chipmunks eat my lily buds

curios(z5/6 NJ)May 19, 2009

any advice on how to keep chipmunks from eating lily buds.

have beautiful lily beds, planted about 5 years ago, and

about 3 years ago the critters decided the buds were food.

have had nary a flower since, although the plants are

wonderfully healthy and keep producing. any help much


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If it's chipmunks eating the actual bloom buds, and not rabbits nipping the growth tips as lilies emerge from the ground, the chipmunks are looking for water/moisture.

I'll throw this out for what it's worth since it's worked like a charm for me the last number of years. I leave a shallow, clear plastic tray of water out along the chipmunk's usual run at the back of my patio (they'll find it in whatever semi-out of the way place you leave it).

Does not draw any other critters - well, birds will use it as a birdbath.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 9:32AM
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curios(z5/6 NJ)

thanks for suggestion. i've had a bowl of water out in
lily area of garden to encourage toads to produce tadpoles.
they're wonderful slug control. unfortunately, even with
this water out there, all my buds got eated last year.
i've also had the growing tips eaten in past, but didn't
happen last year for some reason. this year, it's been so
cold, that chipmunks just appeared. lilies are budding up now.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 2:22PM
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We buy green vinyl-coated chicken wire (a little smaller gauge than the regular wire) at the home improvement store. DH makes hoops to put around the lilies as rabbits eat the leaves off the stems in this area. They can strip many stems overnight. Maybe this would work for your chipmunk problem.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 4:22PM
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how do chipmunks get up the stems of asiatic lilies to eat the buds? mine are devastated this year-most of the buds gone-- and i am overun with chipmunks but i can't figure how they are getting to the buds.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 9:18PM
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curios(z5/6 NJ)

i stake most of my lilies and assume they climb the stakes.
if not staked, they'll bend the stalks over to get to buds.
have some planted under or near trees -- they'll climb the
trees and jump down onto plants. if they want something,
they're pretty resourceful and will generally find a way
to get to it. i noticed one sitting and studying peony
buds, figuring out best way to get to them. fortunately,
he didn't seem to like them.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 2:59AM
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flora2b(z6a bc)

Have you seen the chipmunks eating them?
Any possibility it is deer? I have finally fenced my yard as the deer would wait until the buds starting coming on and then presto the buds would all be gone.
I have chipmunks, but also cats so have never had problems with them.....but, I know how frustrating having no flowers is when the animals tease us like that!!!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 4:52PM
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curios(z5/6 NJ)

definitely not deer - we also have deer fence. i'm pretty
sure it's chipmunks. and you're so right about being
frustrated with no flowers. going through all the effort
of planting, watering, caring and looking forward to lovely
results, and NOTHING!!!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 11:17PM
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I know this is an old post, but I am a new gardener. I planted my lily bulbs in very tall 3 foot pots since I don't have a lot of yard. I get to move the pots when the sun moves since my house usually throws a giant shadow on the back yard around 3 pm, so I just keep moving them over and over, to the edge of my yard.

I live in a planned community where the homes are hardly 50 feet apart. We have recently seen deer, randomly running down the street at night. Three times now my lily buds have been sheered right off around dusk. I'm convinced it is deer because the lily stalks were about 2.5 feet tall in a 3 foot pot. The stalks did not appear to be bent at all and the buds were chewed clean off.

I understand now how frustrating this can be after I've put in all the effort at caring for these plants for 2 months now and now I won't see any flowers until next spring. I feel your pain Curious.

The deer also ate an entire full Simpson lettuce plant which would seem entirely too much for a few chipmunks. There was probably 4 large salads worth on this plant, so I'm convinced it was deer. 20 sunflowers juvi plants had their top leaves chewed right off also. The suburban deer are being pushed out of their woods by bulldozers to build these communities, leaving them hungry and this is the karma. *sigh*. Now I am not only saddened by my plants being destroyed, but at the the thought of hungry deer and their newly born doe. Lose-lose situation.

I've moved everything up to my deck and put up a baby gate. The chicken wire fencing would be a great option in my opinion except the naggy HOA would claim it was tacky and fine me.
The only reason I am growing everything in pots after carefully germinating everything inside under lights and heat is because I am moving to an 11 acre farm in 2 weeks. I will take everything with me and plant it in the ground there....but now I'm down about 25 plants.

*sigh* The deer are worse out there...

Anyone know of any herbal concoctions that are plant safe that can be sprayed around the garden to thwart the deer off?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 10:13PM
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curios(z5/6 NJ)

if you have your plants in pots small and light enough to
move around, may i suggest that you purchase bird netting.
place a stake in middle of pot, or 3 stakes to make tent.
anchor bird netting to top of single stake or tip of tented
stakes. drape netting so that it comes below rim of pot and tie it or wire it to stay in place. critters won't be able to get through. the netting is practically invisible
from a distance, and hopefully your HOA won't notice it.
if they do, try dressing the arrangement up with something
decorative. when you move to farm, you might try placing
stakes in ground surrounding plants you want to save from
deer. use stake ties at tops and bottoms of stakes to
anchor netting. will keep deer out, but not rabbits or
chipmunks -- they'll crawl under. there are other ways
to keep out smaller critters when you establlish your beds,
but i'll leave that part ot more expert advisors. don't
bother with sprays -- they wash off in rain and generally
don't work anyway.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 1:44AM
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I've had success growing lilies in pots in the yard and on my deck. This year I'm planting some in the ground, but first I'm soaking the bulbs in a repellant -Bonide Organic Repels-All Animal Repellen - and hope it works. I have had great SUCCESS thus far in using in on my plants/shurbs and so far the deer have left everything alone. The bottle directions state that it will last two months, but to reapply to new growth. It smells horrible! We live on corp of engineer property and deer tend to look at my yard as their grocery store.

I'll continue to spray the lilies with the repellant as they emerge from the ground and I'll repost how it works.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:57PM
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I just found this thread and am hoping that Sharon44577 will see it and let us know if spraying the lilies as they emerged from the ground worked. This is the first year I have had an issue with the chipmunks eating the lily blooms, and it was during a time that we had little rain.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 6:10AM
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