Hanging Plant With Birds: What To Do For Birds In Hanging Baskets

Bird On A Tree Branch Next To A Hanging Basket
(Image credit: Ann Smith)

Hanging planters not only enhance your property but provide attractive nesting sites for birds. Bird-proofing hanging baskets will prevent overly protective feathered parents from dive-bombing you. It also allays concerns about damaging eggs or babies when you water or maintain your containers. Try a few of the suggestions in this article for Aves-friendly gardening. Most gardeners welcome birds and even create havens for their flying friends. However, in some cases, the little guys decide to nest in hanging baskets and other containers. It is easy to see why they find such sites attractive, with their leafy protection from predators and weather. You have a couple of choices if the birds become a nuisance or you are worried about damaging the nests.

Bird Proofing Hanging Baskets

The first line of defense is prevention. Here are some steps you can take to prevent birds from taking up residence in your potted plants:

  • Provide plenty of other nesting sites in your garden. Erect birdhouses and nesting boxes.
  • At planting, lay light wire mesh over the basket or container, so birds can't get in to build nests.
  • Use fake predators to discourage them from your planting zone. These might include rubber snakes or a fake owl.
  • Set streamers along the edges of your home or where you hang baskets. This will prevent birds from nesting in hanging baskets by scaring them to a more appropriate zone.

Too Late! I Have a Bird Nesting in My Hanging Basket

Even with some prevention, you can find yourself in the possession of birds nesting in hanging plants. Contrary to some early research, you can move a nest and the parents will still take care of it, provided you don't move it where they cannot find it. Place a similar hanging basket lined with coir or moss next to the original and move the nest into the new place. If you have a hanging plant with birds, this simple eviction will usually do the trick. As a preemptive step, hang the basket every year when you hang your others. If you have tried everything to prevent birds in hanging baskets, try some serious warfare. Erect small bamboo skewers in the plant to keep out the animals. It certainly won't hurt them but there won't be a flat surface on which to build a nest. Another idea to inhibit birds in hanging baskets is to place a couple of citrus oil-soaked cotton balls in the nest. The citrus scent may repel them. Overall, the best idea is to enjoy having wildlife that up close and personal. Be careful when watering if you have a hanging plant with birds. Use a light spray or hand water around the babies. Once the young birds have flown the nest, remove it to prevent it from becoming a nesting site for bugs.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.