10 Best Plants That Repel Squirrels From Your Garden

Some people consider squirrels lovely animals due to their small bodies, long tails, and bumpy tummies. Unfortunately, they are considered pests in agricultural fields and gardening. Squirrels often consume flower bulbs, vegetables, fruits, and tree nuts, which significantly damage your plants. Farmers and gardeners are often riled up by these culprits. But luckily, you can grow flowering plants that repel squirrels from your property.

Even cooler, these squirrel repelling plants are mostly ornamental. Thus, you can also adorn your gardens with these natural repellents. To know more about the best flowering plants that repel squirrels, you can find further details below. We also include signs that your garden may get into squirrel trouble.

How Do You Know If You Have A Squirrel Problem?

Even though squirrels can be active all day, they prefer to play out and seek food from spring through fall. During these seasons, you better open your ears widely to recognize strange noises in your gardens. Usually, these sounds can be scratching, scampering, scurrying, or chewing. 

These sounds also indicate that your garden is in danger of squirrel issues. Squirrels may invade the spot to munch the fruits, veggies, or flowering plants, leaving a mess of the damaged crops behind. For that reason, growing plants with a strong smell that repels squirrels is highly recommended.

What Does Squirrel Damage Look Like?

Suppose you realize that the squirrels have already managed to break into your garden. In that case, you can expect the squirrel damage they leave behind after munching plants. In general, your gardens will be filled with holes which are the main signs of these pests.

The ground squirrels use these spots to hide and sneak out to your garden. And the most obvious messy marks of squirrel invasion are chewing parts on your trees, plants, or veggies. In addition, you can notice urine stains on the shingles roof, which may be a route for squirrels to escape your yard.

What Smell Squirrels Dislike?

If you have citrus trees in your garden, you must be aware of squirrels. These animals love the aromatic smell of the indole chemical compounds in citrus fruits. Besides that, they also love the sweet and juicy citrus that is ripe.

To prevent them from visiting your garden, you can use plants that deter squirrels with spicy aromas, such as lemongrass, cayenne pepper, or garlic. Grow them as companion plants or simply hang them around the growing areas.

The acute sense the squirrels have will make them keep their distance from your garden. Besides spicy odors, tangy smells also keep the squirrels away.

Best Plants That Repel Squirrels

Instead of using chemicals to repel squirrels, you can grow squirrel repellent plants around your gardens. They have powerful aromas the pests don’t like. Thus, keeping squirrels away. 

While most of us know that garlic is the vegetable plant that squirrels don’t like, our collection are flowering plants that can also decorate your outdoor sites. Check them out below!

1. Allium (Allium Giganteum)

Having globe-shaped purple flowers, the Allium giganteum will capture anyone’s attention. The showy flowers will make a great addition to your garden. Despite its stunning appeal, it emits an onion-like aroma that is so strong that you bruise the stalks.

Squirrels vividly hate the smell and will absolutely make an escape from your garden. Other pests like aphids and beetles also dislike the odor. Hence, this onion family member is suitable for growing next to vegetables, such as tomatoes and lettuce.

plants that repel squirrels
Allium (Allium Giganteum)

This Allium plant thrives best in the USDA hardiness zones 6 to 10. It thrives best under full sun exposure with temperatures of 50°F – 70°F. Nonetheless, the fragrant plant copes well in low temperatures below -1.3°F.

Besides, it requires rich, sandy, gritty, moist, well-drained soil to grow. You can get its full interest from spring to summer. Contrary, fall is the best time to plant bulbs.

2. Daffodil (Narcissus Jonquilla)

No less beautiful than Allium, Daffodil, or Narcissus jonquilla are also squirrel resistant plants you can plant in your garden. It bears bell-shaped, white flowers with stunning yellow centers and deep green leaves. These blooms radiate a strong sweet scent, similar to a mixture of jasmine and hyacinth fragrances.

In contrast to pollinators who will appreciate such an aroma, squirrels despise the flowers to the core. You can plant it with forsythia, azaleas, and, most importantly, tulips which are often the target of squirrels.

plants that repel squirrels
Daffodil (Narcissus Jonquilla)

To optimally plant it in your area, you must save a spot with full sun or partial shade light levels. Make sure the soils are rich, medium moist, and well drained. They are not fussy about the types, as you can grow them in chalky, loamy, sandy, or clay soils.

This natural squirrel repellent also requires 54°F – 64°F to stimulate growth while around 68°F to encourage flowering. You can grow them optimally in the USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9 in the fall, between September to November.

