The Ultimate Guide: Plants Squirrels Won't Eat

what plants will squirrels not eat

Squirrels, with their cute and mischievous nature, often seem indiscriminate in their appetite for all things edible. However, when it comes to plants, there are actually a few types that squirrels tend to avoid. While these furry critters may be notorious for nibbling on your vegetable garden or raiding your bird feeders, there are certain plants that seem to be safe from their snacking tendencies. So, if you're looking to create a squirrel-proof garden or simply want to know which plants you can grow without fear of them being devoured, keep reading to discover the plants that squirrels tend to avoid.

Characteristics Values
Bitter taste Yes
Strong scent Yes
Spiky leaves Yes
Fuzzy texture Yes
Poisonous Yes
High tannin content Yes
Orange or red color Yes
Grown in shade Yes
Distinctive aroma Yes
Thorny branches Yes
Prickly texture Yes
Resistant to deer Yes
Resistant to rabbits Yes
Resistant to pests Yes
Native to certain regions Yes
Grown in high altitude Yes
Grown in rocky soil Yes
Grown in wet areas Yes
Grown near water bodies Yes
Grown in sandy soil Yes
Grown in dry conditions Yes


Squirrel-Resistant Plants for Your Garden

If you're tired of squirrels devouring the plants in your garden, it may be time to consider incorporating squirrel-resistant plants into your landscaping. While no plant is completely immune to hungry squirrels, there are several varieties that they tend to avoid due to their taste, smell, or texture. By strategically selecting these plants, you can create a garden that is less appealing or even downright unappetizing to squirrels. Here are some squirrel-resistant plants that you can consider adding to your garden:

  • Daffodils: These beautiful spring flowers are toxic to squirrels, making them an excellent choice for a squirrel-resistant garden. Plant them in large clusters to create a dazzling display that will deter squirrels from digging around in your flower beds.
  • Alliums: Squirrels tend to avoid plants that have a strong odor, making alliums a great choice for squirrel-proofing your garden. These plants, which include varieties such as garlic, onions, and chives, not only repel squirrels but also add a unique and eye-catching element to your landscape.
  • Foxglove: This colorful flower is toxic to squirrels, making it an effective deterrent in your garden. Its tall spikes and bell-shaped blooms will add height and visual interest, while also keeping squirrels at bay.
  • Marigolds: Marigolds not only add a pop of vibrant color to your garden but also repel squirrels with their strong scent. Plant them around the perimeter of your garden or intermingle them with other plants to create a natural barrier that squirrels will be reluctant to cross.
  • Catmint: Squirrels have an aversion to the smell of catmint, making it an excellent choice for a squirrel-resistant garden. This low-maintenance plant, which produces clusters of delicate blue flowers, is sure to add beauty and intrigue to your garden while keeping squirrels away.
  • Lavender: Known for its distinctive scent, lavender is a deterrent for squirrels. This fragrant herb not only repels squirrels but also attracts bees and butterflies, making it a great addition to any wildlife-friendly garden.
  • Rosemary: Squirrels dislike the strong aroma of rosemary, making it an effective deterrent plant. Grow it in pots or along the edges of your garden beds to keep squirrels at bay while enjoying its culinary uses in your kitchen.
  • Bleeding Heart: Squirrels tend to avoid bleeding heart plants due to their toxic nature. These beautiful perennials, with their delicate heart-shaped flowers, create an elegant addition to any garden and provide a natural deterrent against squirrels.
  • Hellebores: These winter-blooming plants not only add color to your garden during the colder months but also repel squirrels. Their toxin-filled leaves and bitter taste make them an unappealing choice for squirrels looking for a snack.
  • Peonies: Peonies are not a favorite food for squirrels thanks to their bitter taste. Plant these stunning flowers to deter hungry squirrels while also adding elegance and beauty to your garden.

By incorporating these squirrel-resistant plants into your garden, you can enjoy a landscape that is less attractive to squirrels. However, keep in mind that squirrels are resourceful creatures and may still find ways to nibble on your plants. Regularly monitor your garden and consider using additional squirrel deterrents such as fencing, netting, or squirrel repellents to ensure your plants remain safe and untouched.


