Ways To Prevent Animals From Eating Your Flowering Bulbs - Backyard Boss
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Ways To Prevent Animals From Eating Your Flowering Bulbs

Fall is a great time to plant some spring flowering blooms, but as you admire your handiwork, you may notice that some of your bulbs seem to be missing. At this point, you’re probably assuming that squirrels, deer, voles, or chipmunks got to them first. And you would be right.

Did you know that there are things you can do to keep those pesky critters from raiding your garden? Below you’ll find some tips on how to protect your flower bulbs from animals. So read on and learn how to keep those furry friends at bay!

Plant Less Yummy Bulbs

Woman holding wooden crate with spring flower bulbs ready for fall planting
Image credits: JulieK2 via Shutterstock

Some wildlife is naturally drawn to bulbs, especially tulips and crocus. While not their first choice, when food sources become scarce in the fall and winter, these delectable flowers often fall victim to hungry voles, chipmunks, and sometimes deer. Gardeners would do well to keep this in mind when planning their spring gardens!

Instead, consider planting some of the following bulbs:

Camassia (Camassia leichtlinii)– Typical bloom time is April to May. Thrives in full sun to part shade and tolerates moist, yet fertile and well drained soil. Is known to be deer resistant.

Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)- Typical bloom time is August to September. Thrives in full sun to part shade and flourishes in medium moist, yet fertile soil. Is also known to be deer and rabbit resistant.

Snowdrops (Galanthus)- Typical bloom time is January to March. Thrives in partly shady areas and prefers moist yet well-drained soil. Is known to be animal resistant, although you may have an issue with squirrels digging up dry bulbs.

Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa luciliae)- Typical bloom time is March to April. Thrives in full sun to part shade and flourishes in medium moist well drained soil. Is also known to be animal, especially deer, resistant.

Daffodils (Narcissus) Typical bloom time is spring. Thrives in full sun to part shade and grows in well drained soil. Is also known to be animal, especially deer, resistant.

Build a Cage

Caged Strawberry Plant
Image credits: Peter Turner Photography via Shutterstock

Another option is to protect your bulbs by setting up some kind of barrier. For example, a fence or row of chicken wire around, and under, the perimeter of the planting area – to keep out animals like voles and deer that may burrow under, or jump over, a regular fence.

To build a cage, you can use ½-inch galvanized hardware cloth. Simply create cages with the cloth, place your flower bulbs inside, and bury the entire cage at the proper planting depth. Your bulbs will be protected from pests, and you’ll still get to enjoy the beauty of their blooms year after year.

Use Repellants

soap bars
Image credits: bbbrrn via Canva

One important way to protect your flowering bulbs from hungry animals is by using repellants. These products can help keep away squirrels, deer, rabbits, and other rodents that may cause damage to your beautiful plants and flowers.

A popular choice includes hot pepper sprays mixed with insecticidal soap or powders that create an irritating effect on a deer. However, hot pepper sprays can damage your plants, so it’s best you test on a small area first.

Another repellant idea is using soap shavings to deter deer and mice. To use soap shavings for deterring these pests, simply gather up some old soap shavings from your bath or shower. Sprinkle them directly on the plants you want to protect. Deer and mice are sensitive to smell so you should start to see fewer deer and mice hanging around in no time!

One important thing to keep in mind when using repellants is that they are most effective when reapplied, especially after heavy rain.


Crushed seashells
Image credits: Prosto photos via Shutterstock

Crushed seashells are a great way to deter burrowing animals, like moles and gophers, from eating your precious bulbs. These little pests can cause serious damage to your garden by digging up the bulbs and destroying them. Luckily, crushed seashells make the perfect natural deterrent. They are sharp and jagged, so they cut through an animal’s skin as it tries to dig around in your garden. Slugs and snails are all deterred as they try climb over the pointed cracked shells.

To use these crushed seashells, simply sprinkle them in the hole where you plant the bulbs you want to protect. This will help keep those pesky critters away for good! If you’re looking for an easy way to keep your bulbs safe this season, give crushed seashells a try! You’ll be amazed by what a difference they can make.

Don’t Let Your Garden Become A Buffet!

Most pests are very persistent, so while there’s no guarantee that these tips will keep the animals away from your bulbs, they should help to deter them. So, put on your gardening gloves and get ready to protect those flowering bulbs!

Do you have any tips to add? Share them in the comments below. And don’t forget to share this article with your friends – they’ll thank you for it!