Plants that repel voles will help protect your lawn, as these animals will likely eat your plants to the crown, damaging the look of your landscape.
Luckily, some plants will significantly control vole damage in your outdoor space, so you can keep the rest of your plants and flowers in perfect shape.
Our gardening team will suggest 11 varieties that voles will avoid if you grow them in your garden.
List of Plants That Voles Avoid
1. Castor Bean
If you have a big vole problem in your garden that you can’t put under control, then growing castor bean plants will be an excellent solution to keep these animals away. These plants look fantastic with their star-shaped leaves and vibrant red seeds.
The Ricinus communis plant can be grown in late spring or started six weeks indoors before the last frost, and the greenish-yellow flowers will bloom in summer and fall.
They grow to reach a height of 10 feet tall, attracting attention in your garden. They need to grow in rich soil and should be kept in a sunny spot with consistent water, but they’re toxic to humans and pets.
– Why Voles Hate Them
Castor oil is a strong vole repellent, and it’s extracted from the seeds of this plant. If your garden is vulnerable, you can spray the oil after mixing it with coffee grounds around different plants.
The oil penetrates through the deep layers of the soil and drives voles to look for food away from your garden. If the problem persists, you can use a garden-safe repellent like Epic Vole Scram Granular Repellent.
If you’re wondering how to stop voles and bugs from eating plants, ornamental onions won’t disappoint you. Voles are repelled by the pungent smell of ornamental onion, which makes it an excellent addition to your garden to keep these animals away.
These fast-growing plants grow big, round pom-pom-shaped flowers that can be green, white, pink, yellow, or purple. They grow in full sun but will tolerate some partial shade.
Alliums need moderate watering but can’t tolerate moist soil as they’re prone to bulb rot. You also don’t have to fertilize your plants unless the soil is inferior. They’re resistant to most pests because of their onion-like smell that other rodents, like squirrels, hate. Deer won’t come near this plant because of its pungent smell.
Although alliums are early spring bloomers, their foliage usually deteriorates fast after blooming. You should plant them in a protected spot because they’re toxic to humans, cats, and dogs. Moreover, dog urine can cause leaf discoloration and will affect the look of your beautiful plants.
3. Crown Imperial
Fritillaria imperialis can be excellent border plants as they keep voles away and also add a pop of color to your garden. The flower stalks grow to be about three feet tall, growing from bulbs that should be planted in the early fall.
The plants need to receive between 6 and 8 hours of sunlight daily and can survive in different soil types.
Plants need regular watering in the growing season, but other than that, you should keep the topsoil slightly moist. You can use I Must Garden Mole & Vole Repellent around this plant to protect your garden from vole attacks.
– Special Features
The bell-shaped blooms come in warm shades of yellow, orange, and red, and they usually start blooming in spring and early summer. The flowers stay dormant when the temperature increases, but the plants still represent a focal point in a flower bed.
The notch at the top of each bulb can collect water, making the bulbs more prone to rot. People grow these flowers because voles find them distasteful, but take note that they’re toxic to humans and pets.
4. Lenten Rose
These early-season bloomers come in different shades of white, light pink, or purple rose, although some cultivars have yellow, cream, or maroon flowers. The flowers appear in late winter or early spring and get their name from their blooming season, which takes place around Lent.
Some hybrids grow downward-facing flowers, but most are upward and outward-facing. Hellebores are toxic to different animals and humans, and voles find their rigid sepals and stem difficult to eat, so they won’t attack them. You can further protect them using a plant-safe medicine like Repellex Mole Gopher Repellent, which also works for voles.
– Growing Conditions
This plant is a slow grower when grown from seeds, and it usually takes two or three years to mature. Yet, it’s a good choice for a beginner gardener because it’s pretty easy to take care of.
It grows in fertile well-draining soil and needs consistent moisture without leaving the soil to get too wet. It’s a great shade-loving perennial, so you can grow it under trees where other plants might struggle.
5. Grape Hyacinth
Muscari plants get their famous nickname from their small grape-like blooms that come in shades of blue, lavender, pink, white, and yellow. These plants bloom early in the spring, before other plants, turning your garden into a vibrant display of bright colors.
Voles don’t eat them, and their blooms last for three weeks, longer than other plants. Gardeners will occasionally grow pink and rare blue varieties to add contrast to their gardens.
– Plant Care
The Muscari plants are pretty easy to take care of, and you can even forget about them until they emerge from the ground in the spring. They thrive in full sun but can withstand partial shade. This plant loves sandy soil that should be allowed to dry out.
Remove the seed pods after the blooms disappear and keep the foliage intact to preserve the plant’s energy. These plants aren’t heavy feeders, but spraying bone meal once a year might benefit them, especially if the soil is too poor.
There are thousands of cultivars of this plant, but all have the same trumpet-like colorful cup, which is surrounded by petals that make the flowers that come in shades of yellow, white, pink, and orange; they can also be bi-colored.
These popular spring perennial bulbs are suitable for beginner gardeners because they’re easy to maintain. They require little watering and full sun, especially during the growing season, and prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil. Watering should be stopped during mid-spring to resume after the flowers fade.
