (Penstemon spp.), foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), and poppy (Papaver spp.), though you will have to look for white-blooming varieties and err on the side of more sun than shade–these will tolerate some, but the blooms decrease as shade increases. If the shade in your bed is too heavy for these plants, consider Impatiens (Impatiens spp.), a thoroughly shade-loving flower that is easily found in white at virtually any nursery or gardening center.