Updated: October 6, 2022

Donkey ear plant, also known as Elephant’s Ear or Alocasia, is a tropical plant that is popular for its large and distinctive leaves. However, it is not immune to pests, particularly snails. Snails can cause damage to the leaves and weaken the plant if left uncontrolled. Here are some effective ways to get rid of snails on donkey ear plants.

Identify the Signs of Snail Infestation

The first step in getting rid of snails on donkey ear plants is to identify the signs of infestation. The most common signs include holes in the leaves, slime trails, and even the presence of snails themselves. Check both the top and bottom of the leaves for these signs.


One of the easiest and most effective ways to get rid of snails on donkey ear plants is by handpicking them off the leaves. This method is best done early in the morning or late in the evening when snails are most active. Using gloves to protect your hands, pick them off one by one and dispose of them appropriately.

Set Up Barriers

Snails can be deterred from climbing up donkey ear plants by setting up barriers around them. Copper tape or mesh can be wrapped around the base of the plant or placed around the rim of pots to keep snails away. Another option is to sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the base of the plant. This will create a barrier that will scratch and dehydrate the snails as they try to climb over it.

Use Natural Predators

Introducing natural predators such as nematodes, frogs or ducks can help control snail populations on donkey ear plants. Nematodes are microscopic worms that can be added to soil, where they will feed on snail eggs and larvae. Frogs or ducks will eat snails as part of their natural diet. However, it’s important to note that introducing predators can also have negative effects on other parts of the ecosystem, so be sure to research the potential impact before attempting this method.

Apply Natural Repellents

There are several natural repellents that can help keep snails away from donkey ear plants. One effective option is to spray the leaves with a mixture of water and vinegar or garlic. The strong smell will deter snails from climbing on the leaves. Alternatively, a solution of beer and sugar can be placed in shallow dishes around the plant. The snails will be attracted to the mixture and drown.

Use Chemical Control

If all else fails, chemical control may be necessary. There are several pesticides available that are effective against snails. However, it’s important to use them carefully and according to the instructions on the label. Never apply pesticides to plants that are in bloom, and keep in mind that they can also harm beneficial insects like bees.


Can snails cause permanent damage to donkey ear plants?

Yes, if left uncontrolled, snails can cause serious damage to donkey ear plants, including holes in the leaves and weakened stems.

Can I use salt to kill snails on my donkey ear plant?

While salt is an effective way to kill snails, it can also damage the plant if overused. It’s better to use one of the other methods mentioned above that are less harmful to the plant.

How often should I check my donkey ear plant for snail infestations?

It’s a good idea to check your donkey ear plant for snail infestations regularly, especially during warm and wet weather when snails are most active.

Are there any natural predators that won’t harm my donkey ear plant?

Nematodes and ducks are two natural predators that won’t harm your donkey ear plant. However, it’s important to research the potential impact before introducing any new species to your garden.

In conclusion, snails can be a nuisance on donkey ear plants, but there are several effective ways to get rid of them. Handpicking, setting up barriers, introducing natural predators, applying natural repellents or using chemical control are all viable options. Choose the method that works best for you and your garden, and remember to take care when using pesticides or introducing new species to your ecosystem.