Yes, squirrels do eat daylilies.
Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are beautiful flowering plants that are commonly found in gardens and landscapes. While they are known for their vibrant blooms and low maintenance, daylilies can sometimes fall victim to the voracious appetite of squirrels. In this article, we will explore why squirrels are attracted to daylilies, how they damage these plants, and effective methods to protect your daylilies from squirrel damage.
Why Are Squirrels Attracted to Daylilies?
Squirrels are attracted to daylilies for several reasons:
- Food Source: Squirrels are opportunistic eaters and will consume a wide variety of plant material. Daylilies provide a source of food for squirrels, including the flowers, buds, and even the foliage.
- Easy Access: Daylilies are often planted in open areas, making them easily accessible to squirrels. Their low-growing foliage and exposed flowers make it convenient for squirrels to reach and feed on them.
- Seed Pods: Daylilies produce seed pods after flowering, which contain seeds that squirrels find appealing. Squirrels may dig up the bulbs or chew on the seed pods to access the seeds.
How Do Squirrels Damage Daylilies?
Squirrels can cause various types of damage to daylilies:
|Type of Damage||Description|
|Flower Browsing||Squirrels may nibble on the flowers, causing them to become disfigured or completely eaten.|
|Bud Destruction||Squirrels may chew on the buds, preventing the flowers from fully developing and blooming.|
|Foliage Consumption||Squirrels may eat the leaves and stems of daylilies, leading to defoliation and weakening of the plant.|
|Bulb Damage||Squirrels may dig up the bulbs, either to eat them or to store them for later consumption.|
Protecting Daylilies from Squirrel Damage
To safeguard your daylilies from squirrel damage, consider implementing the following measures:
1. Physical Barriers
Creating physical barriers is an effective way to deter squirrels from reaching your daylilies:
- Wire Mesh: Surround the daylilies with wire mesh or hardware cloth to prevent squirrels from accessing the plants.
- Cages: Construct cages using chicken wire or other sturdy materials to enclose individual daylily plants.
- Netting: Cover the daylilies with bird netting or mesh to protect them from squirrel browsing.
Using squirrel repellents can help discourage these critters from feasting on your daylilies:
- Spray Repellents: Apply commercially available squirrel repellents on and around the daylilies. These repellents often have a strong odor or taste that squirrels find unpleasant.
- Natural Repellents: Consider using natural repellents like cayenne pepper, garlic, or predator urine, as these can deter squirrels without harming the plants or the environment.
3. Planting Strategies
Strategic planting techniques can make daylilies less appealing to squirrels:
- Companion Planting: Surround daylilies with plants that squirrels dislike, such as daffodils, alliums, or marigolds.
- Interplanting: Mix daylilies with other squirrel-resistant plants to reduce the overall attractiveness of the area to squirrels.
4. Squirrel Feeders
Providing alternative food sources can divert squirrels’ attention away from your daylilies:
- Squirrel Feeders: Install squirrel feeders filled with nuts or seeds away from your daylilies to entice squirrels to feed elsewhere.
Squirrels are known to eat daylilies, causing damage to the flowers, buds, foliage, and bulbs. By implementing physical barriers, using repellents, employing strategic planting techniques, and providing alternative food sources, you can effectively protect your daylilies from squirrel damage. Remember to regularly inspect your plants and take appropriate action to maintain the health and beauty of your daylilies.