Magnolia trees have beautiful, fragrant blooms. So when squirrels decide to eat the flowering buds, it can be incredibly irritating! Why do squirrels love eating magnolia buds? Is there anything you can do to keep them away from your magnolia trees?
To deter squirrels from eating your magnolia buds, try offering them another food source (such as bird seed or cracked corn) in another section of your yard. Applying a cayenne pepper solution to the leaves on your magnolia trees may also be effective.
In the rest of this article, we’ll talk more about why squirrels love magnolia buds and what you can do to try to keep them away from them.
Why Do Squirrels Love Magnolia Buds?
Magnolia trees are one of the earliest-blooming plants, especially in the northern part of the United States. They often bloom from mid-March to late April. Most other plants are still far from blossoming this early in the year.
The early blooming of magnolias is largely to blame for squirrels’ love for devouring them. After a long winter of scavenging for leftover nuts and seeds, the early blossoms provided by magnolia trees are a welcome treat for the squirrels. When not much else food is readily available, magnolias are budding and blossoming.
Magnolia blossoms are also tasty—in fact, they’re edible for people, too. So not only are magnolia buds available earlier than most other squirrel food sources, they’re also a squirrel favorite because of their sweet taste.
How To Keep Squirrels From Eating Magnolia Buds
It’s incredibly difficult to keep squirrels from frequenting your magnolia trees. They’re motivated and intelligent creatures that can get just about anywhere! However, there are several things you can try.
The easiest, and most effective, method of keeping squirrels away from your magnolia buds is to offer them another source of food far from your magnolia trees. Magnolia buds are an easy snack for hungry squirrels; if you offer them an equally delicious snack that’s even easier to reach, they’ll leave your magnolias alone.
Try placing a squirrel feeder in a section of your yard where there are no magnolia trees and keep it well-stocked with their favorite snacks, such as walnuts, cashews, hickory nuts, and acorns. They’ll fill up on these tasty treats before they have a chance to visit your magnolia trees.
Another method of deterring squirrels is to spray your magnolia buds with a cayenne pepper solution:
- First, add one quart of water and two teaspoons of cayenne pepper to a stock pot.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for at least 20 minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the stock pot once it cools and pour it into a spray bottle.
- Spray the water/cayenne pepper mixture liberally on your magnolia trees. The spicy smell and taste will deter squirrels and have them searching for snacks in a different place.
Combining these two methods can lead to great success in keeping squirrels away from your magnolia blooms. Squirrels who are deterred from the trees sprayed with the cayenne pepper and water mixture will be quick to visit the snack station you’ve provided in another part of the yard, leaving your magnolia buds to develop into beautiful, heavenly-scented blossoms.