5 Favorite Slug-resistant Hostas

Aug 6, 2018 | Shade Favorites | 8 comments

Slug in the moss

Look at this wise guy. A few thousand of his relatives have a big ol’ slug party in the garden every night.

Our Garden: A Slug Paradise

Slugs are the worst. They are my #1 top garden pest to hate. I can deal with the Seattle September spider onslaught. I can deal with helicopter-sized crane flies that suddenly fly toward my face as I walk out the front door on summer mornings. But slugs eat my garden (those plants aren’t cheap!) and in the spring they hatch in hordes, ravenous and ready to eat everything in sight. And toward the dry end of summer, they even eat things they’re not supposed to want to eat (like sword ferns – they nibble on the leaflets!). Our garden is unfortunately the perfect habitat: wet, shady and with lots of places to hide. I suppose I could try harder to control them, but am highly reluctant to be casting slug bait about like a flower girl every 2 weeks for months on end. Beer traps, hand picking, and nematodes all work to some degree, but talk about a full-time job!

Anger, Bargaining, Acceptance

So I’ve made some sort of “sense of peace” with our permanent slug population. I still scatter bait (pet-friendly of course) and squash any that I happen to see (sorry dude, wrong place wrong time), but mostly I’ve taken a defensive tack by acquiring plants that slugs either don’t like or can’t eat.

List of Slug Resistant Hostas

Hey, look how organized I was! I’ve sadly lost the digital copy.

I discovered early on when I bought my first, decidedly not-slug-resistant Lemon Lime variety, that hostas are slug salad.* After that, I did some research and compiled a list** of slug-resistant hostas, and made a big online order.

That was a few years ago so I’ve had some time to watch them grow. They’ve all pretty much proven to be slug resistant, but some more than others, and a few have stuck out as favorites. I thought the results were worth sharing, so here’s a roundup of my top five!

5. Sum and Substance

I recommend planting this impressive variety only if you have enough room as they can quickly grow to 5 feet or more. I ranked this number 5 only because I’ve yet to witness their full glory – I’ve moved them a few times and they’re currently in a pretty dry spot which has probably stunted their growth. But Sum and Substance definitely repel slugs and are a wonder to look at. Their giant waxy green leaves sort of remind me of a tree frog’s skin which is creepy/cool.

Hosta Sum and Substance

Sum and Substance
(Hosta x ‘Sum and Substance’)

Mature size: 36″h x 72″w
Slug resistant: Yes
Sun tolerant: Yes
Growth: Moderate

4. June

I’ve divided my two June specimens several times, and their softly variegated blue/yellow clones are slowly populating every corner of the garden. June’s growth habit seems to vary quite a bit depending on the microclimate of the garden site. Even the pair sitting two feet from each other on our front steps vary in height and color, the sunnier, drier resident being more squat and yellow. It’s fun to see each individual take its own slightly different form, and all are vibrant and slug-hole free.

Hosta June

(Hosta x ‘June’)

Mature size: 16″h x 30″w
Slug resistant: Yes
Sun tolerant: Yes
Growth: Moderate

3. Krossa Regal

This lovely upright variety may have the added bonus of being tall enough to discourage slugs from scaling it (that’s my personal theory). I have yet to divide this one but did recently move it from under an encroaching Acuba to the corner of our house, where it nicely punctuates the pathway as you turn to our north side yard. Krossa has an unusual vase shape and a solid, soft bluish-green color, making it a standout among other hostas in the yard.

Hosta Krossa Regal

Krossa Regal
(Hosta x ‘June Fever’)

Mature size:24″h x 24″w
Slug resistant: Yes
Sun tolerant: No
Growth: Moderate

2. First Frost

For years after we purchased our house, our upper deck was an Elysian slug-free zone. At some point I likely transplanted a groundcover or heuchera from the garden into a pot along with a few slug eggs and that was that. So First Frost is in a pot but very much not affected by the slugs that I know are hiding out there. It makes such a lovely companion to the Eared Lady Fern and Yellow Flag Iris I planted it with, I almost feel like a professional plant-combo artist. If only they all came out this nice looking!

