Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Keep Squirrels Out of Flower Beds

By Greg Lindberg ; Updated September 21, 2017

Squirrels, like cottontail rabbits, are pests that like to ruin vegetable and fruit gardens. The gray squirrel is also attracted to flower gardens, and they will eat the majority of your flowers if they are not stopped. They specifically will eat the bulbs and buds of flowers. It’s important to stop squirrels as quickly as possible to also protect any other butterfly or bird feeders that you have in your yard. Squirrels can be trickier to keep out your garden than rabbits since they can climb and jump over most fences.

Spread safflower seeds about four to six inches around your garden to try to repel the squirrels away. Squirrels dislike the taste of safflower, but they may still be attracted to your garden if you have many colorful flowers.

Try distracting the squirrels with corn, peanuts and sunflower seeds on the opposite side of your garden. This may not completely eliminate your squirrel problem, but it will buy you some time to keep the squirrels out of your flower bed. You could also purchase a squirrel feeder, which hangs a cob of corn down from a post.

Keep all bird and butterfly feeders away from your garden, or protect the feeds with a baffle or food catcher. Doing this will at least keep a food source away from your garden, since it could be a factor in attracting the squirrels.

Make sure that your flowers and bulbs are buried at least 8 to 12 inches deep into the soil. (See References.) Also, cover your flower bedding with a hardware cloth or small mesh that will protect the area from being dug up.

Sprinkle ground pepper around your flower bed. You can also spray a squirrel repellent that you can purchase from your local garden store. Fox urine is a key ingredient in a spray that will definitely keep the squirrels away.

Use motion-activated sprinklers around your garden. This is a more costly option and should be used as a last resort. Make sure that the motion sensor only catches things that are as large as squirrels or larger.


Things You Will Need

  • Safflower seeds
  • Corn
  • Peanuts
  • Squirrel feeder
  • Hardware cloth
  • Squirrel repellent
  • Motion activated sprinklers