Potted Plant Protection: Tips On Protecting Container Plants From Animals

A Squirrel In A Potted Plant
(Image credit: Julie C Charette)

One of the trickiest parts of having a garden is making sure you’re the one enjoying it. No matter where you are, pests of one kind or another are a constant threat. Even containers, which can be kept close to the house and feel like they ought to be safe, can easily fall prey to hungry critters, like rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, etc. Keep reading to learn more about how to protect potted plants from animals.

Potted Plant Protection

Protecting container plants from animals is, for the most part, the same as protecting a garden. A lot of it depends upon how humane you want to be. If you just want to deter pests, each animal has certain sights and smells that will drive it away. For instance, birds can usually be scared away by hanging strips of fabric or old CDs around your plants. Many other animals can be deterred by human hair or chili powder. If your goal is keeping animals out of containers in your garden for good, you can always buy traps or poisoned bait – though this isn’t something anyone should really recommend.

Keeping Animals Out of Containers

One good thing about container plants is that they have firm underground barriers. While in-ground gardens can be assaulted by moles and voles from the sides, potted plant protection in that respect is nice and easy. Similarly, keeping animals out of containers has one failsafe option. If you simply can’t keep your plants or bulbs from being eaten, you can always move them. Try raising the plants out of reach of rabbits and pets, such as up on a table. You can also try moving the containers closer to places with noise and foot traffic to scare away animals. If all else fails, you can always move them inside.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.