Finally, my beautiful purple chrysanthemum had bloomed. It was the pride and joy of my garden.
I was, however, oblivious to the fact that a cheeky squirrel had also noticed my chrysanthemum and was already making plans with the rest of their scurry (group of squirrels) to dig it out of its pot and make a quick snack of it.
I obviously wanted to protect my beautiful flowers from the local band of squirrels, but how?
My friend who has a homestead had some great tips!
How to Keep Squirrels Away from Flowers
The best ways to keep squirrels away from your flowers are mixing or sprinkling human or dog hair, cayenne pepper, or vinegar into the soil. Other methods include planting flowers and veggies that squirrels dislike, motion-activated repellents, peppermint oil, having predators, and placing barriers.
5 Signs There Are Squirrels in Your Garden
When it comes to squirrels, there are some very obvious telltale signs that they are visiting (and destroying) your garden:
- Missing fruit and vegetables
- Snacking on bulbs
- Signs of digging and upturned soil
- Bird food in the feeder suddenly drops at a rapid rate
- Stripped tree bark
10 Peaceful Tips: How to Keep Squirrels Away From Your Flowers
When a scurry of squirrels decides they like your garden, they become a menace and quite destructive.
Obviously, you’d like to keep them away from your flowers. Luckily, there are several humane and gentle ways you can keep squirrels away from your flowers:
Tip 1: Barriers to Cover Plants
Using a physical barrier (such as netting or wire) to cover your plants is one of the most effective tips to keep squirrels out.
Remember that squirrels can squeeze through a 2-inch gap, so using very small, chew-proof mesh or fencing is necessary if you don’t want the squirrel to get through.
Squirrels are natural diggers, so if your fence or barrier is not deep enough, they will simply dig underneath it to get to your flowers.
If your flowers are in pots like my chrysanthemum, then there are two ways you can use a barrier to protect your pot plants:
- Purchase mesh wire from any hardware store and cover the top of your pot plants. I recommend putting a layer of gravel inside the pot to prevent any digging.
- Cover your pot plants with aluminum foil and poke holes in it, so you can water them. Squirrels spook easily, and they won’t like seeing their shiny reflection.
Tip 2: Get a Dog
Adopting a dog is a fantastic repellent against squirrels, as your dog will bark loudly at them if they try to get near your flowers, let alone your garden.
The smell of your dog’s urine will also keep them at bay.
Tip 3: Natural Repellents
There are many natural, humane repellents you can use that won’t disrupt the harmony in your garden, such as:
- Sprinkle bone meal or blood meal over your flower beds. Squirrels are herbivores, so the scent of animal byproducts like the blood will keep them away.
- Consider putting up an owl nesting box in your garden to attract the birds of prey to hunt squirrels.
- Sprinkle garlic pepper around your flower beds. The taste will repel the squirrel, and they won’t come back for more.
Tip 4: Unattractive Flower Bulbs
Planting flower bulbs that squirrels aren’t attracted to is a great deterrent.
There are several bulbs squirrels find repulsive:
- Ornamental alliums
Tip 5: Motion-Activated Repellents
I recommend motion-activated repellents, as this worked very well in my garden.
When the squirrel sneaks up to your flower pot, the motion detector detects them, and they are either drenched in water as the sprinklers spring to life or zapped with an awful high-pitched, ultrasonic sound that sends them scurrying away.
Tip 6: Dirt Covered Mouse Traps
A mousetrap might not sound peaceful, but I assure you this works, and the squirrels will not be harmed.
Anchor a mousetrap to the ground near your flower bed, and cover it with a piece of newspaper and sand.
When the squirrel digs, it will set off the mousetrap, but it will not snap shut on the squirrel because it’s anchored to the ground.
Instead, the sudden and unexpected loud crack will send the squirrel running.
Tip 7: Cayenne Pepper
Sprinkling cayenne pepper in your pot plants and around your flower beds will repel squirrels as they don’t like its taste or smell.
You may have to re-sprinkle the cayenne pepper every two weeks, as watering your garden or rainfall washes the smell away.
Tip 8: Human Hair
I didn’t believe this at first, but after trying this in my chrysanthemum pots, I was amazed at the results.
Squirrels dislike the smell of human hair (and urine — yes, people use watered-down urine as well).
Sprinkling hair in your pot plants or flower beds will keep the squirrels away. A bonus is that human hair makes an excellent mulch for your garden and provides good nutrients for the soil.
Ensure the hair you use is unwashed with no dyes, as the chemicals can affect your plants.
You will also need to sprinkle new hair every so often, as the hair can lose its smell after a while.
Tip 9: Homemade Repellents
Homemade repellents are fantastic at peacefully keeping squirrels away.
A solution of the following works:
- 4 cups of water
- ½ a bottle of hot sauce
- 3 drops of vegetable oil or dish soap
- A spray bottle
Pour all the ingredients inside a spray bottle, closing its lid tightly, before shaking it well.
Spray the mix on any plants or flower beds you want to protect. When it rains, you’ll need to spray again.
Tip 10: Peppermint Oil
Using peppermint oil is a great natural repellent for squirrels, as it has a very strong smell that can overwhelm them.
Sprinkle some oil on your plants’ leaves, or mix some peppermint essential oil with petroleum jelly. Rub this mix along the stalks of your plants.
Peppermint oil is not harmful to plants or animals, but the strong smell keeps the squirrels away.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Keep Squirrels Away from Flowers
Do coffee grounds keep squirrels away?
Squirrels don’t like the strong smell of coffee grounds and will steer clear of any plants or flower beds that have coffee grounds sprinkled on them. You can also mix coffee with water and spray the plants.
Why do squirrels dig in flower pots?
Most squirrels dig in flower pots because the soil is soft, and they can bury their food in the pot to keep it safe. Another reason squirrels might dig in flower pots is to dig out the flower bulb, making a tasty meal.
What smells do squirrels hate?
Squirrels have sensitive noses and hate strong smelling scents, such as vinegar, cayenne pepper, urine from predators, soap, human hair, rosemary, and cinnamon.
Final Thoughts on Keeping Squirrels Away From Flowers
Once a squirrel or a scurry of squirrels has taken a liking to your garden, it can become a real problem, as they can be very destructive by uprooting plants and digging into your flower beds while searching for insects or tasty flower bulbs.
I prefer to use peaceful methods to discourage and repel squirrels, such as making mulch out of human hair, which I can happily say has kept my squirrel problem under control.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.