Want to Keep Squirrels From Eating Your Garden? Here's What to Plant

squirrel on the lookout for food early morning
What to Plant to Keep the Squirrels AwayManoj Shah - Getty Images

Whether you have a green thumb or simply find peace in gardening, growing a garden and planting your own herbs, flowers, and vegetables is a labor of love. It takes a lot of hard work and patience, but when all of your efforts finally come to fruition, you are reminded that it was all well worth it. This is exactly why you do not want your fresh florals or summer harvest falling victim to a squad of squirrels. While planting your garden, consider adding these items to your planting list to keep the squirrels at bay and away.


Alliums are flowering plants with hundreds of species, including chives, onions, leek, scallions, and shallots, the most well-known being garlic. Alliums produce strong smells that squirrels do not like, so if you want to include fresh homegrown flavors in your original recipes, add plants like chives, garlic, and onions to your garden this season. Plus, that means you have less to purchase at the farmers' market or grocery store.

close up image of the summer flowering bulbous perennial purple allium flowers in hazy sunshine
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Cats are creatures that may go crazy for catnip, but not squirrels. Squirrels do not like the smell of any flowers or herbs that embody a strong scent. This is why they absolutely detest the smell of catnip.

catmint catnip, nepeta racemosa 'walker's low' ii
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If you like a pop of color in your backyard garden and want to keep the squirrels away, then plant some daffodils. These bright flowers come in a variety of colors and are said to deter animals like deer, rabbits, and squirrels because of their fragrant odor and unpalatable taste.

daffodil trio
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Fritillaries are flowers that come from the Lilaceae family. These bell-shaped flowers are dark violet with a pronounced checkered pattern all over their petals. They occasionally come in white as well. This flower also produces a robust and unfavorable smell that can reduce animal interest, yet they have been known to attract bees as they are naturally rich in nectar and pollen, which bees love.

chess,close up of wilted flower
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Galanthus is another type of bulb that has a strong scent that may keep squirrels from eating plants in your garden. These white flowers are sometimes referred to as snowdrops due to their color and shape. These small, early-blooming perennial spring bulbs push through the snow in the coldest regions.

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Geraniums are a resilient plant that may help repel squirrels by planting them all around your garden crops. You get to enjoy their bright floral petals while the squirrels will avoid them due to the scent produced by their natural oils.

close up of geranium pelargonium flowers
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Another bee-friendly flower, Goldenrod’s yellow blooms attract many pollinators, but also deter squirrels. It is a win-win courtesy of Mother Nature.

golden rod flower solidago canadensis
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Hyacinths are spring-flowering bulbs that come in various colors. Not only are they a beautiful addition to a floral garden, but this flower is not liked by some creatures and critters including squirrels.

the hyacinths
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Lily of the Valley

Sometimes seen as Lily-of-the-Valley, this dainty bell-shaped flower has long leaves and makes for a great addition to any garden. This woodland flowering plant has a sweet scent with pendant-shaped white flowers that flourish in springtime. Plus, this flower is generally not favored by squirrels.

spring collection of holiday cards with white delicate early flowers floral background
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Marigold flowers are known for their bright orange and yellow flowers, some of which have a particularly strong fragrance, which squirrels dislike.

salads and marigolds in a garden
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If you grow mint every year for all of those handcrafted cocktails and mocktails like mojitos or Moscow mules, then you are in luck because fresh mint doubles up as a squirrel repellent. It may smell great to you, but squirrels despise it. Mint, anyone?

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Squirrels are often repelled by plants they find offensive and aromatic herbs like lavender, mustard, and rosemary all embody a strong scent. Sprigs of rosemary inserted around prized plants or in pots can help to prevent squirrels from digging them up.

fresh rosemary herb on white background
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