How to Keep Critters Out of Flower Pots

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You can keep critters out of flower pots in a variety of ways, including by putting out something they will be more interested in. Keep critters out of flower pots with help from the owner of Eden Condensed, small space garden design, in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Garden Space
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Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Angela Price from Eden Condensed, small space garden design. And, this is “Garden Space.” When I’m doing garden design, I often have people ask me, “How do I keep critters out of my potted plants? How do I keep them out of my yard, from digging up my flower beds?” And, the fact of the matter is, whether you live in a rural area or a suburban area, we do coexist with wildlife, whether it’s deer or rabbits, rats, gophers, ground squirrels, even cats and dogs can get into your garden and make a mess of it. In my garden, I happen to have a lot of squirrels, and I also have a big oak tree. And, when those acorns fall, those squirrels are digging up everything in my yard to store their acorns for the winter. I also have a lot of cats in my neighborhood, and sometimes they like to use my flower beds as their personal restroom. So, there’s a couple of things that you can do. There’s a lot of products out there that you can use to spray on your plants that supposedly will repel different wildlife and critters. A lot of them are urine-based or they’re rotten egg-based, and frankly I think they just smell bad. There’s also a lot of plants that are distasteful to certain animals, and so if you do have a lot of animal issues, especially with deer, take the time to research which plants might be better to have – especially around the perimeter of your yard – that deer won’t be interested in. But, for small potted plants, to keep animals from digging in them or using them as a bathroom, there’s a couple of things you can do. So, one of the things I like to use is the ever-popular plastic takeout fork. What you can do is put several of these in a pot. You can also use these in an in-ground garden bed. They’re not terribly attractive, but if a cat wants to lay on your plants, or you’ve got a squirrel digging around in your plants, one poke from this, and they’re not going to come back. You can do the same thing with chopsticks just by breaking several of these in half and putting chopsticks around in your plants to keep those critters out. Another thing that I’ve tried which works really well, if you happen to be planting bulbs either in pots or in the ground, go to a Big Box store like a Walmart, or a Costco, or Target, and buy a big jar of crushed red pepper flakes. Or, if you order pizza a lot, you’re always getting these little packets of crushed red pepper flakes. When you plant your plants, save these and sprinkle the red pepper flakes around the base of the plant, or around the base of your seeds or your bulbs so that if something tries to dig it up – like a squirrel – they’re going to get a mouthful of hot pepper, and they’re not going to want to come back to there. So, I hope that gives you some tips on how to get rid of critters from your pots and your garden. If you have any other questions about getting rid of specific animals or repelling specific animals, please contact me at Thank you very much!


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