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Do Squirrels Eat Flowers? (and How To PROTECT Them)

As a nature lover and someone with several years’ worth of experience observing squirrels all around the world, I feel confident in answering the question: do squirrels eat flowers?

Squirrels are omnivores and eat a variety of foods including nuts, seeds, fruits, fungi and flowers. They tend to eat only small parts of the flower such as the petals or pistils. This helps them to access the nectar inside which is an important source of carbohydrates and proteins.

Do Squirrels Eat Flowers?

Squirrels are a common sight in gardens around the world, but have you ever wondered, do squirrels eat flowers? The answer is yes; squirrels can feed on blooms and petals, devour florets and gobble up buds. While some of their diet consists of nuts and other plant material, they also consume flower buds, blossom petals and even ripe fruits when available.

However, not all flower species are equally attractive to them. Some plants that attract squirrel attention may be too rough or fibrous for them to digest while others may be too delicate. Squirrel’s dietary preferences depend on the particular species and time of year.

What is the Squirrel Diet?

In general, squirrel diets consist of a wide variety of items including vegetation such as nuts and seeds, root vegetables (including tubers), berries/fruits, insects, bird eggs or nestlings, mushrooms and more. They will also occasionally feed on small land animals such as frogs or rodents.

  • Nuts: Squirrels like to snack on different types of nuts including hickory nuts, acorns, beechnuts and walnuts.
  • Seeds: Grains such as wheat berries are another favorite among squirrels. Sunflower seeds are especially attractive due to their high energy content.
  • Vegetables & Fruits: Squirrels enjoy many different types of vegetables including carrots, sweet potatoes and corn cobs. They will also consume ripe fruits such as apples when available.

Can Squirrels Damage Your Garden Plants?

Squirrels can be pesky garden pests. They tend to feed on many types of flowers, including tulips, knock out roses, hydrangeas, oak trees and pine trees. While not all squirrels are the same, they all have a general diet that includes most blooming plants.

In addition to eating the flower petals and stamens of your delicate blooms, squirrels also eat bark from young tree trunks and buds from larger trees. Some even dig up bulbs in search of a meal! Depending on their age and size, large groups of squirrels can strip entire gardens in as little as one or two nights—leaving behind nothing but chewed up plants and shredded foliage.

Flowers That Squirrels Consume Blooms From

Here are some of the flowers that squirrels eat:


Tulips are one of the main flowers that attract squirrels due to their sweet nectar and petals. Tulip bulbs can easily become a target for animals in search of food due to how soft they are. It is important to protect the bulbs by surrounding them with stones or sharp materials that will deter digging.

Knock Out Roses

Knock Out Roses may look intimidating with thick stems and thorns; however, some species are especially vulnerable to attacks from small mammals such as squirrels. The high sugar content found in these petites makes them an attractive treat for our furry friends who would rather avoid getting “knocked out” when trying to eat them. To prevent damage from occurring cover your roses with metal mesh or use traps.


Similar to roses, hydrangeas offer another type of delicious snack for rodents. The large clusters of colorful flowers may be irresistible for some creatures. It ‘ s important that if you have hydrangeas growing near other plants, you regularly monitor them for signs of damage. Take action quickly if any damage develops before it becomes more widespread.

What Are Some Natural Ways to Keep Squirrels Away from Your Garden Plants?

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Preventing damage can be achieved by growing unappealing food choices for these pesky critters, such as bitter greens like kale or strong-smelling herbs like basil and oregano. A squirrel-proof bird feeder is also recommended, since these will block out squirrel access while still allowing a variety of other birds to enjoy the food.

Using Repellents, Barriers and Unappealing Foods

Squirrels are prolific garden visitors and can cause extreme damage to your plants when they feed on the blooms. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to discourage their presence in your garden. These include setting up barriers, applying natural repellents, and providing them with unappealing food sources.

One of the best ways to protect your plants from squirrels is by installing physical barriers around gardens and flower beds. Chicken wire or plastic netting can be used as effective deterrents that prevent squirrels from accessing areas they shouldn’t.

The Best Squirrel-Proof Barriers

Grow Unappealing Food, Use Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders and More

To prevent damage from squirrels, the best approach is deterrence. Grow unappealing food for them in your garden or yard, such as daffodils and Foxglove, which they typically stay away from.

The Anti-Squirrel Plants

Additionally, using squirrel-proof bird feeders can be effective in discouraging these rodents from munching on birdseed. Position the feeders in areas that are difficult to reach – this will make it more challenging for squirrels to access them! Finally, installing netting around fruit trees and other plants you value can help protect them from damage caused by hungry critters.

Best Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

Natural Repellents: Galanthus, Hyacinths

Squirrels have been known to eat flowers, like Galanthus, Hyacinths, and more. Fortunately, there are several natural repellents you can use to keep them away from your garden. Keeping your yard and garden tidy is a great start; unkempt areas attract unwanted pests. You can also try using a watch dog or cat to discourage the squirrels in your area, or install predator perches and owl nests that can act as scare tactics.

Watch Dogs (or Cats!)

Utilizing watchdogs or cats is also very effective in keeping squirrels at bay.


Other methods include setting up fake owls or predatory perches. Those can be quite effective as long as you periodically move them around in your garden.


Creating loud noises such as bells or alarms; and tying streamers made out of aluminum foil around trees could also work. But by far the best way is to use ultrasonic repellents like the one below:

The Best Squirrel Repellent

Motion-Activated sprinklers

As a last resort measure against any possible animal invasions into your garden area, consider using motion activated sprinklers. They’re great at scaring away unwanted guests with sudden bursts of water!


So, do squirrels eat flowers? The answer is yes! As it turns out, squirrels will not hesitate to munch on some tender petals from time to time. In addition to flowers, they also enjoy nuts and seeds. While this may come as a surprise for some people, it’s important to remember that these animals need a varied diet in order to stay healthy.

Overall, the relationship between squirrels and flowers can be managed with some simple steps. By providing them with a variety of sources of food or even setting up a birdfeeder near your garden, you can encourage them to turn away from your precious flowers. Keep in mind that while they might enjoy eating your blooms every once in a while, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost.

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