– Why Voles Dislike Them
The plants contain calcium oxalate crystals and different alkaloids that make them toxic to voles and other animals and pets. Voles will stay away from them because they hurt their mouths, so they won’t try to eat them and might avoid your garden altogether.
However, you should also grow them away from kids and pets for maximum safety. In addition, they should be touched and approached with care because they contain chemicals that can lead to skin allergies.
7. Bog Onion
The Jack-in-the-pulpit plant is a showy species to grow in your garden, and it will also keep voles away because it contains alkaloids and calcium oxalate crystals that make this plant toxic to pests in your garden.
This plant is a slow grower and prefers some partial shade. It can even tolerate some deep shade, unlike most plants. As its name suggests, bog onions can survive in poor-draining and even boggy soil, but it should be kept moist.
– Special Features
This plant gets its unusual name from the inner spadix, which contains the flowers but is concealed by a modified leaf structure that you can notice from a distance. This structure is green but turns purple in the fall and can sometimes get streaked.
In fall, this plant might grow some red berries providing a year-round show in your garden. Unfortunately, all parts of the plant are toxic to pets and humans, and eating it will lead to swelling of the mouth.
If you ask, “does mint repel voles?” then you should be thrilled to know that the answer is yes. Mint can also deter different pests like wasps and squirrels because of its fragrant essential oil. This strong smell might appeal to humans, but voles find it too annoying and overwhelming.
In summer, the plant will grow small white and purple flowers that attract bees and butterflies to your garden. This versatile edible herb will survive in shady spots, although it prefers full sun. It tolerates different types of soil but prefers rich, slightly acidic soil, which should be kept moist but not boggy.
This herb won’t be as fragrant in shady spots, and the roots will become leggy. In optimal conditions, mint can become invasive as it spreads aggressively. The long stems flop over to touch the ground, growing new plants with no care or maintenance. You should also grow this plant away from your pets because it’s toxic to animals.
Meadow voles can cause a lot of damage by digging through your garden, but encountering the bulbs of this plant will make them stop because they find them distasteful. The plant’s other nickname, the fair maids of February, is due to the fact that the blooms appear first in your garden.
This is a tiny plant that barely reaches a height of six inches, and each stalk will grow one bell-shaped white flower. Since it’s resistant to most pests like squirrels, growing this plant will help protect vulnerable plants that voles love. However, this plant is toxic to humans and pets.
– Growing Conditions
Snowdrop plants thrive in well-draining soil, and they can be grown in rock gardens, moon gardens, and woodland gardens. They need regular watering, but less frequent watering is OK in colder climates. They need access to full sun, but they bloom before most trees, so you can grow them under them. They’re intolerant to high heat and humidity.
There are annual and perennial types of this plant to grow in your garden, and all types smell stinky to voles, efficiently keeping them away from your landscape. Sage plants grow blooms that can be red, purple, blue, orange, or violet. They all prefer to grow in full sun, but some varieties can grow in partial shade.
All these plants deter several pests, and some types are pretty attractive to butterflies, allowing you to grow your butterfly garden. Sage plants prefer well-draining soil, and the blooming time depends on the variety. Use Bonide Molemax Mole & Vole Repellent near your plants to make them more vole-resistant.
– Planting Ideas
Salvia plants are pretty easy to take care of, and they’re suitable for rocky soil where other plants can’t grow. They can also survive in inferior soil, where other plants won’t grow. They can be grown next to early-season bloomers like snowdrops because the flowers are usually brightly colored, so they will make the perfect combination.
11. Iris Reticulata
Dwarf or netted iris is a spring bloomer that grows fragrant blue and purple flowers. These flowers can work beautifully with your snowdrop plants, and their fragrance will deter voles and keep them away from your garden.
The plants can tolerate partial shade, and you can increase their potency at repelling voles by using the Natural Elements Mole and Vole Repellent 100 percent Castor Oil close to them as it doesn’t kill plants. Although this plant is resistant to most pests, it’s toxic to animals and should be grown away from pets.
– Special Features
Bulbs take several years to mature, growing flowers that have three upright petals surrounded by three drooping petals with some white and yellow details. Their netted bulbs have a unique appearance, and voles won’t feed on them, although they’re fond of eating different bulbs.
Plants continue to grow bulbs every year, but they should be grown in the fall to guarantee a bountiful blooming season. These hardy plants are more resistant to iris borers than most other irises.
Vole activity can be a real nuisance in your garden, but luckily, some plants will help push these pests away, keeping your landscape in perfect shape. Here are some of the most recommended repellent plants from our list and why you should choose them.
- Voles have sensitive noses, so they’ll stay away from plants that have a strong fragrance such as allium.
- Some fragrances appeal to humans, but voles find them repulsive. The mint plant is one example of this.
- These rodents will stay away from plants that contain toxic compounds like calcium oxalate crystals and alkaloids, such as daffodils.
- You can make your plants more vole-resistant by spraying a natural deterrent or some ground coffee around your most vulnerable plants.
Vole-proofing your garden is possible, and with these beautiful plants suggested by our gardening team, your mission will definitely be easier. After reading this informative guide, which of these plants will you grow to get rid of your vole problem?
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