The Q&A Archives: Rodent-Resistant Bulbs

Question: I've read that no animal will eat any part of the narcissus, allium and fritileria bulbs (sorry 'bout that last spelling). Are there any other hardy bulbs this can be said for? I'm hesitant to plant any other kinds of bulbs for fear they'll be eaten like my tulips were.

Answer: Here is a list of other bulbs reputed to be "least attractive to rodents": Spring-flowering: Camassia (wild hyacinth), Convallaria (lily of the valley), Galanthus (snowdrops), Hyacinth, and Scilla (squill); summer and fall-flowering: Anemone, Oxalis, Crocosmia.

Why limit yourself to the bulbs animals won't eat? There are a number of ways to deter the pests. If your problem is underground rodents such as moles or gophers, you can plant your bulbs in wire mesh cages or try surrounging the bulbs with coarse gravel when planting. If your problem is above ground pests such as rabbits, deer, or squirrels, there are repellents such as Ro-pel, Bonide rabbit-deer repellent, hot pepper spray, garlic, blood meal, and vinegar. Repellents can also be applied to the bulbs before planting.

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