Unsurprisingly, geranium flowers have long been a favorite plant among gardeners. Not only are they great to look at, but caring for them is relatively easy too. Hence, it can be pretty frustrating when you find that your beloved geraniums have been deemed prey! But by what exactly? Well, here are all of the main and potential culprits!
So, what eats geranium flowers? It is common for geraniums to find themselves subject to a fairly extensive range of common predators – including both animals and insects. In addition to geranium budworms and sawflies, aphids, rats, rabbits, and even deer all pose a risk too.
Geraniums are, unfortunately, the food of choice for many animals, a bunch of which we’ve delved into below.
In addition to this, I’ve shared a few tips on how you can prevent your geraniums from being eaten moving forward!
So read on to find out more.
What Is Eating My Geraniums?
Let’s start with the animals.
Rats are renowned for eating pretty much anything they can get their paws on, and geraniums are no exception to the rule.
They’ll sneakily munch the buds from on top of the stems, subsequently preventing the geraniums from growing in their usual healthy manner.
Rabbits and Deer
Geraniums carry a strong scent.
Whilst it’s not enough to repel rats, who are extremely voracious eaters, it is usually sufficient in deterring other animals, such as rabbits and deer.
However, there is an exception. That is when alternative food supplies for both of these animals are low.
Then, both rabbits and deer alike will reluctantly look past the geranium’s strong scent and eat them anyway!
It’s all in the name with these worms, although they are also known as tobacco budworms. They thrive when feeding on the buds of developing flowers.
They do this across a range of plants but are particularly damaging to geraniums, hence their name.
In geraniums, the effects of their presence include the flowers failing to bloom, as well as the development of holes in the flower buds.
And even if the petals do bloom, it’s likely that they’ll grow in an unusual jagged nature, exhibiting the damage.
Nonetheless, there is hope! The budworm may damage the geraniums, but it’s not able to kill them completely.
Hence, it is very much possible to nurse your geraniums back to full health.
Geranium sawflies, which very much resemble wasps, are yet another pest that enjoys feeding on geraniums, typically during the Summer months.
Their caterpillar offspring pose a risk too, and arguably a larger one! They particularly enjoy munching on the geranium’s leaves, proudly leaving behind plenty of holes that make their presence known.
Significant damage to the plant’s leaves is more than a superficial issue. Without its leaves, the plant struggles to divert energy to its flower buds.
In turn, it becomes increasingly difficult for your geraniums to establish a healthy bloom come to Springtime, during their growing season.
Aphids can significantly damage geraniums, but the degree to which this occurs depends on the volume of aphids invading the plant.
Whilst a small amount is nothing to worry about, a large amount can pose considerable harm to your geraniums.
They work by sucking the sap out of the plant’s leaves and stems, consequently depleting it of the energy and nutrients that it needs to engage in a healthy life cycle.
The primary sign of an aphid infestation is curled and discolored leaves.
How Do I Stop My Geraniums From Being Eaten?
There are several ways by which you can effectively protect your geraniums from the above-mentioned predators.
I’ve shared the most popular of the bunch below:
This method is recommended in the case of a budworm presence. Budworms are easy to spot with the naked eye, and removing them is a pretty straightforward task.
Simply pick them off your geraniums and place them far, far away or in a bucket of soapy water for extra peace of mind.
This approach is also effective against sawfly offspring.
Another approach, and a very strategic one at that, is to place a bird feeder above your geranium plants.
When the birds have consumed what’s in the feeder, it’s likely that they’ll quickly move on to the various pests below them.
The ones on your geranium.
A traditional approach!
Pests can also be effectively terminated through the use of a store-bought insecticide.
With a few sprays over a few days, they’ll be gone!
However, insecticides do tend to be toxic, so if you have any pets or children running around, you’ll want to take extra care with this one.
As for a non-toxic route, why not give neem oil a try?
It is natural and, when used just a couple of times a week, is proven to be effective against aphids, whiteflies, and many more garden pests!
The most effective way to get rid of aphids is to eliminate them through the use of a hose pipe with a fairly powerful water stream.
You’ll be able to blast the pesky aphids right off your geraniums.
If you want to prevent rodents, and even rabbits and deer, from eating your geraniums, rather than setting traditional traps, which have long been contested, why not try a simple scent deterrent?
These creatures have an extremely sensitive sense of smell, so spraying or even just surrounding your geraniums with scents that they dislike is bound to repel them.
Both cayenne pepper and peppermint are perfect for the job!
If the animals just don’t quit, you may want to consider relocating your geraniums to hanging baskets.
They quite simply won’t be able to reach them, leaving your beloved geraniums to grow in a peaceful environment.
How Do I Get My Geraniums To Flower Again?
Geraniums are resilient plants.
Even when they face attack by animals and insects, they can typically be relied on to continue growing back every year rather than needing to be replanted.
So rather, the question becomes, how do you get your geraniums to grow back as healthily as can be?
I’ve gathered a few tips for you below!
First, you’ll need to make sure they’re no longer a source of prey in your garden.
Adopt the above methods to remove whichever pests have infested them.
Only once they’re no longer being used as food is there any chance of them growing well.
Next, fertilizer! When it comes to geraniums, fertilizer is your friend!
Fertilizer gives your geraniums the extra nutrients that they need, particularly if they have lost a few to the animals that have been feeding on them.
With consistent enough application, fertilizer will enable your geraniums to grow more healthily and even more quickly than they would have otherwise.
Deadhead And Prune
Another strategy to ensure their healthy blooming is to deadhead and prune your geraniums on an annual basis.
This is most effective when done after the plants have spent a season in bloom.
By encouraging the growth of new foliage and stems, this process is sure to result in healthier geraniums than ever before.
Do rabbits eat geranium flowers?
Rabbits do eat geranium flowers, particularly when food is scarce such as during the early spring.
Will slugs eat geraniums?
Slugs do not typically eat geraniums, though you may find slugs in and among these flowers, which they use for hiding.
Related guides you may want to check out:
- What Eats Daffodil Flowers?
- What Eats Pansy Flowers?
- What Eats Carnations?
- What Eats Tulip Flowers?
- What Eats Lupine Flowers?
- What Is Eating My Peonies?
- What Is Eating My Begonias?
Hey there – I’m Jesse, a professional florist, and gardening enthusiast. I created MyGardenFlowers to share all that I can about the flowers that I have planted and managed to grow in my garden.