The True Tale of Squirrels and Geraniums

Last fall before frost, I brought in some of my summer annuals to overwinter. Among them were three beautiful geraniums. They make happy houseplants if given enough light and warmth.

Early June I put them out on the front porch and the deck. The one on the deck was in one of those self-watering pots, which turned out not to be the best idea because it holds water when it rains and becomes a mess. So I planted that geranium in a window box.

By now you know I am a squirrel advocate…and sometimes called a squirrely advocate, which is neither here nor there. I happily provide the little dudes with peanuts. Unfortunately, they are garden terrors.

squirrel eating a peanut

Peanuts, peanuts, peanuts!

Each morning I inspect the pots to see if these anti-gardeners have been busy and then repair the mess they’ve made.

This afternoon provided a new discovery as I gazed out the window to see if the hummingbird liked the new placement of the feeder away from bird and squirrel traffic. A squirrel was on the ledge behind the window box that housed my geranium. Said squirrel also had the geranium between his paws and was chowing down on the root. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of the crime as it occurred because I was too astounded. I’ve replanted the poor geranium and am thinking of potting it up and bringing it back inside to nurse it back to health.

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My happy healthy geraniums.

squirrel food

My ravaged geranium replanted after being gourmet squirrel food.

Now, when I Googled “squirrels eat geranium roots,” two blogs, that shall remain nameless, listed geraniums as flowers you should plant because squirrels won’t eat them. They don’t like the smell of them. Haha. Maybe my squirrel is a connoisseur. Or eclectic. Figures I would have weird squirrels.

Man, he’s back. I’ve got to save my geranium! BRB

I apologize for the quality of the next two pictures that show the gourmet squirrel entertaining a new delicacy, a coleus leaf. He was caught in the act of coleus leaf thieving!

 

Well, I’m still going to go save my geranium. Tomorrow it will probably be the coleus. They just dig up the petunias and don’t eat them…

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15 replies »

  1. I knew squirrel liked to steal bird seeds and stuff alike, but I had never heard of them nibbling on geraniums and other plants!! Thanks for sharing this, and good luck saving your garden 🙂

  2. Tell me about it! I am unable to have flowers except for roses (they eat the buds near the bottom but can’t reach the others) and Chrysanthemum which must not taste good. Everything else, including bulbs, they eat.

  3. My problems are with the stupidly cute little bunnies that are running rampant around here. They’ve eaten off over half of my Asiatic lilies before they even got the chance to bloom. I think next year, I’m going to have to add cages around them. We don’t have enough big, trees to really attract the squirrels, so I’m glad my solution is relatively simple.

    • We used to have little bunnies. I haven’t seen a bunny in my yard in about a decade because of the neighborhood cats and then the foxes…maybe the hawk has had something to do with it too. Some of my neighbors were having issues with deer and they do put cages around parts of their garden.

      • I do like the foxes. I never saw a live one until I moved to this neighborhood. Although it is a little freaky at night when you’re walking your dog and realize a fox is following you–not to do harm (tell my emotions that, brain) but probably to play with my dog.

      • It isn’t all that common to see them around here, but they are around. I’m just not normally lucky enough to see them.

  4. Animals like squirrels are really cute until they start eating your plants. I remember once there were rats in the community garden and various eradication projects were going on to get rid of them. “Poor rats!” I said. Until they ate my cucumbers. Then, my attitude changed. When an animal steals food you’ve grown out of the ground, the animal’s status changes, for me at least. It’s almost primordial.

    • I think if I were more dependent on that food to survive I’d take a different stance. It’s a little annoying to find bits eaten out of tomatoes. Funny none of them, not even the birds go after my habaneros. I planted small patch corn once, evidently for the raccoons. I read cayenne pepper is supposed to work…
      I would never poison any creature–not only because it’s supposed to be horrifically painful, but the chance is that it will get passed along the food chain and a fox or owl or hawk get poisoned too.

      • My son was cooking jerk chicken tonight, he thought he’d just try a bit of habanero. Yeah he was at the faucet drinking for a while.

        I think they were trapping the rats, not poisoning them, for the record.

      • I love the flavor of habanero but you really have to gauge the dish you’re adding it to if you’re not used to eating it.

        Oh, good to know. In my neck of the woods, people seem to just kill animals first w/o thought.

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