Best Pest Resistant Fall Flower Bulbs
The best way to prevent hungry pests like deer, rabbits, squirrels and other rodents from eating your bulbs and flowers is to plant deer resistant varieties. While repellants can certainly help and are useful for flower bulbs that aren’t pest resistant, the easiest solution is to plant pest resistant bulbs. Some flower bulbs can even help to deter pests in your entire garden area based on their scent. If you have an active yard full of deer, squirrels, rabbits or all three plant these bulbs this fall for a safe garden in spring.
Deer, Rabbit, Squirrel and Rodent Resistant Flower Bulbs
All varieties and types of daffodils are pest resistant. They are toxic to deer, squirrels and rabbits and therefore left undisturbed. If an ambitious squirrel decides to dig up daffodil bulbs in the fall they will quickly realize they aren’t tasty and will leave the area quickly. Deer and rabbits don’t eat the flowers when they are blooming in the spring.
Daffodils are hardy in zones 3-8 and bloom starting in early spring continuing into mid-spring. They are easy to grow with their main requirement being soil that drains well.
Since all daffodils are pest resistant, any that are planted will be left unharmed. However, choosing which type to plant can be overwhelming. Therefore, to get started here our 10 of our favorite types of pest resistant daffodils.
Best Daffodil for Warm Climates: Carlton Daffodil
This group of late spring blooming flowers are often grown for their unique blooms. They are also pest resistant. Due to the garlic scent of their leaves and blooms pests stay away in spring when they are flowering. The bulbs also have a scent that keeps squirrels and other ground rodents away in the fall after the bulbs have been planted.
Flower shapes vary from large round spheres to airy clusters of blooms. Mature height on allium ranges from 6" to 60" tall. Depending on the garden space and use their is an allium for every garden. Listed below are 5 favorite allium to plant this fall.
Best Allium for Border Plantings: Ostara Allium
Colorful and exquisite iris are safe to plant if deer, squirrels and rodents are a problem in the garden. Both Bearded Iris and Dutch Iris are deer resistant spring flower bulbs. Bearded Iris grow from a rhizome and have large ruffled, showy blooms in late-spring-to-early-summer. Dutch Iris grow from a true flower bulb, have slender petals and colorful blooms, they bloom in early to late spring depending on the variety.
This fragrant groundcover is often used to naturalize an area as the bulbs multiply readily. They go dormant after spring, but for a burst of blue color in the lawn, rock garden or woods edge, muscari is the best choice. Hungry deer and rabbits won't eat the true blue fragrant blooms in the spring. Squirrels tend to leave the bulbs alone as well, however, during their heavy harvest time in early fall they may re-locate some of the bulbs. Muscari bloom in true blue, white, pink and purple.
These unique looking spring flowers are pest resistant and can be used as a pest deterrent. The bulbs and flowers have a skunk-like odor which helps to keep hungry animals away. Ranging in height from 8" to 36"+ inches fritillaria have various places they can be used in the garden.
Mixed Checkered Fritillaria are used as a ground cover in shaded areas, and grow 8"-12" tall.
Tall fritillaria types are often called Crown Imperial, they have bell shaped blooms in yellow, orange and orange-red. The large bulbs have a skunky odor which many gardeners say help to deter moles.
Ivory Bells Fritillaria and Persica Purple Fritillaria have bell shaped blooms which are smaller and fill the entire length of the stem.
Fritillaria bloom in mid spring and are hardy in zones 3-7.
Fragrant and colorful hyacinths are reliable perennials that garden pests stay away from. The bulbs are not favored by hungry rodents in the fall. Deer and rabbits stay away from the highly fragrant blooms in the spring.
All hyacinth varieties are equally pest resistant. Select the hyacinths for your garden based on bloom color. Fragrant hyacinths are available in true blue, pink, yellow, peach, white, and various shades of purple.
Hyacinths are excellent for border plantings and indoor forcing. They are hardy in zones 3-8. Growing 8-12" tall they are best planted in the front of the garden area.
Grow a Critter Proof Garden
If the animal activity is high in your area plant the various flower bulbs listed above for an easy spring season. Planting later in the fall closer to when the ground freezes can also help to protect all bulbs from being stolen by hungry chipmunks and squirrels.
Using repellents in a granular form around the planting area helps. Spraying a liquid form of repellent directly on vulnerable plants can help as well. Therefore, there are ways to protect your garden from hungry pests in addition to planting pest resistant bulbs.