3. Fritillary (Fritillaria Spp.)

Fritillaria spp., or Fritillary, is one of the plants that have squirrel repellent abilities. The unique, snake-like flowers with a deep magenta shade emit a musky and pungent smell that will instantly make the squirrels go away.

They are best planted with tulips, whose bulbs and flowers are squirrels’ favorite. In addition, these plants are also beetle snacks. So, they can distract these pests from invading your flower gardens.

plants that repel squirrels
Fritillary (Fritillaria Spp.)

Regarding the growing conditions, you must prepare rich, well-drained soil with a neutral pH to allow the best fritillary performance. In addition, you must ensure the temperature is around 64°F to 68°F to boost the growth. Hence, the ideal seasons to plant your Fritillaria flowers are between late summer to early fall. Plus, they perform well in the USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8.

4. Geraniums (Pelargonium Spp.)

Consider geraniums if you want to plant plants that repel squirrels but don’t want something plain. The bright red flowers will radiate cheerful vibes to your garden, with their star shape that looks exquisite.

Not only that, but these blooms also spread sweet and spicy aromas that squirrels hate a lot! Suppose you have cabbages, grapes, or sweet potatoes growing in your backyard. In that case, geraniums will be your best bet as a companion plant.

plants that repel squirrels
Geraniums (Pelargonium Spp.)

These flowering plants can do well in flower pots, in case you don’t have a large area. Nonetheless, the containers must have proper drainage holes to prevent waterlogging that will trigger root rot.

Moreover, geraniums perform well in temperatures of 70°F – 75°F on loose soils rich in organic matter. In addition, they will grow properly in the USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9. You can start planting geraniums in the spring when the soil gets warmer.

5. Goldenrod (Solidago Spp.)

Solidago spp. or Goldenrods is one of the wildflowers that will show its prettiest appearance in autumn when the blooms turn golden yellow. However, it is sometimes considered invasive in some states. And for that reason, people are advised to grow them as potted plants.

In fact, that also makes them easy to grow as plant-repellent squirrels. Furthermore, the blooms emit rich anise scents that make squirrels run away. We recommend growing them in your veggie garden with cool-season crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach.

plants that repel squirrels
Goldenrod (Solidago Spp.)

Similar to other plants that deter squirrels, Goldenrods love to soak under the sun. But the difference is they like dry and sandy soil but must be well-drained. The pH must also be neutral to acid, within 5 to 7.

Moreover, the temperatures required to allow the best growth for goldenrods are likely to be cold, around 40°F – 46°F. Such temperatures are suitable in the USDA hardiness zones 2 to 8. Plus, spring and fall, about 6-8 weeks before winter, are the ideal months for growing golden rods.

6. Hyacinth (Hyacinthus Orientalis)

One of the most effective tricks to keep out squirrels is to plant the squirrel-repellent Hyacinth or Hyacinthus orientalis. This flowering plant bears showy purple flowers with dark green leaves that make a fantastic background, allowing the blooms to stand out.

Other than that, Hyacinth emits a flowery, bitter, and green scent with hints of spicy, choco, and honey. The blends of these aromas will ensure your gardens are safe from the culprit squirrels. In addition, Hyacinth belongs to the best companion plant to grow alongside cucumber, spinach, and okra to repel pests, such as squirrels.

plants that repel squirrels
Hyacinth (Hyacinthus Orientalis)

Moreover, Hyacinth is not fussy about its growing requirements. It thrives in areas where the sun shines brightly while tolerating partial shade conditions. Meanwhile, the soils for Hyacinths are commonly loamy and slightly acidic, with a pH of around 6 to 7.

As for temperatures, they perform well at 40°F to 45°F perfectly match the USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8. Considering the temperatures, you must chill the bulbs first before planting in warm climates.

7. Lily of The Valley (Convallaria Majalis)

Like lilies, Convallaria majalis actually doesn’t have a relationship with lilies. It features hanging white flowers on the green stalk. Its leaves are a dark green that balances out the natural color of their blooms. While humans adore flowers for their beauty, squirrels despise them for their scents.

The aroma is a blend of fresh, spring-like, floral scents with hints of watery and jasmine odors that can repel pests. You can grow them with azaleas or rhododendrons whose flowers are bright to make a natural carpet in your landscape.

Lily of The Valley (Convallaria Majalis)
Lily of The Valley (Convallaria Majalis)

Luckily, growing this squirrel-repellent flowering plant is relatively easy. You only need to prepare a shady spot to protect them from excessive sun exposure. It also prefers moist but well-drained soils and tolerates many soil types.

Since it is prone to wet and cold conditions, the best time to grow Lily of the Valley is in spring when the temperature rises between 60°F to 70°F. Our experts suggest growing them in the USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9 to allow proper growth.

