The Q&A Archives: Flowers to Discourage Animals

Question: Are there flowers to plant around the perimeter of a veggie and herb garden that will discourage animal pests like groundhogs, skunks, rabbits, squirrels? I lost a lot of veggies to animals last year and we have all of those animals in low numbers in our downtown neighborhood. I have heard that some flowers give off scents or something that animals do not like. Maybe marigolds? Any help that you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

Answer: Although thorny plants might discourage pets, and some gardeners report luck in some cases using lavender or other aromatic herbs in deterring deer, the animals you listed are very persistent critters and I don't know of any plants that would work consistently. In my experience the only reliable long term solution for an ongoing problem is a fence. As an alternative, you might have success using either homemade or commercially available garlic or pepper repellent sprays, or perhaps the animal-specific products such as the "Get Away" sprays or even the commercially available predator urines. Good luck with your garden!

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