Home Gardening How to Keep Squirrels Out of Potted Plants

How to Keep Squirrels Out of Potted Plants – GIY Plants

Squirrel digging in a blue flower pot on the concrete patio.

As charming as they may seem, squirrels pose a real threat to our potted plants. These furry critters are searching for food and a place to bury their findings; unfortunately, our potted plants serve as perfect spots.

Squirrels dig up the soil, ruin the plant’s root system, and disrupt the growth of our cherished plants. Understanding this is the first step to ensuring your potted plants are squirrel-free.

9 Ways to Keep Squirrels Out of Potted Plants

squirrel sitting in a barrel sytle flower pot of succulents outside.

Create a Physical Barrier

One of the most effective ways to keep squirrels out of potted plants is to create a physical barrier. Doing this can be as simple as placing chicken wire or bird netting around the plants. Putting these around the pots deters squirrels from getting close enough to cause damage. However, remember that it’s crucial to check the barriers regularly for any gaps or damage.

Utilize Repellents

Repellents provide another layer of protection for your potted plants. Squirrels are known to be put off by certain scents and tastes, making repellents an excellent protection method.

Make homemade squirrel repellent sprays using cayenne or hot pepper sauce diluted in water. By pouring this mixture into a spray bottle and applying it around your plants, you create a smell and taste barrier that squirrels find undesirable.

Natural Repellents as a Safe Alternative

In addition to commercially available repellents, several natural options can help to deter squirrels. Blood meal, mothballs, dog hair, and even human hair are known to discourage squirrels from digging around your plants. These natural repellents keep the squirrels at bay and are safe and non-toxic.

Harness the Power of Reflective Objects

Surprisingly, something as simple as an old CD can keep squirrels away from your plants. Hang these around your plants. The reflective nature of CDs can scare away squirrels, providing additional protection for your potted plants.

Introduce a Natural Predator

Cat laying with squirrel in the grass outside.

If you’re looking for a long-term solution to keep squirrels away, consider introducing a natural predator like a cat into your home or garden. Cats are known to chase squirrels away, making them an excellent deterrent. However, it’s important to remember that this option comes with its responsibilities.

Make Use of Motion Sensor Devices

With technological advances, we now have access to devices that use motion sensors to deter squirrels. Once triggered, these devices release a burst of water or a loud sound, effectively scaring away any squirrel nearby. They don’t cause harm to the squirrels but do keep them away from your potted plants.

Cleanliness as a Deterrent

Keeping the area around your potted plants clean is another effective way to deter squirrels. Any fallen fruits, nuts, or seeds can attract squirrels, so cleaning up any food source that might tempt them is essential. Regularly clean the outside of the pots and the surrounding area to minimize attraction.

Using Mulch and Rocks as Deterrents

Using mulch around your plants can serve as an effective deterrent for squirrels. Squirrels are notorious diggers and find it challenging to burrow through dense materials such as mulch. Mulch is a valuable ally in keeping our potted plants squirrel-free.

However, let’s explore an even more effective deterrent – rocks. Incorporating a layer of minor to medium-sized stones on top of your soil or mulch can provide an additional line of defense. Squirrels find it challenging to shift rocks and are likely to move on to easier targets rather than exerting the energy needed to displace the stones.

Rocks also have the added benefit of being visually appealing, giving your potted plants a neat and organized look. While most stones can work, smooth river rocks are often chosen for their aesthetic appeal since they don’t provide a comfortable digging surface for squirrels.

Moreover, rocks help retain soil moisture, reducing the frequency of watering needed. They can also help control soil erosion in cases where your potted plants get exposed to wind or heavy rain.

Essential Oils

Small jar of peppermint essential oil with fresh peppermint leaves around it

Essential oils have gained popularity recently, and their usage extends beyond aromatherapy. Certain essential oils are effective deterrents against squirrels due to their potent scents. Squirrels have a strong sense of smell, and they find certain aromas to be overpowering and unpleasant.

Peppermint oil is a popular choice for repelling squirrels. These critters do not like the strong, minty aroma and tend to steer clear of it. Other effective essential oils include eucalyptus, cedarwood, and citronella.

To conclude, various methods can keep squirrels away from your potted plants, from creating physical barriers to using repellents. The key is to remain persistent and take consistent measures to deter these furry pests.

Remember, keeping your potted plants safe from squirrels requires patience and vigilance. With these strategies in place, you can ensure a thriving environment for your plants.

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