The Gorgeous Garden Perennial That’ll Send Pesky Groundhogs Running

The Gorgeous Garden Perennial That'll Send Pesky Groundhogs Running

Groundhogs can be cute animals, but they can cause serious damage to your garden and landscape. These chubby rodents tend to feast on your plants when there are no humans around. Although groundhogs are not picky eaters, there are some plants they won’t touch. One of the most effective repellents you can grow in your garden are daffodils. These beautiful flowers are highly toxic to wildlife, carrying poisonous lycorine and oxalates. Even the most voracious pests, like groundhogs and squirrels, will instinctively stay away from your garden when daffodils sprout in the spring.

If you suspect that groundhogs are the culprits of your garden damage, look for tell-tale signs of their presence. Large holes near your plants and chew marks on the lower parts of plants are a few ways to identify if groundhogs are causing damage to your garden.

Add daffodils to your landscape

gardener with daffodils

Nicolamargaret/Getty Images

Combine beauty and function by planting a barrier of daffodils around the area you want to protect. These bulbs are hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 through 8, so you can grow them in many regions of the United States. They also multiply by bulb division, so each year, you will have more daffodils and, therefore, more protection from groundhogs. Since there are early-, mid-, and late-season blooming varieties, you can extend the beauty and this flower’s repelling capabilities by planting different types together.

While daffodils will repel groundhogs and other pests from your garden, they are fairly short-lived, so you’ll need a plan to deal with these creatures after the plants die back in late spring. Thankfully, there are other attractive perennials you can plant with daffodils to keep repelling groundhogs throughout the growing season. Powerfully scented herbs like rosemary and thyme may send groundhogs elsewhere, while vegetables with strong scents like onions, chives, and garlic also act as a deterrent.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.