Do you have a beautiful collection of succulents, but you constantly find some bitten, eaten, and badly damaged? If so, you could be dealing with more than bugs and pests. Birds may be eyeing your succulents as an easy and tasty snack. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent birds from getting close enough to take a bite out of your beautiful succulents.
So, how can you stop birds from eating your succulents? One way to keep birds away from your succulents is by using deterrents. Netting or bird spikes can be used to create barriers that the birds cannot cross. Another way to protect your succulents is by using repellents. Repellents such as bird-repellent gel, liquid, or granules can help discourage birds from coming close to the succulents. You can also use motion-activated devices to frighten birds away. Water sprays and ultrasonic devices are effective for deterring birds from eating your plants.
This blog post discusses everything you need to know about protecting your succulents from birds. We review the best methods for deterring birds and other tips and tricks for keeping them away from your plants.
Read on to learn more.
Why Do Birds Eat Succulents?
Birds often target succulents because they like the nutritious juice in the leaves and stems. The juice contains much-needed vitamins and minerals, which the birds need for energy.
Furthermore, the bright colors of some succulent varieties attract birds in search of food.
Keep in mind that the diet of most birds doesn’t include succulents, but they will go for the juice if other food sources are scarce.
Some succulents, such as echeverias and aloes, contain highly delicious and nutritious water. During times of scarcity, birds flock to succulents for a drink.
Other succulents, such as agaves, are a delicious treat that many birds cannot resist. The sugary leaves and stems serve as an excellent dessert for them.
When the birds are done with all the pecking, your succulent plants will be left with several wounds that may eventually lead to death if you are not careful.
How to Know If Birds Are Eating Your Succulents
To find out if birds are having a field day with your succulents, you should start by looking at the soil around your pot. Do you see signs of birds’ poop around the pot? If yes, then you are probably dealing with a bird problem.
Another way to tell if birds have been having a snack is to look at the leaves and stems of your succulents. Bite marks on the leaves or stems indicate that birds have tasted your succulent.
Since most birds taste succulent leaves, you will likely notice small holes in your succulent leaves. The holes will be smaller for birds.
So, if you notice bigger chunks of holes in the leaves, you may be dealing with bigger animals, not birds.
Keep in mind that even cats and dogs eat succulents. Squirrels and other rodents may also find their way to your garden and feed on your succulents.
Some bird species, such as hummingbirds, will leave behind the entire leaf or stem after feasting on them.
In this case, you will notice that the leaves and stems are gone, with just a tiny stub remaining where they were connected to the main stem.
If you find any of these signs around your succulents, you must act immediately before more damage is done.
How to Protect Succulents from Birds
You can take several actions to protect your succulents from hungry birds. Here are some of the most effective ones:
One of the most effective ways to stop birds from accessing your succulent collection is using netting or bird spikes. You can use the netting to create a physical barrier that the birds cannot cross.
You can purchase bird netting made of fine mesh so birds cannot go through it quickly. Consider placing the net over the top of your succulents to keep birds away.
The good thing is that you can easily set up the bird netting to surround your garden without touching your succulents.
Find a way to build a simple framework around your succulents so you can easily drape the netting over them. This plays a critical role in ensuring the net doesn’t hinder the growth of your succulents in any way.
Using fence posts, tall stakes, or bamboo poles, you can make the netting framework. Take time to set up an excellent framework to protect your garden effectively.
2. Hang Reflective Tape Near the Garden Area
Did you know that a good reflective tape can scare away birds? Consider hanging some reflective tape near the garden to protect your succulents from birds.
The shiny surface of the reflective tape will scare away any bird that tries to access your garden. This is an effective way to keep birds at bay without hurting them or making your garden unattractive.
You can also hang wind chimes near your succulents if birds try to access your garden. The sound of the wind chime will scare away the birds and keep them from eating succulents.
3. Use Chicken Wire Over the Ground
Chicken wire pinned to the ground can protect newly sown succulent seeds or tubers. The wire stops birds, including your chickens, from scratching the soil where you have the seeds or tubers.
As your succulents grow and become bigger, you can carefully lift the wire on stakes or bend it around hoops.
The primary target is to ensure that the chicken wire doesn’t take away the beauty of your garden. You can also use fabric, burlap, or compostable mulch to cover newly sown succulent seeds.
These materials will help control weeds while providing an effective barrier against birds. Some gardeners also use mothballs around the area where they have succulents.
The mothball smell keeps the birds away without hurting anything else!
4. Use Predator Decoys
Predator decoys can be a good way of scaring birds from your succulent garden. Luckily, there are many different types of predators that birds fear. One of the best predator decoys is the owl.
Carefully position owl decoys near your succulents or fence posts to scare birds away. Use multiple owl decoys if you have a relatively large garden.
However, there is one thing you need to keep in mind when using this method. Birds aren’t stupid; they will soon realize that an owl decoy left in one place for several days or weeks will not harm them.
Therefore, it is essential to rotate the decoys and change their locations occasionally. This will help scare away the birds effectively while keeping your succulent garden safe.
5. Use a Bird Repellent Spray
Bird repellent spray is something that many gardeners think of first when trying to keep birds away from their gardens.
This spray contains chemicals that make the surface of your succulents unpalatable and inedible for birds. You can apply this spray on your plants or any area around the garden you want to protect.
However, it is essential to note that most bird-repellent sprays may have an unpleasant smell, and their effectiveness can be reduced over time. Therefore, you should consider reapplying the spray periodically for maximum results.
6. Feed the Birds, So They Lose Interest in Your Succulents
The primary reason birds eat succulents is that they are hungry, and their food sources are dry.
So, if you can provide them with an alternative food source, they will immediately lose interest in your succulents.
You can feed the birds around your garden area or hang bird feeders at a distance. This will help keep them away from your succulent garden without causing any harm.
You can also consider setting up water baths around your succulents. Once the birds have had enough food from the feeders, they will likely drink from the water baths and leave your succulents alone.
To make things easier, avoid putting mixed seeds in your bird feeders. Instead, have one seed type in each feeder. This way, birds can easily choose what they want to eat, and your succulents will remain safe.
7. Use Natural Predators to Keep Birds Away from Your Succulent Garden
Your cat or dog can effectively keep birds away from your succulent garden. Besides cats and dogs, you can use natural predators such as hawks and owls to scare birds away.
You can also introduce a few chickens around your succulents, as they will scare away other birds from visiting your plants.
However, it is essential to note that chickens can also eat succulents, so keep them away from your garden.
Finally, remember to clean up regularly and eliminate bird droppings that may attract more birds.
Protecting your succulents from birds is essential if you want them to thrive. Several ways to keep birds away from your succulents include deterrents, repellents, and motion-activated devices.
With a little extra effort, you can enjoy the beauty of your succulents without worrying about birds damaging your plants.
Last update on 2023-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API