If you have a garden, then you know that the biggest challenge is keeping the pests away. One of the most common pests is the squirrel. These little critters can wreak havoc on your plants, eating everything in sight.
However, there are some plants that squirrels hate and will not eat. If you are looking to keep your garden squirrel-free, then be sure to include these ten plants in your garden and try some of our other tips and tricks listed below!
The Plants that Squirrels Will Not Eat
Not only will they eat the flowers, fruit and stocks of plants, squirrels are also notorious for digging up the bulbs and roots before the plants can even sprout. They then stockpile these for the lean winter months just as they do with nuts. Here is a list of plants that squirrels hate and will not eat:
Allium can produce up to eight-foot blue-green stocks with stunning blue, purple, red, white, pink and yellow spherical blossoms reaching six to 12 inches across. Being a member of the onion family, allium blooms have the distinctive trademark odor and taste that keeps them off the squirrel’s preferred-food list.
These are shade-loving and easy-to-care-for perennials that grow quickly and can reach up to three-feet tall. The plant’s characteristic heart-shaped flowers are red, white or pink and bloom from late spring to early summer. Mild stomach upset can occur if the plant is ingested so it acts as a deterrent to animals like squirrels, rabbits and deer.
Daffodils are a popular spring flower that bloom for weeks and thrive both in gardens and flower pots. Most varieties can grow up to 30 inches and have a bell-shaped central cup surrounded by a ring of petals. While the most common colors are white and yellow, there are also red and pink varieties. Squirrels avoid daffodils as the plant contains a toxic chemical that animals find distasteful.
Dianthus is a low-maintenance plant that produce spicy clove-scented flowers in virtually every color except blue. These flowers grow from four to 36 inches tall, depending on the variety, and up to 24 inches across. Dianthus are commonly used for borders on gardens and walkways and grow well in flower pots, but do require at least six hours of full sun. The plant attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees, however dianthus has a bitter taste and is mildly toxic to animals so squirrels give it a pass.
Fritillary are easy to pick out of a sea of flowers with the crown imperial’s blossoms being red, orange or yellow topped with a tuft of foliage resembling a pineapple. The checkered variety sports a bunch of purple, green or white nodding cup-shape blossoms on a hardy green stem. The crown imperial especially has a skunky odor that squirrels and other animals find unpleasant so these flowers are great for planting near other species to act as guardians.
Sometimes called “snowdrops,” “milk flowers” or “drooping white violets” because of their hanging bell-shaped white blossoms, galanthus are great for rock gardens and borders. Galanthus grow best in filtered sunlight, are very tolerant of moist soil and pop right back up after surprise spring snowfalls.
This eastern Mediterranean perennial can grow nine- to 14-inches tall and is rodent-resistant due to it pungent aroma.
Goldenrod is a genus of over 100 species across and thrives in a variety of latitudes. Named for its bright golden blossoms, goldenrod is often falsely accused of triggering allergies as it is frequently confused with ragweed that comes into bloom at about the same time as goldenrod. This hardy perennial grows to over six-feet tall and attracts bees and butterflies, however it has an unpleasant taste that squirrels do not like.
Thanks to extensive hybridization, hyacinth plants come in a wide variety of colors. These plants have chubby leaves arranged around a tight central group of blossoms and are known to have strong squirrel repellent properties. The secret to the plant’s success as a squirrel repellent lies in its characteristic sweet-smelling scent that is pleasant to humans, but detested by squirrels. Hyacinth works best for squirrel control when used as boundary plants to create a hedge around your garden.
Irises are named after the Greek goddess of the rainbow and produced blossoms in a wide variety of colors from white to black with the most common being purple, white and yellow. Irises can reach heights of six to 12 inches with bearded varieties growing up to four feet. The majority of irises bloom in spring and/or summer and some varieties produce flowers in summer and again in the fall. Iris are known to be toxic to animals so squirrels won’t go after them.
Lily of the Valley
Contrary to its name, Lily of the Valley is actually a member of the Asparagaceae family. This plant is an ultra-hardy perennial that prefers cold weather. It does best in zones six and seven and struggles in others. It will grow to 18-inches tall, performs best in full or partial shade and does not like sunny or hot, dry climates. While Lily of the Valley has a sweet aromatic aroma, it is toxic to animals and people as well if eaten.
Reference: Better Homes and Gardens: Plant Encyclopedia
Consider Using Squirrel Repellents
There are four classifications of squirrel repellent that work to keep the rodents away from areas you don’t want them to go, without harming the squirrel. Squirrel repellents should be rotated and/or combined for best results.
1) Physical barriers like fencing or netting, trimming tree branches back from areas you don’t want squirrels to enter and metal sheeting around tree trunks will keep squirrels at bay.
2) Pets like cats and dogs will keep squirrels out of your yard.
3) Predator scents, like fox urine granules, can be detected for miles and work well at keeping squirrels away from your home and gardens.
4) Electronic devices like motorized scarecrows are meant to scare squirrels away.
Give The Squirrels an Easier Food Source
A better solution is to provide a squirrel-friendly area with an alternate food source so squirrels won’t have to go looking for food.
Cheap cracked corn, sunflower seeds and peanuts will keep the rodents happy and away from your gardens, bird feeders and trees.
We all know that squirrels can wreak havoc on our gardens by digging up plants, eating seeds and flowers, and leaving behind their droppings. If you’re looking for a way to keep the furry critters out of your garden without using harmful chemicals or traps, then be sure to incorporate one (or more) of these ten squirrel-resistant plants into your landscaping!
What plant has been most successful at keeping them away from your yard? Leave a comment below and let us know what worked (or didn’t) for you!