Thwart Animals with “Noxious, Unpalatable” Bulbs

We love animals, but we love flowers, too. In a recent article for the Associated Press, our good friend Dean Fosdick passed along some advice from an esteemed colleague about bulbs that are “noxious and unpalatable to foraging wildlife:”

“‘Members of the amaryllis family are the best long-term choice for predator control, particularly daffodils, snowdrops, and snowflakes,’ said Christian Curless, a horticulturist with Colorblends, a wholesale bulb company. . . . All contain lycorine, an alkaloid both repellent and toxic to animals. . . . ‘These plants we label as deer-and-rodent-“proof” because even a starving animal won’t eat them. The bulbs we classify as “resistant” are, for reasons we often don’t understand, not preferred by deer or rodents or both. Bulbs in this category include allium, hyacinth, fritillaria, and anemone.”

Other great animal-proof members of the amaryllis family include our fall-planted sternbergia, oxblood lilies, surprise lilies, and red spider lilies and our spring-planted crinums.

And for our tips for protecting bulbs like lilies and tulips that animals love to eat, see the Pests and Diseases section of our Newsletter Archives.