The Q&A Archives: squirrel resistant plantings

Question: I know squirrels eat crocus bulbs - mine have all been dug up. Do they eat Lilly of the Valley also?
Do you have a list of squirrel resistant plantings similar to the deer resistant lists I have obtained??
Thanks, Jill

Answer: There are a number of plants that squirrels generally do not bother. Among them are Allium unifolium
Common Name: Ornamental Onion
A beautiful variety with tiny, bright pink star-shaped flowers that make the best showing when planted close together in groups.

Alocasia macrorrhiza
Common Name: Elephant Ear Upright
Elephant Ears boast immense, spectacular foliage for planting in full sun to partial shade. Wonderful additions to the landscape or when planted in large containers. They add a little bit of the tropics to your garden.

Amaryllis Belladonna
Common Name: Surprise Lily
Amaryllis Belladonna produces large clusters of sweet scented rosy-pink flowers, which appear after the foliage has died down. Leaves remain green during winter in mild climates.

Anemone blanda 'Blue Shades'
Common Name: Wind Flower
The color of these low-growing anemones varies from purple to lilac. If you plant them close to each other, they make excellent ground covers.

Arum Italicum
Common Name: Lord and Ladies
Arum italicum not only grows wild in Italy but also in Southern France and Spain, so it is a real Mediterranean plant. What makes this Arum so different is that its beautifully shaped. Marked and veined leaves appear in autumn and stay green all winter. Its inflorescence, the only conspicuous part being its soft yellow-green bract, consists of a spadix. The plant's foliage withers back during the summer while pretty, orange-red berries appear in autumn.

Astilbe 'Visions'
Common Name: Astilbe
Long dense lavender plumes with neon pink highlights.

Begonia Novelty 'dark leaf ruby'
Common Name: begonia novelty
"Dark Leaf" Begonia are an exotic touch to any garden. The rich dark foliage with contrasting leaf veins are the perfect accent for the double flowers.

Begonia ruffled 'Pink', 'Red', 'White', or 'Yellow'
Common Name: Carnation Begonia

Caladium fancy leaf 'Aaron'
Common Name: Angel Wings
Caladiums are popular because of their attractive, long-lasting foliage. They grow well in full to partial shade. they are also superior indoor plants, excellent in the garden and superb for the water garden.

Campsis 'Red'
Common Name: Trumpet Vine
Large, trumpet-shaped blooms simply glow in the summer garden, appearing profusely on handsome bright-green vines for months on end. Hummingbirds can't resist it! Trumpet Vines are among the last woody plants to leaf out in spring, but your patience will be rewarded with amazingly vigorous growth.

Canna 'Color Clown'
Common Name: Canna Medium
Wonderfully unique blooms are just the icing on the cake when it comes to Cannas The large foliage produced by these plants is truly beautiful. Cannas will bloom throughout the warm season. Excellent for borders, and containers.

Clematis 'Comtesse de Bouchard'
Common Name: Clematis
Medium size mauve-pink flowers in profusion. Cream anthers. Typical of the late flowering hybrids, this variety is free-flowering and reliable. Vines are strong and vigorous.

Convallaria 'Majalis'
Common Name: Lily of the Valley
A true classic! Convallaria is known for its tiny delicate bell shaped flowers, and will perfume the woodland garden in mid spring. Five to eight dainty little flowers hang from each arched stem. These long-lasting flowers are lovely for small bouquets.

Crocosmia 'crocosmiiflora Emily McKenzie'
Common Name: Montbretia
A vigorous growing variety with bright orange exotic flowers, adding vibrant color to your garden. Flowers in summer for about four weeks. Excellent cut-flower.

Common Name: Dahlia
Effective in borders and patio containers, this Dahlia variety produces an abundance of flowers (up to 40 per plant) and is well adapted for summer landscaping, adding a dash of color just where it is needed.

Dicentra 'spectabilis White'
Common Name: Bleeding Heart
An old-time favorite! Bleeding Heart originated in eastern Asia. The graceful stems are loaded with tiny flowers that look like miniature hearts.

Freesia double 'Assorted Colors'
Common Name: Freesia
Our dazzling multicolored assortment (featuring vivid reds, bright golds, luminous pinks, dusky blues and pristine whites) bears an abundance of blooms. Every bit as fragrant as the single varieties, and with twice the petals on each flower for a showier effect.

Gladioli 'Butterfly'
Common Name: Glads
Butterfly Gladioli are shorter than their large-flowering sibling (no staking!). They are exceptional for planting in borders, in perennial garden or in a container, an make a wonderful cut flower.

Here are a few other suggestions for squirrel control:

1. To repel squirrels: Mix Naphthalene flakes, gypsum, and chile pepper. Spread around the problem areas.

2. Bulbs: soak them in Ropel before planting and squirrels will leave them alone. You can also dust them with medicated baby powder.

3. Put sheet metal collars on trees to keep them from climbing the trunks. Prune back any access limbs also.

4. To keep squirrels from the bird feeders in winter try growing witch hazel, Hamamelis virginiana. It can be grown in the East and Midwest. They grow underneath trees and can continue blooming into December. The flowers form a seed pod that will eventually shoot out the seeds on the ground which supplies squirrels with some winter forage.
5. Sprinkle pepper or paprika around squirrel prone areas.

6. Using any type of "sticky barrier" can be effective as the squirrels' hate the sticky feeling on their paws.

7. For pole type bird feeders: grease the pole with petroleum jelly. They will get the message pretty quick and go elsewhere for goodies.

8. Learn to get along with them. We have squirrels who do get into the bird feeders but in general cause no trouble at all! In 15 years they have dug up some bulbs one time and that is it!

9. Plant Fritillaria imperialis bulbs in the area of plants that you want to protect. Supposedly they have a particular smell that squirrels and chipmunks find repulsive. They are certainly beautiful plants and a great addition to your garden!

10. Beware that water features will attract squirrels and chipmunks too!

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