The Stunning Perennial That’ll Chase Away Destructive Garden Moles

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The Stunning Perennial That'll Chase Away Destructive Garden Moles

Gardening enthusiasts are often faced with the challenge of keeping pests away from their plants. One such pest that can wreak havoc on your garden is the garden mole. While there are many ways to try and get rid of moles, such as using certain spices or chemicals, planting fritillaria has proven to be one of the most effective ways to keep them away. Fritillaria is a beautiful perennial that grows in the same nutritious soil that moles and the insects they feed on love. However, it deters them with its potent scent, making it an ideal option for gardeners who want to keep their plants safe.

Although moles can eat the grubs and insects that can harm your plants, the tunnels they dig can destroy the root systems of whatever you’ve planted. Moles prefer loamy soil with plenty of insects for food, but they will avoid areas where toxic bulbs have been planted. Fritillaries, with their exotic appearance and strong scent, are one such bulb that can help keep moles away from your garden.

Fritillaria is a beautiful garden mole deterrent

fritillaria

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If you’re looking for an eye-catching flower for your garden, fritillaria are fantastic. As members of the lily family, they have a distinctive look, with the flowers drooping downward while green “frills” that almost look like outrageous hairstyles, stick straight up above them. Fritillaria also has the added bonus of discouraging moles from taking up residence nearby with their pungent odor that is reminiscent of a fox – a natural predator of the mole whose scent is therefore an excellent deterrent. In some varieties of fritillaria, such as the skunk lily, the aroma of the bulb is said to resemble its namesake, who is also known to prey on moles.

Fritillaria is surprisingly easy to grow, liking sunny or partly sunny spots in moist, well-draining soil, and can be planted in autumn. The bulbs will take root before going dormant and blooming in mid-spring. Simply place the bulbs anywhere from 2 to 6 inches deep and 2 to 12 inches apart, depending on size, then water thoroughly. They can even be planted with smaller flowers that bloom earlier in the spring, such as daffodils, which also deter moles. But while the fritillaria bulbs may be toxic — and should be avoided if you have pets or children digging around in your yard — the flowers attract pollinating bees and butterflies, giving your garden even more beauty and interest.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.