Something is Eating My Flower Garden

Asked June 20, 2019, 3:13 PM EDT

I'm hoping you can help me. Something is eating my flower garden. It is not an insect as it eats whole flowers, leaves, stems, etc. I have seen deer, rabbits and turkeys in my yard. There are no footprints in the dirt. It has eaten blossoms that are about a foot off the ground. I have put netting over the plants, sprayed them with various commercial products, all to no avail. They are eating the leaves of my Cone flowers, the petals of a mini Carnation and the petals of an Asiatic Lily. They had a taste of Chives. The plants are in a flower bed touching our deck that is attached to the house. They did not eat the leaves on Bee Balm or Daisies. Almost all the plants had been there for several years. They have not eaten Hostas, Day Lilies and Astilbe far away from the house. We have few neighbors and no pets in the area. They have also avoided numerous Hydrangeas but did eat my Tulips and also Black Eyed Susan leaves.The Astilbe was new this year and very small so I covered with Tupperware and a rock. In the morning the rocks were knocked off and Tupperware tipped over but they didn't eat the plant. Two days ago I put bird netting over the cone flowers with a rock holding the edge down. The rock was moved over night but they didn't get under the netting.

Benzie County Michigan

1 Response

Hello,

Usually rabbits don’t move rocks but, it could happen. Also, groundhogs, raccoons and possums are possible.

Look at the bitten off end. If they are angled, this is typically rabbits. Some gardeners sprinkle flour around a smooth ground area next to the plants, to see if any tracks appear over night. This needs to be done on a dry night.

To weigh down netting, try using bricks, larger stonesor stepping stones, or “lawn staples” pressed into the ground. Watch for droppings left in the area.

You may want to purchase or borrow from a friend, a little security camera and light that comes on when motion is detected. This may identify the culprit, and the light coming on may temporarily startle and scare the animal.

Here are some articles to help you-

http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74123.html

http://ifplantscouldtalk.rutgers.edu/planttalk/article.asp?ID=13

http://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/pdf/g1688.pdf

https://www.wildlifeillinois.org/gallery/

http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/WetlandBook/WildlifeSignsLab.pdf

I hope this helps! Thank you.