Flowers do have many other purposes than just beautification, don’t they? While it looks kind of cute to see squirrels, deers, or many other animals, eating flowers, It may become a headache for gardeners.
It is usually a habit of these animals to eat flowers, and it wouldn’t have been such a big deal if they just ate flowers,. These animals do a lot of damage to the garden as well.
Often referred to as “Gardener’s Biggest enemies”, the flower-eating animals do their little “flower party” at different times. Some prefer the night, and some, during the daytime.
Let us find out who these naughty beasts are, and why do they do that?
Which Animals Eat Flowers?
This list will include flower-eating animals, birds, and insects as well. All of them are termed “Animals”. The list includes deer, rabbits, butterflies, turtles, lizards, spiders, snails, slugs, caterpillars, etc.
The insects usually prefer the night. Take a look at your garden with a torch in the night, you will actually be interrupting a flower-eating party.
It is said that you should pour some beer in a small jar to lure the snails and slugs out of your plants, into your own grasp.
You should take a tour of your garden, in the last section of the night. You will see actually who is really busy eating up plants. You will find lots of snails, slugs, and caterpillars, there.
Wish that those insects are not much hungry, because it is believed that a single caterpillar can eat up several leaves in a night, just like Slugs.
Let us make this scale a bit larger, a deer can literally vanish a whole bush of your garden, magical, right? Wrong! It is not magical, but rather destructible for your garden.
Some sharp-teethed thieves like rabbits, squirrels, voles, chipmunks, etc, have the ability to destroy your plant to the core. The flower craze is lethal, no?
You would’ve been lucky if the plant stem had survived, but voles had some other plans. Voles will eat up your plant to its roots. All added up, they can literally change the shape of your garden in a single night.
Almost all the animals mentioned above can also be found hunting during the daytime. Bad news for flowers and gardeners as well.
The most destructible of them are the deer and the rabbit, they can literally eat all parts of your plant, leaving the rest for the party.
Voles, then take charge of the destruction and eat or destroy the remaining parts of the plant: The roots. It is said that if you give a squirrel, a taste of your flowers, for its cuteness, the squirrel WILL come back, and after repeated returns, she might not be as cute and kind, as she was.
As for the insects, the caterpillars will, if it is really hungry, makes holes in your plant leaves, damaging the plant severely. You might be thinking now, where did the flowers go?
So, all of these rules that apply to the leaves, roots, and stems, apply to the flowers as well. Is it possible that the predator will eat all parts of the plant and will leave the flowers?
Weevils and Thrips are known to have some modified mouths, called Stylets. Stylets help these insects penetrate through the bud of flowers and start sucking the flower liquids.
This relentless war of garden between the gardeners and the flower-eating pests and creatures. However, there are some pest management tools that can be applied to stop these pests from eating through the flowers.
Why do Animals Eat Flowers?
The plants are called the global producers. Every living thing on earth depends on these producers for their food purposes. Flowers being the part of plants often come in the way.
The animals that eat flowers are mainly herbivores. As mentioned above deer, rabbits, butterflies, and caterpillars are among the flower eaters.
The flower petals are considered to be the most attractive part of the flower. They use pollinators to color their petals, as well as their odor.
Flowers use their scents to attract insects and animals. The scent is comprised of a chemical named VOC(Volatile organic compounds). The nearby flying insects and wandering animals are attracted through the flowers’ petals which have many VOCs.
Animals that are Attracted to Flowers:
Many animals among the herbivores are the most attracted to flowers, maybe because of their plant-eating nature, or maybe the flowers are too damn attractive to resist, they can’t help but come towards the flower petals.
Deer: Deer is a plant-eating animal, which often forcefully enters people’s gardens, and does a lot of damage, and often becomes a gardener’s worst nightmare.
Rabbits: These cute-looking animals are only cute to those who don’t have a garden. They use their sharp and long front teeth to cut through the leaves, flowers, and other parts of the plants.
Insects: Butterflies, snails, slugs, and caterpillars, despite being small, can do big damage to your garden because of their flower attraction.
How to Keep Animals From Eating Flowers?
There is a story that there was a man from Clare, Michigan who decided to move to the countryside to have a big garden. To his surprise, the deer there had other plans. The deer destroyed his garden severely, and the deer was quite fearless.
He started using techniques to stop the deer from entering his garden, but he noticed one thing that the deer was getting used to its repeated tactics, so he kept on changing his ways.
The simplest of the techniques is setting up a barrier, to keep the deer out. Spray at them with offensive scents to make them uncomfortable. Try scaring them by high noises, or various other ways, I guess you know them. Use the plants that they don’t much like, like poisonous plants.
What if you could care less about the safety of your garden? Try planting the plants which the plant-eating animals don’t prefer. Many of the poisonous plants may be your best bet in this regard, as they act as the best Animal Repellents.
Will Missing Flowers Affect Plant Development:
Flowers play an important role in forming fruits in a plant, but it is not that plants can not live without flowers. Plants like Ferns, which do not have flowers, but still grow.
But if your planting purpose is getting fruits, you would wanna conserve the flowers, or else you will have nothing left on your platter. Although you should consider removing the dead flower petals from your plant. It has its benefits.
Animals are attracted to the colorful petals, due to their own scents. But the flowers do it for their pollination, but sometimes it can become a problem for them.
Conserving the flowers is directly proportional to conserving the plant fruits. Try using different techniques to repel the animal attack on your flower kingdom.
We have talked about almost all the important things that you need to consider before going on, on a battle like that. Because sometimes, while defending the garden, you must not damage it mistakenly.
Consult an expert gardener with your problem, and follow his advice with caution.