Types of Plants That Squirrels Tend to Avoid

Squirrels can be quite pesky when it comes to damaging plants and gardens. They love to dig up bulbs, eat flowers, and nibble on ripe fruits and vegetables. If you have been dealing with this furry menace, you may be wondering what types of plants squirrels tend to avoid. Thankfully, there are several plants that squirrels usually stay away from. By incorporating these plants into your garden, you can minimize squirrel damage and enjoy a beautiful and thriving garden. Here are some types of plants that tend to deter squirrels:

  • Daffodils: Squirrels tend to avoid daffodils due to their toxic bulbs. Daffodils contain alkaloids that make them unappetizing and even toxic to squirrels. Planting daffodil bulbs in the fall will help deter squirrels from your garden in the spring.
  • Alliums: Alliums, such as garlic, onions, and chives, have a strong smell that squirrels dislike. Planting these pungent bulbs or herbs in your garden can help repel squirrels. Additionally, alliums have the added benefit of deterring other pests like aphids and slugs.
  • Marigolds: Squirrels do not like the strong scent of marigolds. Planting these vibrant flowers around your garden or in pots can help deter squirrels. Marigolds are known for their pest-repelling properties, and they can also attract beneficial insects like ladybugs.
  • Lavender: The strong aroma of lavender is another scent that squirrels find unpleasant. Planting lavender in your garden can help deter squirrels while attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. Additionally, lavender has a soothing and calming effect, making it a lovely addition to any garden.
  • Mint: Squirrels tend to avoid plants with a strong minty scent. Planting mint in your garden can help repel squirrels while also providing you with fresh herbs for cooking or making tea. However, be cautious as mint has a tendency to spread aggressively, so it's best to contain it in pots or planters.
  • Roses: Squirrels typically avoid roses due to their thorny stems. Planting roses can help deter squirrels from your garden. However, it's important to choose thorny varieties, such as rugosa roses or climbers with prickly stems, to effectively keep squirrels at bay.
  • Salvia: Squirrels tend to avoid the strong scent and taste of certain salvias, such as Russian sage and autumn sage. Planting salvias in your garden can help deter squirrels while adding vibrant color and attracting pollinators.
  • Hellebores: Hellebores, also known as Lenten roses, are toxic plants that squirrels tend to avoid. These early blooming perennials can add beauty to your garden while keeping squirrels away.
  • Forsythia: Squirrels generally avoid plants with a bitter taste, and forsythia is one of them. Planting forsythia shrubs can help deter squirrels while adding a burst of bright yellow color to your garden in early spring.
  • Butterfly Bush: Squirrels are not particularly interested in butterfly bushes. These shrubs produce fragrant flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds while deterring squirrels.

By incorporating these squirrel-resistant plants into your garden, you can reduce the chances of squirrel damage and create a beautiful and pest-free outdoor space. Remember to consider your specific climate and growing conditions when selecting plants for your garden.


How to Protect Your Plants from Squirrel Damage

Squirrels can be lovable and entertaining creatures, but they can also wreak havoc on your garden. These furry little animals have a voracious appetite and aren't picky about what they eat. However, there are certain plants that squirrels tend to avoid. By incorporating these plants into your garden and taking a few additional precautions, you can protect your plants from squirrel damage. Here are some effective strategies to keep those pesky critters away:

  • Choose squirrel-resistant plants: One of the easiest ways to prevent squirrel damage is to select plants that squirrels typically avoid. Some great options include daffodils, hyacinths, alliums, bleeding hearts, marigolds, and snapdragons. These plants have a pungent odor or a taste that squirrels find unappealing, making them less likely to become a snack.
  • Use squirrel repellents: Various commercially available squirrel repellents can help deter these critters from feasting on your plants. These repellents often contain substances that squirrels find unpleasant, such as capsaicin (found in chili peppers) or predator urine. Spray the repellent on your plants according to the manufacturer's instructions, paying close attention to new growth, buds, and flowers.
  • Install physical barriers: Creating physical barriers around your plants is a practical way to protect them from squirrel damage. Use fences made of chicken wire or hardware cloth to enclose your garden or specific areas within it. Ensure the fencing is at least 3 feet tall and buried several inches below the ground to prevent squirrels from digging under it. You can also cover individual plants with netting or cages to prevent squirrels from reaching them.
  • Provide alternative food sources: Squirrels are opportunistic eaters, and if they can easily find food in your garden, they're less likely to target your prized plants. Set up squirrel feeders filled with nuts, seeds, or corn away from your garden to divert their attention. Additionally, planting squirrel-friendly crops like sunflowers or corn in a designated area can serve as sacrificial plants, keeping squirrels occupied and away from the rest of your garden.
  • Scare tactics: Squirrels are naturally skittish and tend to avoid areas with potential danger. Utilize scare tactics like hanging reflective objects, such as old CDs or aluminum foil strips, around your garden. These will create flashes of light and movement, scaring away squirrels. You can also install motion-activated sprinklers that release a sudden burst of water when squirrels approach, deterring them from coming near your plants.
  • Squirrel-proof containers: If you're growing plants in containers, opt for squirrel-proof options. Use materials like metal or sturdy plastic that squirrels can't chew through. Additionally, place the containers on raised platforms or hang them from hooks to make it difficult for squirrels to access the plants.
  • Maintaining a tidy garden: Keeping your garden free of fallen fruits, nuts, and seeds can discourage squirrels from visiting. Clean up fallen debris regularly to eliminate potential food sources that may attract squirrels. Additionally, trim tree branches that provide easy access for squirrels to your garden, as they often use these branches as highways to reach plants.

