Squirrels can wreak all sorts of havoc in your yard and garden. Unfortunately, they really like hibiscus plants. Squirrels are also very smart, so you may need to adjust your methods accordingly in order to keep one step ahead of them. Repellents may not work very long, if they work at all, so the most effective way to keep squirrels from eating your hibiscus plants is to keep them away from those plants in the first place. Installing netting or mesh cages will let your hibiscus plants get the light they need and will convince the squirrels to find a different place to feed.
Cut a piece of squirrel netting large enough to completely cover each hibiscus plant. Loosely drape it over the plant, then gather it tightly at the base and secure with zip ties.
Pound 4 metal stakes into the ground around your hibiscus plant. Make sure they are 4 to 6 inches away from the plant so they do not harm the roots.
Wrap small mesh chicken wire around the four posts to form a cage. Chicken wire mesh is usually sold on a roll and looks a bit like a larger version of the mesh used in a screen door. Cut to make a cylinder around the four posts with side cutters. Secure the beginning of the cylinder to the end and to the four posts with zip ties.
Squeeze the top of the cage together like a tent with your hands and secure with more zip ties. Repeat for the remaining plants if they are spaced far enough apart to need separate cages. This will prevent squirrels from accessing your hibiscus from above.
Things You Will Need
- Squirrel netting
- Side cutters
- Small mesh chicken wire
- Long metal stakes
- Zip ties
- Make sure to choose chicken wire mesh that is 1/2 inch or smaller. While squirrels may not be able to squeeze their bodies into the enclosures you are constructing, they can still reach their paws in and steal parts of your plants. That is another reason you do not want the cages to be too close to the plants.
- If your hibiscus plants are in containers, you may opt to forego constructing anything. Instead, bring your hibiscus into the house and place in a south-facing window or anyplace that gets good sun. Unless you have squirrels in your house, they should be safe.
- Try deterring the squirrels by offering them food elsewhere, away from your hibiscus plants. Squirrel feeders that offer readily available food may be enough to convince the squirrels not to spend the extra effort trying to get into your caged hibiscus plants.
- Do not be tempted to leave the tops of your cages open. While you may need to construct larger cages as the hibiscus plants grow, leaving the tops of the cages open invites squirrels to attack from above. Squirrels are excellent climbers and jumpers.
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