How to Keep Squirrels Out of Potted Plants

Squirrel in potted plant
Are squirrels digging up your potted plants? Here are a few methods you can employ to make them stop. (Remember, as I’ve mentioned before, implementing multiple deterrent methods simultaneously works better than trying just one).

One of the most commonly used tricks to keep squirrels out of potted plants is to put something in the pots that the squirrels won’t like.

Crushed red pepper; sprinkle a little on the soil of your potted plants and the squirrels will be more likely to avoid them. Squirrels, like humans, can taste the spicy hot flavor of peppers, and once they’ve tasted it, they’ll try to avoid it. The spiciness of the pepper will not harm your plants. However, there is a catch. Depending on the source of your crushed red pepper and how it was prepared, it’s not unthinkable to suggest that some brands may contain viable pepper seeds. Imagine sprinkling this on to the soil of your potted flowers and inadvertently growing red peppers instead. Do some experiments first before you commit to using this across all your potted plants.

Ground Cayenne pepper will do exactly the same thing as the one mentioned above but because it’s ground, it doesn’t contain whole pepper seeds.

Blood meal is a plant fertilizer rich in nitrogen. It’s made from blood, (most commonly from cows and pigs), and is very unattractive to squirrels. But it is a plant fertilizer so caution needs to be taken when using this as a squirrel deterrent in your potted plants. You don’t want to over fertilize your plants which can do more harm than good.

Some gardeners have reported having success using bamboo skewers. Place several of them in your pots with the pointy ends sticking up from the soil.

River rocks on top of the soil can also deter squirrels from digging in potted plants, however, if you plan to reuse the potting soil at any time in the future, it can prove to be a pain, trying to separate the rocks from the soil

If you find that squirrels are eating your potted plants, you can try providing them with an alternate food source. Purchase a squirrel feeder and feed them nuts and grains. However this can backfire if the squirrels start burying extra nuts in your potted plants. Squirrels will bury any abundant food source they find in an effort to keep it all for themselves and so that they can store it up for winter months. You can easily deter them from burying excess food in your potted plants by using this method in combination with one of the methods mentioned above.

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