16 Bulbs That Rodents & Deer Won’t Eat

November 6, 2016 | By | Comments (7)
daffenhell 16 Bulbs That Rodents & Deer Wont Eat

Daffodils and hellebores — a pest-proof combination. Photo: Steve Bender

Faithful reader, Helen, asks, “How do I keep the squirrels from digging up and eating my newly planted bulbs? Those bulbs were expensive!” The simplest solution, replies Grumpy, is to plant bulbs that squirrels won’t eat.

You have more choices than you might think. For example, daffodil bulbs are poisonous to squirrels, voles, mice, and other rodents. None will eat them. As an added bonus, deer won’t eat them either. That’s why I’m so proud of this daffodil-hellebore combination in my front garden, show above. Rodents and deer hate them. I hate rodents and deer, so we’re even.

Here is a list of bulbs you can plant now that these fiends won’t destroy.

Allium (Allium sp.)

Crinum (Crinum sp.)

Dutch iris (Iris sp.)

Foxtail lily (Eremerus sp.)

Fritillary (Fritillaria sp.)

Glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa sp.)

Grape hyacinth (Muscari sp.)

Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)

Snowdrop (Galanthus sp.)

Snowflake (Leucojum sp.)

Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica)

Spring star flower (Ipheion uniflora)

Squill (Scilla sp.)

Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogallum umbellatum)

Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

You’ll notice several popular spring bulbs didn’t make the cut. Tulips, lilies, and crocus are candy for rodents and deer. Plant them if you feel lucky. Alvin and Bambi will thank you.






  1. Adele Raines

    I have no children or pets. So I plant a nice single row of moth balls closely around the perimeter of my garden. I just poke my finger in the dirt, insert one moth ball, cover with dirt. I have no non-invited guests for dinner in my veggie garden. I have woods at the back of my property and see deer walking by all summer long. They just keep going to my neighbor’s property.

    March 19, 2017 at 8:29 pm
  2. Matthew Duff

    plant garlic. squirrels won’t eat but you can.

    November 14, 2016 at 2:10 pm
  3. Vickie Miller

    What if you plant daffodils among the tulips, will that be enough of a deterrent?

    November 6, 2016 at 8:53 pm
  4. LaDonna

    Here I was just going to ask all of you about tulips……! Let’s come up with SOMETHING….!

    November 6, 2016 at 5:38 pm
  5. Jae

    How about daffodils? I dont see them mentioned as tasty or not? Mainly per moles and voles…….thanks!

    November 6, 2016 at 4:13 pm
  6. Karen Swaine

    There is one crocus.. the species Crocus tommasineanus – may be dug up (and replanted, haha) by squirrels, but won’t be eaten. And in addition to Hellebores, these are also left alone: Geranium macrorrhizum, sanguinia, et al (all the cranesbills), Amsonia, Baptisia, Epimedium, and just about anything with powerful minty aroma.

    November 6, 2016 at 11:44 am
  7. Betsy

    I put chicken wire over the bulbs I don’t want the squirrels to get.

    November 6, 2016 at 11:42 am

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