How to Keep Animals From Chewing on Flowers in Flower Beds


Animals are hard on flower beds. They chew on the leaves and flowers, leaving behind a ragged, badly-blooming bed. Squirrels, rabbits and even pets can all quickly decimate a flower garden if steps are not taken. Tall fences help, but block the flowers from view. There are other fencing options beside the typical wire fence as well as other methods to keep animals from chewing on your flowers.

Step 1

Determine what type of animal is chewing your flowers. Rabbits feed primarily in the early morning and early evening hours, while deer, raccoons and skunks ravage flower beds in the dark. Cats and dogs rarely chew on the the actual flowers, but will chew on leaves or urinate in beds. Squirrels dig in flower beds for roots and bulbs but rarely feed on the actual flower petals.

Step 2

Apply a chemical repellent formulated for the type of pests in your garden. Use granules for large beds or deterrent sprays for smaller beds. Apply as often as recommended on the repellent package as constant coverage is a must.

Step 3

Install mesh over the bed to deter squirrels from digging in the bed and to keep cats from using the bed as a litter box. Cut a length of chicken wire to fit over the top of the bed. Cut holes in the wire with wire snips so the mesh slips over the plants in the flower bed. Cover the wire with a 1-inch layer of bark mulch to disguise it.

Step 4

Install a decorative fence to keep rabbits out of flower beds. Choose a fence that is at least 3 feet tall. Bury the bottom 12 inches of the fence in a trench around the bed so rabbits can't dig under it. Most rabbits do not jump more than 2 feet in the air, except for jack rabbits who jump up to 3 feet in the air.

Step 5

Plant deer-resistant flowers if deer are a pest. Deer rarely eat daffodils, asters and bellflowers. Otherwise, a 4-foot tall fence is necessary to keep deer out.

Tips and Warnings

  • Most repellents wash away during rain or irrigation. Replace the repellent after rainstorms and wait to apply it until after the weekly flower bed watering.

Things You'll Need

  • Repellent
  • Chicken wire
  • Wire snips
  • Fencing


  • Colorado State Extension: Animal Pests in the Garden
Keywords: protecting flower gardens, animal control in beds, protecting garden plots

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.