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How to Keep Squirrels Out of Potted Plants: 8 Easy Tricks (2023)

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keep squirrels out of potted plantsSquirrels have invaded your potted plants, haven’t they? I share your pain. Those mischievous, bushy-tailed rascals can create absolute havoc. However, don’t lose hope – you can regain control of your containers with clever strategies.

Were you aware that squirrels cause over $1 billion in property damage every year in the US alone? It’s indeed true. But fear not; you can retaliate without harming the environment or other critters. Here lie some of my finest tips for deterring squirrels naturally, allowing you to pot in tranquility once more.

Get a Pet

Get a Pet
You’d find a dog deters those critters from your pots. Experts recommend adopting a dog to naturally scare away squirrels from your potted plants.

Just a dog’s presence and occasional barking keeps squirrels on high alert. Try trimming nearby trees and bushes regularly so your dog has open sight lines to spot squirrels.

Place decorative pots up on stands or benches so your dog can patrol underneath. Use terra cotta clay pot liners to prevent your dog from tipping over pots while chasing squirrels.

Position pots in shaded locations where squirrels forage less. Supplement your pet with squirrel repellents like cayenne pepper or coffee grounds mixed into the soil.

Your faithful pup will become the best organic sentry, guarding your potted plants against those furry potted plant pests.

Using Coffee Grounds

Using Coffee Grounds
Employing coffee grounds as a strategic component in your gardening arsenal doesn’t just introduce a captivating aromatic dimension, but also presents a formidable solution in your ongoing quest to assert authority over relentless squirrel interlopers.

By deftly integrating these finely ground remnants from your morning brew into the soil that cradles your vibrant botanical assemblage, you embark on a journey of tactical deterrence.

Watering your potted plants infused with coffee-infused soil becomes a dual-purpose endeavor—nurturing your plants while emitting a fragrance that offends the sensitive olfactory senses of squirrels.

The nuances of plant types and container materials dovetail with the efficacy of this method. Whether robust succulents or delicate petunias, the choice of flora matters. Yet, the soil quality remains a constant concern; the coffee grounds enrich the earth with natural bitterness that undermines squirrels’ taste preferences.

A multifaceted approach unfolds as the coffee-infused soil serves not only as a barrier but also as a discouragement against digging. Squirrels, driven by their innate instincts, encounter a realm that challenges their primal inclinations.

The grittiness of the grounds poses an obstacle—an affirmation of your strategic manipulation of their environment.

In your unrelenting pursuit to reclaim control and liberate your potted plants from relentless raids, remember that each watering session, every infusion of coffee-scented nurturing, bolsters your dominion over your verdant domain.

The harmony of horticulture and tactical acumen is your means to uphold your botanical haven against the ceaseless ambitions of the squirrel realm.

Installing Chicken Wire

Installing Chicken Wire
Chicken wire is securely wrapped around the pots to thwart those pesky critters, preventing them from disturbing your plants’ roots. Sneaky squirrels, known for their invasive opportunistic behavior, are adept climbers, scaling most surfaces.

However, chicken wire acts as a climb-resistant shield, installing this barrier lets you reclaim control over your potted plants, safeguarding them from squirrel-induced havoc.

Squirrel behavior often involves digging, leading to muddy ground and upturned plants. To counter this, placing chicken wire on the soil’s surface creates an effective deterrent. This method not only prevents digging but also discourages access to tempting bulb targets.

Moreover, the strategic use of chicken wire extends protection beyond the pots themselves. Burying a mesh layer in the ground around the pots forms a glass fence, further deterring their advances.

Incorporating physical barriers like chicken wire into your defense strategy aligns with a methodical approach. As you tackle the challenge of squirrel-proofing your potted plants, remember that each defense layer enhances your control over your garden’s security.

Ultrasonic Sensors

Ultrasonic Sensors
Consider placing ultrasonic devices near potted plants to emit high-frequency sounds that will repel squirrels without harming people or pets. Ultrasonic sensors work by emitting inaudible, high-pitched frequencies that deter squirrels from entering the protected area.

The sounds are unpleasant and irritating to squirrels, but humans can’t hear them. Place the devices near potted plants that squirrels tend to disturb. Effective coverage requires multiple devices.

Position them around the perimeter, angled inward. This creates an ultrasonic perimeter that blankets the entire area. The sounds will repel squirrels from approaching pots to dig, forage, or gather nesting materials.

Unlike poisons and traps, ultrasonic repellents are humane and safe. They leverage a squirrel’s keen hearing against them. The sounds exploit their heightened sensitivity to high frequencies, creating an invisible force field.

