The Q&A Archives: Ice Plants And Birds

Question: How can I stop the birds from eating the Ice plants. I have put a cage around them but the cages do not enhance to landscape. Is there a spray or something I can use that will not harm the birds or plants?

Answer: Unfortunately, ice plants are succulent delicacies as far as the birds are concerned, and since we are in such a severe drought condition in the low desert this year, the desert flora isn't providing the birds with much to eat. I'm not aware of any sprays that work to keep birds away. There are two tactics you can use to keep birds from eating your plants: scaring them away and using barriers around your plants. Scaring is usually temporary. Barriers work better, but as you noted, they are not always pleasing to look at. Products such as the Great Horned Owl sentry (an owl-shaped flag made of mylar) wave in the breeze and scare birds away. You can also fashion your own flags using strips of reflective, lightweight fabric. There are the old standbys such as hanging aluminum pie pans from tree branches, metallic reflective tape, wind chimes. These do work for some folks on some birds, especially if you keep changing and moving them about. Or, barriers can be draped or erected over your plants to make the fruits inaccessible to birds. You might want to consider a bird bath to provide an alternate source of water. Good luck!

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