7 Best Plants to Deter Squirrels From Your Garden

Are you tired of squirrels turning your beloved garden into their personal buffet? You’re not alone. These cute but cunning critters can wreak havoc on your plants and peace of mind. But don’t despair! Instead of reaching for harsh repellents, consider a more natural and beautiful solution: strategic planting.

We’ve compiled a list of seven plants that are known to help keep squirrels at bay. Get ready to reclaim your green space!

1. Daffodils

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Daffodils aren’t just a harbinger of spring; their bulbs contain lycorine, a substance that squirrels find particularly off-putting. This natural repellent makes daffodils an excellent choice for bordering your garden or interspersing among more vulnerable plants.

Not only will these vibrant blooms add a splash of color, but they’ll also form a protective barrier against furry invaders. (ref)

Besides their squirrel-repelling properties, daffodils are wonderfully low maintenance. Once planted, they will return year after year with minimal care, continually expanding their area of influence in your garden. This perennial power not only saves you time and effort but also ensures a long-term solution to your squirrel problem.

2. Alliums

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Alliums, with their striking globular blooms, are not just a visual treat but also a formidable foe against squirrels. Their strong, onion-like aroma is unappealing to squirrels, who prefer to steer clear of these aromatic spheres.

Planting alliums strategically around your garden can create an olfactory barrier that discourages squirrels from exploring further. (ref)

Beyond their protective qualities, alliums come in a variety of sizes and colors, allowing you to customize the aesthetic of your defenses. From the towering ‘Globemaster’ to the petite ‘Drumstick,’ there’s an allium to fit any garden design.

They are also excellent companions for many other garden plants, providing added benefits beyond just squirrel deterrence.

3. Marigolds

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Marigolds are not only a vibrant addition to your garden, but they also emit a scent that squirrels find less than pleasant. The strong, pungent smell of marigolds can mask the aroma of more tempting fare, such as your homegrown vegetables.

Planting marigolds around the perimeter of your garden can act as a natural repellent, keeping squirrels at a respectful distance.

In addition to deterring squirrels, marigolds have the added benefit of attracting beneficial insects, such as pollinators and predatory bugs, that help control other pests. This dual role makes marigolds an invaluable part of any sustainable gardening plan, contributing to both the beauty and the ecological health of your garden. (ref)

4. Geraniums

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Geraniums, with their bright blooms and robust scent, are often bypassed by squirrels in favor of less fragrant fare. The scent of geraniums can be particularly off-putting to squirrels, making them excellent plants for areas where squirrels are a frequent problem.

Whether in pots or planted directly in the garden, geraniums provide a decorative yet effective deterrent. (ref)

Geraniums not only repel pests but also add a long-lasting pop of color to your garden. They bloom profusely from spring until fall, providing a consistent display that enhances your garden’s aesthetic while protecting its integrity. Plus, they’re incredibly versatile, thriving in pots, hanging baskets, or directly in the ground.

5. Fritillaries

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The unique checkered appearance of fritillary flowers, particularly the crown imperial variety, has a strong scent that squirrels find offensive. Placing these tall, impressive plants around your garden can discourage squirrels from lingering too long. (ref)

Fritillaries not only help keep squirrels away but also add a touch of regal elegance to your garden. They are particularly effective when planted in groups, where their distinctive look and smell can be fully appreciated. These bulbs will return each year, growing more robust over time.

6. Hyacinth

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Hyacinths offer a floral fragrance that, while delightful to humans, repels squirrels. Their dense flower clusters can serve as a natural barrier when planted around the edges of your garden or in containers near more susceptible plants. (ref)

Hyacinths are easy to grow and maintain, and their vivid colors and strong presence can enhance the overall aesthetics of your garden. They’re particularly effective in early spring, giving your garden a burst of color and protection when it’s most needed.

7. Peppermint

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Peppermint is not just for making tea; it also serves as a powerful squirrel deterrent. The strong, minty aroma is overwhelming to squirrels and can effectively keep them away from your cherished plants. Planting peppermint around the garden or in pots near vulnerable areas can help maintain a squirrel-free zone. (ref)

It also has the added advantage of being useful in the kitchen. You can enjoy fresh peppermint leaves for your teas or culinary creations while keeping your garden secure.

From Squirrelly to Happy

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By incorporating these plants into your garden, you not only enhance its beauty but also fortify it against unwelcome wildlife. Say goodbye to squirrel troubles and hello to a serene, flourishing outdoor space.

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.