Do Squirrels Eat Gladiolus Bulbs? (and How to PROTECT Your Plants!)

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As a nature lover and someone with several years of experience observing and interacting with squirrels around the world, I’m here to answer the question on everyone’s minds: do squirrels eat gladiolus bulbs? The short answer is yes, but not regularly. Squirrels mostly feed on fruits, nuts, grains, and other plant material.

Do Squirrels Eat Gladiolus Bulbs?

Squirrels are generalists and will eat a variety of foods including some fruits, nuts, grains, and other plant material. They can be opportunistic feeders and may sample gladiolus bulbs if they come across them. However, they are not likely to actively seek out gladiolus bulbs and make them a regular part of their diet.

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What Do Squirrels Eat?

Many people assume that squirrels exclusively feed on acorns, nuts, and other tree-related items. While this is partially true, the reality is that squirrels are Generalists – meaning they’ll happily consume a wide variety of items including flowers, root vegetables and even meats when possible. In addition to gathering food from the environment, these animals sometimes raid gardens and flower beds.

  • Fruits
  • Berries
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Tubers
  • Roots
  • Grains

Can Squirrels Eat Gladiolus Bulbs?

While some animals may sample gladiolus bulbs if they come across them while foraging – they don’t typically search out bulbs as part of their natural diet patterns. Squirrels have been known to dig up corms (the underground storage portion) during the summer months and consume them as an energy source. Interestingly enough small rodents such as mice and voles have been observed eating large quantities of glad corms during cold winter months.

In addition to consuming corm tissues, many gladiolus species contain bulbous tubers which can be eaten by rodents and other wildlife as well. Although this practice isn’t common among most wildlife species; it pays to be aware of potential critters that could be after your estimated bulbs.

Protecting Your Gladiolus Bulbs from Squirrels

As with any type of critter, the best approach to protecting your flower garden from squirrels is prevention. While they may not necessarily be looking to consume gladiolus bulbs, they will certainly sample them if given the opportunity. To decrease the chances of that happening, there are some simple strategies you can employ.

Make Digging Difficult

One of the simplest ways to make it difficult for squirrels to dig up your bulbs is by mulching heavily around your planted areas. Consider using an organic material such as straw or wood chips to make it more challenging to dig and move around in your planting bed. This means less time trying to unearth your precious gladiolus bulbs and a greater chance of them surviving unscathed.

Cover Your Bulbs

In order to protect your bulbs from squirrels or other critters digging them up for a snack, you’ll need to cover them with something like plastic netting or burlap. This will make it harder for the animals to get at the bulbs and discourage them from snacking on them.

  • Use plastic netting
  • Cover with burlap
  • Secure corners with stakes

Fence The Critters Out

Another good way to keep out animals and birds is by enclosing the flower beds with chicken wire or other similar fencing materials. Make sure to bury at least 6 inches into the ground so that nothing can rub against it or dig underneath. Be aware that some rodents are adept climbers and may find a way over small fences—in this case adding taller height might help.

The Best Squirrel-Proof Barriers


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Employ Scare Tactics

The sight or sound of something nearby can startle critters away from where you don’t want them lingering. Hang shiny objects from tree branches that reflect light when moved by wind—or set up motion-sensitive lights near potential problem areas around the garden. Playing recordings of animal predators through speakers is another effective technique.

Ultrasounds are especially effective with squirrels and rodents in general. To save you time, I hand-picked the best ultrasonic squirrel repellent for you.

Avoid Smelly Fertilizers

Using smelly fertilizers in your garden may attract critters such as squirrels and rabbits looking for an easy meal. To deter these animals, stick to organic fertilizers or create your own solutions with composted materials that won’t attract any undesired visitors.

  • Stick with organic fertilizers
  • Compost your material

Plant Your Bulbs Among Other Plants

A smart way to fool squirrels is by planting your gladiolus bulbs among other ground covers and perennials. Planting later in the season may help deter them, as will setting up a feeding station to distract them from your plants. You can also try using organic repellents available to further protect your plantings.

The Anti-Squirrel Plants


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Use natural repellents

Squirrels hate mint, garlic Levander and other aromatic plants. That’s why they are likely to stay clear of your yard if you leave around some mint repellent like the one below:

Use Decoys of predators

Squirrels are very smart and can recognize when there is a potential danger nearby. That’s why using decoys of predators such as an owl can be effective in keeping squirrels out of your garden.

Decoy To Scare The Squirrels

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Just remember to move the decoy around from time to time, or the squirrels will understand that it is not a real animal.

Plant Bulbs That Squirrels Don’t Prefer

If you want to protect your gladiolus bulbs from squirrels, it’s best to plant varieties they don’t prefer. Bulbs that bloom early, like crocus and snowdrops, are less appealing to them. Planting bulbs varieties amongst other ground covers and perennials may also help deter them. Additionally, you can use natural repellents such as garlic and cayenne pepper.

