How can I protect my potted plants from squirrels digging in them?

Vickie Anderson
by Vickie Anderson
I like to container garden plus like to put annuals in pots to place around deck but the squirrels love to dig in the soil and they break my plants or dig them completely up!
  11 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Apr 03, 2013
    Vickie, I might try wrapping the containers in chicken wire until the plants get established and filled in enough that the soil isn't readily accessible. Possibly a good sprinkling of cayenne pepper as well. And definitely do not use bone meal as a fertilizer with anything you plant.

  • Debbie Borthwick Debbie Borthwick on Apr 03, 2013
    Another option I always recommend, is hen manure. They sell it as fertilizer (adds calcium to the soil...awesome for tomatoes!) but it works as a deterrent for squirrels. They don't like chickens, we have 6 'ladies' that like to scratch under our bird feeders, and as a result, I don't get squirrels raiding them. It is dried, so there is no 'manure' smell. Works great around bulbs, too.

  • Vickie Anderson Vickie Anderson on Apr 03, 2013
    Last year I used bicycle rims which worked but they were big and couldn't push pots close to each other but even with the plants being big and established the squirrels still break the plants and uproot them. I will try the chicken wire and chicken manure. Every thing chicken this year. I usually have at least 15 squirrels around all the time. Thanks!

  • Lynne Lynne on Apr 03, 2013
    thanks for the information...i have lots of squirrels that tear up everything..someone told me to get fox or wolf urine and put around..ha these bad creatures went right around it

  • Melissa G Melissa G on Apr 04, 2013
    Vickie, there is a granular product called Shake Away that I use to deter squirrels who do the same thing in my garden. You just shake it on the dirt around your plants. It smells like an animal's urine and it supposedly makes the critters think that another animal is around. I bought it at our local nursery and it works for me.

  • Vickie Anderson Vickie Anderson on Apr 04, 2013
    Thank you will try anything.

  • Lori J Lori J on Apr 04, 2013
    Wow--lots of squirrels in our neighborhood, and no plant damage. Must be the dog.

  • Vickie Anderson Vickie Anderson on Apr 04, 2013
    Well I have 5 dachshunds and a Norwegian Elk Hound and the squirrels still come on to my deck and dig up my plants. I try to do container gardening and the squirrels are always sitting in the plants and digging them up and eating the leaves. I put impatience and geraniums in pots around my deck and pond and can't keep the squirrels from breaking the branches or just digging up the whole plant. Last year I put a few bicycle rims on the containers w/veggies and this year I am going to try some of the suggestions above. I put out peanuts and ear corn for the squirrels and birds so I assume the squirrels are just trying to bury some of their stash.All 14 of them.

  • Sarah Nave Sarah Nave on Apr 04, 2013
    @Douglas Hunt Cayenne pepper? Really? thats a great tip! I have the same issue with the little fuzz balls in the front yard. They LOVE my marigold boxes

  • Kayakath Kayakath on Mar 06, 2015
    I plan on trying putting plastic forks tines up all over the areas where squirrels could be a problem

  • Carmen Carmen on Mar 06, 2015
    plastic forks, skewers, any point object, must be placed close together.