Foxglove plants are popular perennial ornamental plants known for their tall spiked flowers. These plants are extremely toxic, and most animals, including squirrels, avoid eating them. Squirrels don’t eat Foxglove plants because they contain poisonous cardiac glycosides, which are toxic if ingested.
Why Do Squirrels Eat Foxglove?
Squirrels don’t eat Foxgloves. These animals are smart and avoid eating poisonous plants that can harm them. If something is damaging or eating your Foxglove, it’s likely not squirrels.
Squirrels are, however, attracted to other plants, such as rhododendrons and azaleas.
That said, even though squirrels won’t eat Foxglove, they can still damage the plants by digging around the plants or building food caches.
So, knowing how to protect your Foxgloves and other plants from being damaged by squirrels is important. We’ll discuss some tips below, but first, let’s take a closer look at the poisonous Foxglove plants.
What Are Foxglove Plants?
Foxglove plants are known for their tall, elegant spikes covered in bell-shaped flowers. These flowers come in various colors and are particularly attractive to hummingbirds and bumblebees.
Foxgloves are also rabbit- and deer-resistant, making them popular for many gardeners.
They are popular plants for gardeners because they can be grown in full sun or part shade. Healthy Foxglove plants can reach impressive heights of over 1 meter (3 feet) and sport flower spikes of up to 30 centimeters (12 inches) in length.
Their vibrant colors and distinguished appearance make them a compelling choice for adding a touch of charm and elegance to your garden.
Will Squirrels Eat Foxglove?
Squirrels are opportunistic feeders but won’t go out of their way to eat Foxgloves. However, the rodents might be drawn to the plants because of their beautiful, colorful flowers.
Signs That Squirrels Are Damaging Your Foxgloves
Squirrels can cause a variety of damage to plants, including:
1. Digging holes: Squirrels dig holes in the soil to bury nuts or acorns. These holes can uproot young plants or damage the roots of established ones.
2. Chewed leaves and flowers: These rodents habitually chew on leaves and flowers, which can affect the plant’s growth and overall health. Squirrels will chew the stems and leaves at the base of the plant.
3. Half-eaten flowers on the ground: Squirrels are attracted to bright-colored flowers and may nibble on a small piece of the blooming flower before they realize it’s not on the menu. If they don’t like the taste, it’s not unusual for them to drop it on the ground and search for better tasting food.
4. Nibbled or stolen bulbs: Squirrels may also dig up and nibble or steal the bulbs. It’s not unusual for them to target such plants as tulips and crocuses.
How to Protect Foxglove Plants From Squirrels
Squirrels won’t eat your Foxglove plants, but they may dig around the soil in search of food cache or dig up the bulbs of other nearby plants.
Here are some tips to protect your Foxglove plants and garden.
Create A Physical Barrier
First and foremost, set up a barrier to protect your daisies. A barrier such as a 3-4 foot high rabbit fence. Opt for a plastic rabbit-proof fence; you won’t have to worry about rust.
Bury it at least 10 inches deep in the ground, and extend it out a few inches so the squirrel can’t dig underneath it.
Plant Them Closer to Your House
Squirrels are cautious by nature because they have tons of predators. One of the best ways to keep squirrels away from your plants is to move your garden closer to your house.
Squirrels are easily alarmed by human presence and likely won’t damage the plants when the garden is close to a deck, window, or somewhere there is a lot of traffic.
For repellents to work, you also need to remove anything that is attracting the squirrels to your yard in the first place. This means removing any sources of food and water.
Clean up any fallen fruit or nuts, as these will attract rodents. Be sure to empty bird feeders as they will eat the bird seed.
If you have a pet, don’t leave their food out, as it will attract the squirrels.
Lastly, seal up any holes or cracks around your home, as this will give them access to your yard.
Owl statues have been known to deter squirrels from gardens since owls prey on rodents. That said, you’ll have to move the decoy around every few days, as the squirrels will catch on that it’s not real.
Use Garlic Spray
Squirrels don’t like the smell or taste of garlic. You can make your own garlic spray by mixing water, vinegar, and minced garlic. Let it sit for a few days, no less than 24 hours.
Spray the mixture on your plants and around the perimeter of your yard. Be sure to reapply every few days or after it rains.
Before spraying the ground around the plants, give them a good drink of water to prevent the roots and leaves from burning.
Garlic is good for deterring squirrels and other animals. It protects plants from bugs like snails and ants and fungal diseases like blackspot.
So, even if you don’t have a squirrel problem, consider using garlic spray as an environmentally friendly way to protect your wooflowers.
Get A Dog or Cat
Dogs and cats keep squirrels from entering your yard or garden just by being outside. The rodents are naturally wary of predators, given why they run when they see you approaching the garden.
When a squirrel sees or smells the scent of a dog or cat, it will bother someone else’s garden instead of entering yours.
In addition, cats and dogs have a natural instinct to chase and kill them. This technique keeps squirrels, rats, and mice at bay.
Irish Spring Soap
Irish Spring soap is a well-known effect deterrent for keeping squirrels, deer, and other animals away from fruits, vegetables, and plants. The soap has a strong scent that will keep the animals away.
Shave a soap bar into smaller pieces using a cheese grater.
Then, sprinkle the soap shavings around the plants you want to protect. The scent will last several days, and you’ll need to reapply it after it rains.
You can also place bars of soap around the perimeter of your garden.
Pierce a hole through the bar of soap and hang it on a wooden pole or post using a piece of rope.
This will create a barrier that squirrels and other animals won’t want to cross. You don’t have to worry, as the plant won’t hurt your plants or edibles.
This method is also effective for keeping deer away from your garden.
Creating a Squirrel-Friendly Garden
To create a squirrel-friendly garden, you can start by planting a variety of foods that they enjoy.
Another way to make your garden more inviting for squirrels is to ensure appropriate shelter and nesting sites. Squirrels typically prefer to nest in hollow trees or trees with nooks and crannies in the trunks.
If you don’t have any trees, you can make a squirrel box and hang it in a spot away from your home.
Additionally, you can offer other squirrel-friendly features in your garden, like a birdbath or some water source.
Are Foxgloves Toxic To Squirrels?
Foxglove plants are extremely toxic to animals and humans. Most animals avoid eating them, including squirrels. All parts of the plants, including their seeds and flowers, are toxic, and ingesting small amounts is toxic.
While foxgloves can pose a risk to squirrels if consumed, their natural instincts can help them avoid ingesting such toxic plants.
Squirrels are smart animals with an acute sense of which plants are safe to eat and which to avoid.
Therefore, it is not very likely that squirrels would eat foxgloves in your garden.
Animals and Insects That Eat Foxglove?
There aren’t a lot of animals that will eat Foxgloves because of the type of plant it is. If something is damaging your plants, it’s likely insects such as;
- Yellow underwing
Squirrels do not eat Foxglove plants because even small ingested amounts are toxic. A squirrel’s natural diet consists of various foods, including seeds and nuts like pine nuts, cones, and acorns.
These rodents will only eat plants when no other food sources are available.