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Squirrel-Proof Crocus

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Squirrel-Proof Crocus

October 9, 2013

Ha ha, the squirrels laugh, isn’t she pathetic.

Every year when I plant spring bulbs, they chitter jeeringly as they watch me sprinkle cayenne on the crocuses. They roll their eyes as I pour strange concoctions–vats of diluted pepper sauce, mostly–over the flower beds. They practically fall out of the trees, hysterical, as I lower baskets of bulbs into the ground inside elaborate chicken wire cages.

Delicious bulbs you have here, lady, the squirrels say. We like them spicy.

Every fall I say this year will be different. This year I mean it, thanks to my new anti-squirrel artillery: Tommies.

Crocus-tommasinianus-LB. Tettenborn-wikimedia
Above: Unlike most crocuses, Crocus tommasinianus, aka Tommies, contain a bitter-tasting alkaloid that repels squirrels (pardon me for a moment while I step away from the computer to shake my fist at them). Photograph by L. B. Tettenborn via Wikimedia.

Crocus tommasinianus Vera Buhl wikimedia

Above: A bag of 50 bulbs of Crocus Tommasinianus is $7.95 from White Flower Farm. It’s an early bloomer that naturalizes easily. Photograph by Vera Buhl via Wikimedia.

crocus-tommasinianus-sebastian-wallroth-wikimedia

Above: Photograph by Sebastian Wallroth via Wikimedia.

Squirrel-resistant Crocus Tommasinianus also is available from White Flower Farm, where 50 bulbs are $9.95.

N.B. This is an update of a post that was originally published on August 28, 2012.

Finally, get more ideas on how to successfully plant, grow, and care for crocus with our Crocus: A Field Guide.

Wondering how else to intimidate the squirrels with your competence as you prepare the spring garden? See 10 Easy Pieces: Bulb Planters and Brown Bulb Foliage: Let it Be.

Interested in other bulbs and tubers for your garden or indoor space? Get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various bulbs and tubers with our Bulbs & Tubers: A Field Guide.

Finally, get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various perennial plants with our Perennials: A Field Guide.

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