how to keep squirrels out of potted plants

How to Keep Squirrels Out of Potted Plants

Squirrels don’t know the difference between your potted plants and wild plants. If they are hungry or notice something edible in your garden that can be eaten or stored for winter, then they will find a way to grab it. What this means for your potted plants is that they might get eaten or destroyed before they fully bloom.

To avoid the destruction of your potted plants, you can try the following or call our squirrel removal services in Toronto. We also published a great article that provides recommendations on How to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden.

Place stakes and wires around or inside the potted plant

Preventing squirrels from getting to your potted plants is a matter of ensuring they have no chance to touch the plants. You can achieve this by either placing your potted plants behind stakes and wires or placing wires and stakes under the dirt of your potted plants.

When you do this, the squirrels have no chance to dig holes in the soil to bury food or dig up the plants. A recommended wire you can try is chicken wires. They have no barbed edges thereby won’t cause injuries to you or the squirrel.

Mix in fertilizer/manure with the soil

Before you plant in the pots, you can add manure into them or form a mix with fertilizers that are not pest friendly. The reason why this works against squirrels is due to their sensitive taste buds and noses. Once something offends their sense of smell or taste, they are less likely to tangle with it.

You can also try buying prepackaged bone and blood meal made from the blood of cows and pigs. The strong bloodlike scent scares off squirrels while adding nitrogen and ammonia to the soil.

Make use of the fur/hair of domestic pets

Squirrels like most animals are part of a food chain, therefore, they have predators they fear. If you have a dog or cat, you can place a few strands of hair around the pots.

How Do I Keep Squirrels and Rabbits Out of My Garden?

Keeping squirrels and rabbits out of your garden is a matter of putting in place the right barriers or making use of repellants. Some suggested methods include:

Wire Mesh

Before installing a wire mesh around your garden, the first thing you should do is identify the locations which have evidence of squirrel activity. Some things you can look out for include chewing activity on the leaves or bark of plants, scattered pinecones/nuts around the garden, droppings, destroyed plants etc.

Once you identify the location that has frequent intrusions from squirrels, get a wire mesh and place it on top of the soil around the garden bed. You can also make a cage out of the wire mesh and place it around the garden bed. However, you need to ensure the wire mesh goes a few inches into the ground as squirrels not only fly but burrow as well.

Aluminum Flashing

If you have young trees in your garden, you can prevent squirrels from chewing at the bark by placing aluminum flashing on it.

Combine a Fence and a Net

Placing a fence around your garden might work to ward off ground squirrels but, this won’t stop tree squirrels who are high climbers and fliers. But, if you make use of a net or wire mesh with it, then it makes it difficult for the squirrels to gain access to your garden. Ensure that the material of the mesh or net is not plastic as squirrels can chew through them.

Scarecrows and Decoys

Snakes, Owls, Dogs etc., are just a few examples of animals that squirrels fear. You can place a model of such animals within your garden to scare off the squirrels. When purchasing models or scarecrows, ensure you look out for the ones that have a few movements to make them look more threatening.

Keeping Squirrels Out of Vegetable Garden

During the fall, squirrels start their preparation for the winter, and this involves storing enough food to ensure they can stay within their burrows till winter ends. In such a scenario, your vegetable garden may be honed on to by the squirrels as a source of food. To prevent this, you can:

Make your Garden Unfriendly

This is all a matter of strategic planning. If you want to protect your garden from squirrels, you must ensure none of its contents looks inviting to them. For example, squirrels are omnivorous eating anything from fruits to nuts, berries and little ants.

Some squirrels also love spending their time in trees and build their nests within the branches. You must ensure none of the components of your garden embody this. However, if you must plant such trees you can place a baffle around them to make it difficult for the squirrels to climb.


Another way to keep squirrels away from your vegetables is to make it difficult for them to dig or burrow. You can do this by applying thick layers of mulch or other organic materials to the top of the garden soil.

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