Ultrasonic devices allow you to reclaim your outdoor space and protect plants without harming local squirrels. The sounds will encourage squirrels to fulfill territorial behaviors like digging, foraging, and nest-building elsewhere.

Potted plants can flourish, free from squirrel pillaging. With perseverance and adaptability, ultrasonic repellents provide a gentle, effective deterrent.

Pebble Barrier

Pebble Barrier

Previously, we discussed using ultrasonic devices to deter squirrels from potted plants. Now let’s focus on utilizing pebbles as an effective physical barrier.

Start by purchasing large, smooth pebbles or river rocks. Before replanting, place a single layer of pebbles over the soil’s surface in your pots and planters. Coat the entire top of the soil with the pebbles. Their smooth texture prevents squirrels from getting a grip or grasp when attempting to dig in the dirt.

With this pebble barrier in place, any squirrel that hops onto the pot will be unable to dig through to the soil and roots below. The rocks are an annoying obstacle that deters them from disturbing your plants’ soil and bulbs. If you spot squirrel activity or new squirrel sightings around your pots, simply check that the pebble layer remains intact. Replace any that may have been displaced.

Using natural rocks as a deterrent barrier utilizes readily available materials. It avoids the need for chemical sprays or other homemade repellents. With proper usage and maintenance, a pebble barrier can provide effective, long-term squirrel control for your potted plants.

Essential Oils for Deterrence

Essential Oils for Deterrence
To enhance your approach to deterring those persistent critters, explore the invigorating realm of essential oils, harnessing their aromatic powers to discourage unwelcome visitors from your precious green sanctuaries.

Certain essential oils, like peppermint, lemongrass, and citrus oils, possess natural scents that squirrels find displeasing. Give this method a try: mix a few drops of these potent oils into a spray bottle filled with water and mist the mixture around your pots.

For even longer-lasting pot protection, strategically place cotton balls soaked in essential oils around your plants. Remember to rotate the scents on a weekly basis to prevent squirrels from becoming accustomed to them.

As an additional squirrel-repelling bonus, these invigorating scents can also elevate your mood while nurturing your plants.

With this simple and natural approach, you will effectively safeguard your plants while infusing your outdoor spaces with refreshing and uplifting fragrances.

  • Lemongrass oil serves as a deterrent against digging and nibbling.
  • Peppermint oil overwhelms squirrel senses.
  • Citrus oils, such as orange, grapefruit, and lemon, effectively repel rodents.

Natural Methods for Squirrel Control

Natural Methods for Squirrel Control
Embrace the aromatic strength of garlic, lemon, and orange scents to naturally discourage those persistent critters from invading your leafy havens. Utilize natural repellents strategically, drawing from time-tested botanical wisdom.

Create a concentrated citrus spray by boiling orange and lemon peels. After straining the mixture, decant it into a spray bottle for targeted application around vulnerable planters. For enhanced protection, incorporate puréed garlic cloves or dried citrus peels directly into the soil.

This will imbue planted bulbs and roots with a protective aura. Boost your defenses by planting herbs like mint, catnip, and rue. These plants release odors that overwhelm squirrels’ sensitive noses when brushed against or crushed underfoot.

To maximize effectiveness, position these aromatic allies along borders or weave their stems through wire fencing. With persistence and care in refreshing applications, you can leverage the potent power of natural scents to claim dominion over your garden.

The strategic utilization of these natural repellents draws from well-established botanical wisdom, nourishing your garden’s beauty while driving away furry invaders.

Preventing Squirrel Digging

Preventing Squirrel Digging
Protect your bulbs by caging those suckers in. Squirrels dig for various reasons, putting the integrity of your potted plants at risk.

Implement smart tactics to prevent their disruptive digging. Start by securing chicken wire with paddle wire across the soil’s surface; this will block holes and discourage their excavation efforts.

To further deter them, sprinkle cayenne pepper around your plants. The pungent scent acts as a natural squirrel repellent.

For added protection, consider covering the surface with plastic bird netting. This will prevent their access to the soil.

Also, think about organic methods. Plant daffodils – their bulbs are unappetizing to squirrels.

You can also utilize a homemade squirrel repellent made from vinegar, water, and essential oils.

Mothballs can also discourage these critters, but use them sparingly due to their toxicity.

Be cautious with homemade remedies to avoid skin irritation.

Incorporate these practices into your approach to gain control over squirrel-induced havoc.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.