Delay Planting Time

Delay planting time to deter squirrels from snacking on your gladiolus bulbs! Planting later in the season (after mid-July) allows other plants to cover your bulbs, making them less accessible and visible. Additionally, setting up a feeding station with foods squirrels typically eat can distract them from scavenging for bulbs. Finally, organic repellents are available to further deter squirrels from snacking on your bulb plantings. Protect your garden with these preventative tactics!

Bulbs That Deter Squirrels

Although squirrels are generalists, not all bulbs pose the same risk of being eaten. Knowing exactly what bulbs squirrels are attracted to and which they will leave alone can help you determine the right protection strategy for your home garden.

What Bulbs Do Squirrels Avoid?

  • Gallium
  • Bearded iris
  • Crocuses
  • Daffodils
  • Fritillaria
  • Hyacinths
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Snowdrops

Squirrels tend to avoid these bulbs because of their strong smell, which deters them from digging them up.

Which Bulbs Do Squirrels Prefer?

  • Gladiolus
  • Tulips

These bulbs don’t have a strong odor and are often chosen by squirrels as a tasty snack. However, with the correct protection strategies in place, you can still grow these types of bulbs without having to worry about animals getting to them.

Use Natural Repellents

Use natural repellents to keep squirrels away from your gladiolus bulbs. Organic repellents such as garlic, peppermint oil, and cayenne pepper can be used to create an aversion to the area. Planting onions, or planting around other ground covers like mint or sage can also work. Additionally, setting up a feeding station far away from your plants to distract squirrels may help too!

Does Blood Meal Help?

Blood meal refers to dried animal blood collected after slaughter that has been heated until it becomes a powder-like substance. It has traditionally been used as an organic fertilizer because it is highly nutritious and contains high concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron among other nutrients.

However, some gardeners swear by its ability to repel animals such as squirrels due to its strong odor when applied to the ground around flowers and bulbs. Though there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, you may want to try blood meal out yourself if you feel like giving it a shot! Just be sure not to apply it too liberally or else you risk damaging your plants.

Add Sharp Gravel

Sharp gravel is an effective way to prevent squirrels from digging up gladiolus bulbs. Its jagged edges irritate the squirrels’ paws, making them less likely to come around your plants. Place a thin layer of gravel at the base of your bulbs and around their stems and leaves to create an impenetrable barrier. Additionally, regularly check for any signs of disturbance and refill the gravel if needed.

Provide Alternate Food Sources

We can provide alternate food sources to deter squirrels from eating gladiolus bulbs. Setting up a feeding station with nuts, seeds, or even fruits and vegetables can distract them away from our prized flowers. Delaying planting time until later in the season may also help prevent the hungry rodents from discovering your beloved bulbs. Planting bulbs among other ground covers and perennials is yet another way to add additional protection for your blooms. Finally, using organic repellents available on the market can act as a deterrent and keep them away from snacking on your hard work.

Clean Up Your Planting Areas

Keep your planting area clean and free from clutter. Ensure any potential food sources such as berries, nuts, or seeds are regularly removed. Additional minimization of cover for bigger game like rabbits, might also be necessary. Also consider setting up a feeding station to distract squirrels from your plants and delay planting time until later in the season. Doing so will give you extra time to plan out other techniques like planting bulbs among other ground covers and perennials, or using organic repellents available to deter squirrels away.


Is the gladiolus plant able to resist being attacked by rabbits?

Gladiolus is a beloved flower by many due to its hardiness and resistance to various pests. It is able to withstand deer, rodent, and rabbit damage, making it an ideal choice for gardeners in USDA zones 8-10. This plant can reach heights of up to 48 inches tall, with white blooms appearing 60-90 days after planting. Furthermore, gladiolus is great for mass planting, borders, and cutting gardens.

In conclusion, yes, gladiolus is indeed rabbit resistant. Gardeners looking for a dependable flowering plant that will thrive despite pest pressure should certainly consider this lovely flower.

Do rabbits consume gladiolus plants?

Gladiolus are generally resistant to being eaten by rabbits and other rodents. This is good news for gardeners looking to keep their flower beds untouched by the furry critters. It is important to note, however, that while rabbits will typically avoid eating gladiolus, they may still nibble on the leaves if they are desperate.

Do rabbits consume gladiolus flowers?

Gladiolus flowers are generally safe from rabbits, due to their resistance to these critters. Therefore, you won’t need to worry about them nibbling on your glorious blooms! On the other hand, deer may be more likely to snack on them, so it is worth looking into further deterrents if you have a problem with these baddies.


Although squirrels will eat a variety of things, including some plant material, they generally do not actively seek out gladiolus bulbs to eat. Yet they can still be opportunistic feeders, which is why it’s important to take measures to protect your gladiolus bulbs from these pests. To do so, try planting in raised beds or containers surrounded by hardware cloth or burying a wire mesh around the base of the plants.

So, do squirrels eat gladiolus bulbs? The answer is yes – but only if they come across them while scavenging for food. By taking steps to protect your gladiolus bulbs against such opportunistic pests, you can rest assured that your beautiful flowerbeds will remain unscathed.

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