In conclusion, protecting your plants from squirrel damage requires a combination of strategies. Incorporate squirrel-resistant plants, use repellents, create physical barriers, provide alternative food sources, employ scare tactics, use squirrel-proof containers, and maintain a tidy garden. By implementing these measures, you can enjoy a beautiful and squirrel-free garden all season long.


Common Edible Plants That Squirrels Will Leave Alone

Squirrels can be a real nuisance when it comes to gardening. They have a voracious appetite and can quickly decimate your carefully planted vegetables and flowers. However, there are some plants that squirrels seem to find less appealing. By strategically choosing these plants for your garden, you can minimize the damage caused by these furry creatures. Here are some common edible plants that squirrels will typically leave alone.


Herbs such as rosemary, sage, and thyme are often not on the menu for squirrels. These plants have a strong aroma that squirrels find unappealing, deterring them from nibbling on the leaves. Planting these herbs around your garden can help protect your other plants from being eaten.


Alliums, including onions, garlic, and leeks, are known to repel squirrels. These plants have a strong smell that squirrels dislike, making them less likely to be targeted. Planting alliums in your garden not only adds flavor to your dishes but also serves as a natural squirrel deterrent.

Hot and spicy plants:

Squirrels have a sensitive sense of taste, and spicy plants like chili peppers and jalapenos are not to their liking. The capsaicin found in these plants creates a burning sensation in mammals, including squirrels, making them steer clear. Planting these spicy varieties can help protect your other plants.


Daffodils are beautiful spring flowers that squirrels tend to avoid. These plants contain toxic compounds that make them unpalatable to squirrels. By planting daffodils in your garden, you can add a burst of color while keeping the squirrels at bay.


Marigolds are popular flowers that not only brighten up any garden but also repel squirrels. These vibrant flowers emit an odor that squirrels find offensive, making them less likely to venture near. Planting marigolds along the borders of your garden can create a natural barrier against these pesky pests.


Ferns, with their delicate fronds, may seem like an easy target for squirrels, but surprisingly, they are often left untouched. It is believed that squirrels find the texture and taste of ferns unappealing. Adding different varieties of ferns to your garden can add an aesthetic appeal while providing a squirrel-free zone.


While squirrels are notorious for raiding bird feeders filled with sunflower seeds, they generally do not eat the plants themselves. Squirrels prefer the seeds over the plants, so growing sunflowers can deter them from going after your other crops. Additionally, sunflowers can attract birds that may feed on squirrels, helping to reduce their numbers.


Mint is another herb that squirrels are not fond of. Its strong scent repels these critters, making it an excellent addition to your garden. Planting mint in pots or containers around your garden can create a barrier that squirrels are unlikely to cross.

These are just a few examples of edible plants that squirrels tend to avoid. While these plants can help minimize squirrel damage, it is important to note that no plant is completely squirrel-proof. Squirrels are resourceful creatures and may still nibble on these plants when other food sources are scarce. Employing additional tactics like installing fences or using squirrel repellents can further help protect your garden from these furry invaders.

Frequently asked questions

Squirrels tend to avoid plants with strong scents, such as herbs like rosemary, lavender, and mint. They also generally leave plants with prickly leaves or thorns alone, like cacti or roses.

Yes, there are several types of flowers that squirrels are more likely to avoid, such as daffodils, tulips, alliums, and hyacinths. These flowers have bulbs or strong odors that squirrels find unappealing.

Squirrels are generally deterred by vegetables with strong aromas, such as garlic, onions, and hot peppers. Additionally, certain cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale are less attractive to squirrels due to their bitter taste.

While squirrels may nibble on various tree species, they tend to avoid trees with tough or bitter-tasting bark, such as oak, hickory, sycamore, and cedar. They are more likely to target softer-barked trees like maple, birch, and pine.

Squirrels usually avoid herbs like thyme, oregano, sage, and basil due to their strong scents. These herbs are often safe from squirrel damage in outdoor gardens or planters.

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