Updated: May 8, 2022

Slugs are a common problem for gardeners and can be particularly damaging to elephant ear plants. These slimy pests can quickly eat through the leaves, leaving your plant looking damaged and unsightly. Fortunately, there are several ways to get rid of slugs and prevent them from coming back.

Identify the Problem

Before you can effectively get rid of slugs on your elephant ear plant, you must first identify the problem. Look for slime trails on the leaves and stems of your plant as well as irregular holes in the leaves. You may also see the slugs themselves hiding in the soil or under leaves.

Remove Attractants

One way to prevent slugs from infesting your elephant ear plant is by removing attractants from your garden. Slugs are attracted to moist environments, so avoid over-watering your plant and ensure that the soil is well-draining. Additionally, remove any debris or organic matter from around your plant to eliminate potential hiding spots for slugs.


If you have a small infestation of slugs, you may be able to remove them by handpicking. Simply go out at night with a flashlight and pick off any slugs that you see on your plant. This method can be time-consuming but is an effective way to eliminate small populations of slugs.

Use Natural Predators

Another option for controlling slug populations is by introducing natural predators into your garden. Nematodes are microscopic worms that feed on slugs and can be purchased at many garden centers. Similarly, birds such as ducks, chickens, and songbirds will happily eat slugs if given access to your garden.

Use Barriers

A physical barrier can also be an effective way to keep slugs off of your elephant ear plant. Copper tape, crushed eggshells, and diatomaceous earth all work as barriers to prevent slugs from crawling onto your plant. These methods are particularly effective for potted plants, as you can create a ring around the base of the pot to keep slugs out.

Use Slug Baits

If all else fails, slug baits can be an effective way to eliminate slug populations. There are several types of slug baits available, ranging from natural options such as beer traps and coffee grounds to chemical options that contain metaldehyde or iron phosphate. Be sure to read the label carefully and follow all safety precautions when using slug baits.


Are slugs harmful to my elephant ear plant?

Yes, slugs can cause significant damage to your elephant ear plant by eating through the leaves and stems.

Can I use salt to get rid of slugs on my elephant ear plant?

While salt can be effective at killing slugs, it is not recommended for use on plants as it can damage the soil and harm beneficial organisms.

Can I prevent slugs from infesting my garden in the first place?

Yes, there are several ways to prevent slugs from infesting your garden including removing attractants, using natural predators, and creating physical barriers.

Can I eat elephant ear plants if they have been infested with slugs?

No, it is not recommended to eat plants that have been infested with slugs as they may carry harmful bacteria or parasites.