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If you’re a container gardener, you’re probably familiar with the challenges of keeping squirrels out of your plants. These furry critters can wreak havoc on your garden, digging up bulbs, eating your fruits and veggies, and even damaging your containers. Fortunately, there are several effective strategies you can use to keep squirrels at bay and protect your container garden.

One of the most important steps you can take is to create physical barriers between your plants and the squirrels. This might involve placing wire mesh over the top of your containers or laying down a layer of rocks or mulch on top of the soil.

You can also try using natural squirrel repellents, such as mint leaves, cayenne pepper, or garlic powder. Another option is to employ a watch dog or cat to keep the squirrels away.

To keep your hard work safe from these furry intruders we’ve put together seven highly effective tips and tricks that will help you secure your container garden against prying squirrels. Read on to find out more!

Squirrels are Destroying my Potted Plants!

You know how frustrating it can be to find your plants destroyed by squirrels. Squirrels are known for their love of nuts, fruits, and vegetables, and they can wreak havoc on your container garden.

In this section, we will look at why squirrels are a problem in container gardens and how you can protect your plants.

Squirrels in Container Gardens

Why do squirrels dig in flower pots? Squirrels are known for their digging habits, and container gardens are no exception. They will dig in the soil looking for nuts, acorns, and other food sources.

They are looking for food – specifically, they are searching for buried nuts that they have hidden in the pot or nearby. Squirrels have excellent memories and can remember where they stashed their food, which is why you may see them digging in the same spot repeatedly.

Additionally, flower pots provide a safe space for squirrels to bury their food, as they are often located close to trees or other foliage that the squirrels can use as cover from predators.

This can cause damage to your plants, uprooting them and making it difficult for them to grow properly. Squirrels may also eat the fruits and vegetables in your container garden, leaving you with nothing to harvest.

Why Keep Squirrels Out of Container Gardens?

Keeping squirrels out of your container garden is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it will protect your plants from damage.

Squirrels can be destructive, and their digging habits can uproot your plants and damage their roots.

Squirrels can also attract other pests to your garden. They may bring in insects, such as beetles and caterpillars, which can damage your plants.

Rabbits and other rodents may also be attracted to your garden if there are squirrels present. This can lead to even more damage to your plants

How to Stop Squirrels From Digging In Pots

There are several effective methods you can use to protect your plants. We’ll cover some of the most popular deterrents for keeping squirrels out of container gardens.

Physical Barriers

One of the simplest and most effective ways to keep squirrels out of your container garden is to use physical barriers.

Chicken wire, hardware cloth, and metal mesh are all great options for creating a barrier around your plants.

You can also use rocks, pebbles, or other heavy objects to cover the soil around your plants and prevent squirrels from digging.

You can even try mesh laundry baskets over your plants. Mesh laundry baskets are perfect to use because they allow air and water to permeate the soil.


There are several natural repellents that you can use to keep squirrels away from your container garden. Garlic, cayenne pepper, and peppermint oil are all known to deter squirrels.

You can also try spraying a mixture of vinegar and water around your plants or using a commercial squirrel repellent.

Coffee grounds can also keep squirrels away because they have an unpleasant smell to the animals. Sprinkle used coffee grounds around your plants or in any area where you don’t want squirrels to enter.

Be sure to reapply the grounds every week during dry weather to ensure effectiveness.

Squirrel-Proofing Your Container Garden with Netting and Fencing

Netting and fencing are two effective ways to squirrel-proof your container garden. Bird netting and plastic bird netting are both great options for covering your plants and keeping squirrels out.

If you have a larger outdoor space, you may want to consider installing a fence around your garden to keep squirrels and other critters out.

Motion-Activated Sprinklers and Other High-Tech Solutions

If you’re looking for a high-tech solution to keep squirrels out of your container garden, you may want to try motion-activated sprinklers or other devices. These devices use motion sensors to detect when squirrels are approaching your garden and then spray them with water.

You can also try using predator urine or other deterrents to keep squirrels away from your plants.

Keep Squirrels Out Of Container Garden

Choosing Squirrel-Resistant Plants

One way to protect your container garden from squirrels is to choose plants that are less attractive to them. Squirrels tend to avoid plants that are spicy or have a strong odor. What smell do squirrels hate the most? Examples of squirrel-resistant plants include:

  • Herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage
  • Vegetables like onions, garlic, and hot peppers
  • Flowers like daffodils, alliums, and hyacinths

You could also choose plants with prickly or thorny foliage.

Other Home Remedies To Keep Squirrels Out of Plants

Another way to protect your container garden from squirrels is to use physical barriers like row covers. Row covers are made of lightweight fabric and can be placed over your plants to protect them from squirrels and other pests.

You can also use wire mesh or chicken wire to create a physical barrier around your containers.

Another easy and adorable solution – using a dog or cat to deter those pesky critters. By having a furry friend patrol the area, squirrels are less likely to venture near and disturb your garden.

Plus, it’s a win-win situation – your pet gets some exercise and entertainment, and you get to enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of your labor.

Incorporating reflective surfaces, such as mirrors or even old CDs, can confuse the squirrels and prevent them from targeting your plants.

Scarecrows and decoys can also be effective, as they create the illusion of a larger predator in the area.

Will mothballs keep squirrels out of flowerpots? The answer is yes! Mothballs contain naphthalene, a chemical that squirrels and other pests find extremely unpleasant.

Harvesting and Storing Your Fruits and Vegetables

Finally, it’s important to harvest your fruits and vegetables as soon as they are ripe. Leaving them on the plant for too long can attract squirrels and other pests.

Once you’ve harvested your produce, store it in a secure location like a pantry or refrigerator to prevent squirrels from getting to it.

By following these tips, you can protect your container garden from squirrels and enjoy a bountiful harvest.

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