Squirrels will eat pansy leaves, stems and flowers when they can access them. Pansies grown in the ground soil are an easy target for a passing squirrel. While pansies are not a favorite food of squirrels, they will eat them if they get the opportunity. Growing pansies in hanging baskets will make it more difficult for squirrels to reach and making a cayenne pepper spray will help to deter them.
This article will explore if squirrels eat pansies, when they are more likely to attack these plants and how to keep them away naturally.
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When Squirrels Eat Pansies
For early planted pansies, that have been put in the ground in early fall can be eaten by squirrels. Pansies will be flowering over the winter so are usually put in the ground in fall. This will be the time that squirrels are out and about collecting food for their winter hibernation.
The edible pansy flowers are a great treat for squirrels and they will chew on them if they find them. They are not a favorite food but squirrels are opportunistic eaters, snacking on any food that is accessible and tasty like pansy flowers.
Squirrels like to eat young pansy flowers which are soft and sweet. They can chew on the leaves and stems too, especially on young plants.
Why Squirrels Eat Pansies
Pansies are one of the many foods that squirrels can access in fall. They will be out and about collecting food for the winter and looking out for easy snacks. Here are the top reasons why squirrels will eat pansies in your yard.
1. Easy access
Pansies that are easy for squirrels to reach and eat are an easy target. A squirrel running around looking for food will stop to eat a pansy flower. If they are growing in the ground rather than in pots or hanging baskets, they can easily end up I the path of a hungry squirrel.
2. A lack of food options
Squirrels will eat almost any sweet or soft green material when food is scarce. Years where the weather is dry or winter arrives early, they will seek out healthy plants to eat. As we continue to water and keep our pansies alive, they may become one of the few food options for a local squirrel.
3. An easy snack
A beautiful pansy patch can be a great meal for a family of squirrels. Pansies have sweet flowers full of nectar which are appealing to squirrels. They will move in and eat the flowers or devour the whole plant, leaves stems and all.
How to Stop Squirrels Eating Pansies
There are a few easy ways to keep squirrels away and stop them from eating your pansies. Creating physical barriers, keeping them out of reach and using natural deterrents are all good options. Check out these easy ways to keep squirrels off your pansies at home.
1. Hanging baskets
Growing pansies in hanging baskets will make it more difficult for squirrels to reach. While squirrels can climb, they will usually not make the effort for a food like pansies. Keeping them out of the path of a passing squirrel is a great way of protecting pansies and reducing the chance that they will get eaten.
2. Physical barriers
Physical barriers are another way to protect young pansy plants. While they are establishing, cover them with bird mesh or heavy wire cages to keep the squirrels off. Pansies need protecting while they are young and will become more resistant to squirrel attack as they mature.
3. Dog, fox or coyote urine
Predators of squirrels like dogs and foxes can be used to keep them away from your pansies. If you have a dog at home, this can be enough to keep the squirrels out of your yard. Dog, fox and coyote urine lets the squirrels know that there is a predator around.
4. Solar powered animal deterrents
An easy way to keep squirrels off of your pansies is to use a solar powered animal deterrent. These can be stuck in the ground near your pansies and emits an ultrasonic sound when it detects squirrel movement nearby.
Check out this solar powered squirrel deterrent here on Amazon.
4. Cayenne pepper and garlic spray
A mix of cayenne pepper and garlic is the perfect way to deter squirrels from your pansies. Fill a glass just with hot water and mix through 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder.
Pour the mixture through muslin cloth into a sprayer bottle and apply it onto and around your pansies. Squirrels hate the smell and taste and will keep away.
For an easy option that has already been made for you, check out squirrel deterrent spray here on Amazon.
For more on how to keep squirrels out of your yard, check out this video below.
Do Squirrels Eat Pansies? | Summary
Squirrels will eat pansies if they get the opportunity. They will forage for fresh flowers, nuts, seeds and fresh leaves to eat during pansy season. New seedlings planted out in fall will be particularly vulnerable to a hungry squirrel. Keep them away by using a natural deterrent such as coyote urine or a cayenne pepper spray.
A physical barrier is another affective way to keep squirrels from eating your beloved pansies. Protect them with bird mesh and pull it tight so that birds and animals won’t get stuck.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.