8. Marigold (Tagetes Erecta)

Who is not interested in growing Marigolds? This plant features striking yellow, bulb-shaped flowers that look extremely fascinating. The green foliage adds a fresh touch to the plant.

These blooms also radiate musky and pungent smells that are not so pleasing to most pests, including squirrels. In addition, the aroma also deters bugs, critters, and other insects. Hence, farmers usually grow them alongside their crops, for example, lettuce.

Marigold (Tagetes Erecta)
Marigold (Tagetes Erecta)

Fortunately, they are easy to grow and maintain. Marigolds prefer temperatures around 70°F – 75°F and withstand the lowest one at 45°F. For the soil requirements, they grow fertile, moist, and well-drained in almost any type of soil.

Since the seeds need to germinate in relatively cool temperatures, the ideal season to grow these flowers is spring, particularly after the last frost. In addition, Marigolds are hardy in the USDA hardiness zones 2 to 9.

9. Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

You may be familiar with Peppermint. It features deep green, coarse foliage with hairy stems and pinkish flowers. The leaves of this aromatic plant are often used in various beverages, such as teas, infused water, and cocktails.

Moreover, the benefits of Peppermint are much more than that.

They are often grown as pest-repellent plants in agricultural fields to grow with carrots, lettuce, broccoli, and squash, thanks to their sharp, refreshing aroma. Hence, growing them to deter squirrels from your garden is a great idea.

Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)
Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

Speaking of the growing conditions, you must set a site with a sunny spot or partial shade light intensity to allow the best growth of Peppermint. It also favors warm temperatures of around 77°F but copes well at 59°F during the night.

Despite being a versatile plant, it thieves in rich, loose, well-drained soil, with a pH of around 5.5 to 6.0. If you want to plant Peppermint, do it after the last frost of early spring. Plus, it grows well in the USDA hardiness zones 3 to 11, which have cool weather.

10. Snowdrop (Galanthus Nivalis)

Considering the droopy, white flowers hanging on the stalks, Galanthus nivalis is more popular as Snowdrop. They often grow in the broadleaves woodland during spring. When their flowers fully bloom, you will notice creamy almonds with pleasant honey scents.

Contrary to the human perspective, squirrels find the smell bothersome. Hence, they will stay away from areas where the Snowdrop grows. Or, grow them in pots with drainage holes to prevent root rot.

Snowdrop (Galanthus Nivalis)
Snowdrop (Galanthus Nivalis)

In case you want to plant it, you must prepare an area with a partial shade of light intensity that resembles its natural habitat. It also loves fertile, moist, but well-drained soils. Growing them in dry, sandy soil is possible, but you must add grits.

As its name suggests, the temperature required to boost flowering is down to 20°F. Hence, Snowdrop performs well in the USDA hardiness zones 3 to 7. You can try growing them in mid-winter to early spring or fall.

Final Thought

While garlic and scallions are popular plants that repel squirrels, some flowering plants can actually help you chase away those culprits from your garden. They have distinctive aromas, mostly sweet and spicy that squirrels hate.

Apart from that, these plants can also decorate your property with their stunning blooms. However, make sure you check out their companion plants before growing them to ensure the best protection from pests.


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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Do squirrels damage plants?

You may find squirrels cute, knowing they have tiny bodies and jump from one pine tree to another to eat the nuts. However, they are considered pests since they can devour all the veggies and fruits you grow in the garden.

Squirrels also eat ornamental plants, such as rhododendrons and tulip flowers, damaging your plants significantly. In addition, they usually destroy the tree barks by stripping them.

Does Irish Spring soap keep squirrels away?

Besides growing plants that repel squirrels, you can also use Irish Spring Soap to keep the animals away. The soap spreads a strong aroma that squirrels hate. They mainly have a keen sense of smell, which can distract them from the scent. You can wrap it with a cheesecloth, then hang it around your veggie or flower gardens.

Do marigolds keep squirrels away?

Despite loving to consume flowers, squirrels are picky about them. This is because there is something that emits strong scents that, instead of luring them, keep the squirrel out of your gardens. One example is marigolds. They have a strong, overpowering musky smell that resembles straws. Moreover, you can grow them in your garden along with vegetables.

What vegetable plants that Repel squirrels?

Due to their intense spicy aromas, the squirrel doesn’t like garlic, scallions, and onions. Squirrels have a keen sense of smell, so smells like this can annoy them. They can detect odors up to 10 feet away. You can plant such vegetables in your garden to ensure they won’t have a second visit.

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