Hosta First Frost

First Frost
(Hosta x ‘First Frost’)

Mature size: 18″h x 36″w
Slug resistant: Yes
Sun tolerant: No
Growth: Moderate

1. Halcyon

This is my number one top favorite hosta. Halcyon is robust, perfectly sized, easily propagated, and deeply, lusciously blue. And nary a slug bite, even in the late summer. I love this hosta paired with red Heucheras and Japanese Maples, or with a gold variety Japanese Forest Grass if you are looking for in-your-face contrast. I’m propagating this one as fast as I can!

Hosta Halcyon

(Hosta (Tardiana Group) ‘Halcyon’)

Mature size: 24″h x 36″w
Slug resistant: Yes
Sun tolerant: No
Growth: Moderate

Bonus: Katie Q

Katie Q is an honorary slug-resistant hosta in my book, because despite its designation by the nursery as not slug resistant, it sustains little slug damage in our garden. A variegated hosta with a sweet, somewhat ‘feminine’ form, Katie Q is wonderful paired with stouter Halcyon and purple heucheras. I recently divided it into the newly planted area behind our garage and look forward to seeing how they grow together as a mass planting.

Hosta Katie Q

Katie Q
(Hosta x ‘Katie Q’)

Mature size: 18″h x 30″w
Slug resistant: Maybe?
Sun tolerant: No
Growth: Moderate to Fast


I have a number of so-called slug-resistance hostas that didn’t make the list because they aren’t as stunning-looking, their performance has been less than perfect, or they seem to be less slug resistant than advertised. But they are still doing well and definitely viable choices!

What are your favorite slug-resistant hostas? I’d love to hear what works for you!

*I still have some Lemon Lime because I love them even if they are hole-y.

**Which I created in the “pre-cloud” days and sadly lost over time through hardware and software updates

Top 5 Slug-resistant Hostas


  1. Sophie

    Slug resistant hostas in my garden: Paul’s Glory, Blue Angel, Touch of Class, Heat Wave, June, Savage, Liberty. All are very beautiful.

    • Lorie

      Ooh thanks Sophie! I’m going to add these to my ‘hostas to buy’ list! 🙂

  2. Leesa

    I LOVE Hostas! Thank you Sophie for such an in-depth summary of your trial and error for having a beautiful Hosta garden. I will definitely utilize every tip. Slugs Be Gone! This information is invaluable! Thanks again!

    • Lorie

      Hi Leesa, you’re very welcome – I’m glad you are finding this information helpful. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Cheryl

    Great information. Had to leave many beautiful hostas when I moved so I am rebuilding my hosta garden. Unfortunately deer are abundant here and LOVE a good hosta salad. So attempting to do it all on my deck. Do you have any experience with hostas in deck planters in south Indiana/Ohio? Must all be moved in for winter? If so, what is the best way to do it?

    • Lorie

      Hi Cheryl! We have a few deer come through now and then – in July of last year they came through and completely ate one of my giant Sum and Substance hostas, it was so frustrating! I don’t have experience in your area, but looks like you are in USDA zone 6a or 6b and hostas are typically hardy to zone 3, so you should be fine leaving them outside. In fact, they need a period of cold weather to go truly dormant. However if a freak polar vortex were to descend sometime this winter, I’d pull them inside temporarily just to be on the safe side! Good luck!

  4. Kim

    I am so glad I found your website. Our slug hatchlings in Sedro Woolley feel like a zombie invasion. We love hosta and brought some from our suburban house and they are GONE. Can you tell me a good place to purchase these varieties?

    • Lorie

      Hi Kim! Unfortunately the nursery I ordered most of my hostas from has closed. I think there are a few other online nurseries out there that offer hostas but I can’t give any specific recommendations. Good luck!


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