Hyacinths are perennial bulb flowers that bloom each and every Spring. At least, they’re supposed to! Unfortunately, as is the case for many other plants, Hyacinths are the sought-after prey of several animals and insects. Naturally, this affects their capacity for healthy growth, as you likely know. Chances are, if you are here, you have noticed your Hyacinth flowers and are under attack. But what by? Let’s find out!
So, what eats Hyacinth flowers? Squirrels, chipmunks, and voles are known to eat Hyacinth flowers, as are bulb mites, slugs, and aphids. Thankfully, the strong scent of Hyacinths is sufficient to repel deer, rabbits, and some of the other larger common flower-eating predators.
Let’s continue to explore these animals and insects below. Then, we’ll take a look at how you can stop them too!
What Is Eating My Hyacinth Flowers?
Squirrels are omnivores with rather extreme appetites.
They have a particular liking for bulb plants, so it’s unsurprising that Hyacinths often find themselves on the menu.
However, whilst they make the cut, there are several others that squirrels much prefer.
Tulips, for instance, come to mind.
Which means there’s hope.
Whilst it’s not guaranteed, when faced with alternative foods, there’s a chance that squirrels will leave the Hyacinths alone.
Much like squirrels, chipmunks are highly interested in the bulbs of Hyacinths.
They’ll dig up the entire plant to get to it before proceeding to happily feast on it.
Essentially, they wreak havoc, and as a result, the Hyacinths are not always capable of making a full recovery.
Chipmunks may look adorable, but they’re definitely not to be reckoned with!
Again, voles operate in the same manner as both squirrels and chipmunks in that they very much target the bulb of the plant.
However, quite differently, voles tend to tunnel around underground, so their attacks usually occur initially from below the surface.
This list would be incomplete without aphids.
Aphids pose a threat to most plants, and Hyacinths are no exception.
They reproduce rapidly, so once you’ve spotted a couple of them, it won’t be long before a fully-fledged invasion is underway.
They feed on the plant, sucking as much sap from it as they can.
Consequently, the plant becomes depleted of energy and without any interventions, it often won’t survive.
From their flower buds to their foliage, slugs thoroughly enjoy dining on Hyacinths.
Their nocturnal nature means that they do so at night, particularly when the weather is warm and wet.
You’ll know that they paid your Hyacinths a visit by the tiny holes and slimy trails that they unashamedly leave behind.
You’ll need to look out for bulb mites too!
They’re tiny little things but perfectly embody the ‘power in numbers’ ethos.
Together, they threaten to infest the hyacinth’s bulbs.
They’re only able to penetrate it if it’s already damaged initially and soft enough for them to do so.
Hence, bulb mite invasions are most likely when animals such as squirrels and voles have already attacked the bulb.
Once they’re in, their infestation causes the bulb to begin to rot.
How Do I Stop My Hyacinths From Being Eaten?
Hyacinths are undoubtedly susceptible to significant damage from their key predators, but it is possible to salvage them.
Read on for an outline of handy solutions.
Slug pellets contain both attractants and poison.
Once you’ve scattered them around the hyacinth plant, the slugs will be drawn to them and will begin eating them.
Soon after, the poison will get to them, and they’ll ultimately die.
They’re an effective solution but one that is heavily contested in the gardening world.
The reason is their toxic nature affects not just the slugs but any insect, animal, or even human, to come into contact with them.
They’re far from environmentally friendly and worth giving a second thought.
The best way to remove aphids from your Hyacinths is by knocking them off with a stream of water directly from your hosepipe.
They’ll fall right off and will be incapable of returning any time soon.
Be sure to hose them away as soon as you see them.
Their rapid rate of reproduction means that they can become a considerable problem if left to their own devices.
The strong scent of Hyacinths is pretty good at warding animals on its own.
For instance, deer and rabbits won’t come anywhere near them!
However, as exhibited above, there are several animals that go undeterred.
Instead, squirrels are repelled by the smell of garlic, whilst chipmunks despise eucalyptus, and voles dislike castor oil.
Placing these scents on or nearby your Hyacinths will repel the animals from coming near them, let alone eat them!
Gravel is effective too! Both squirrels and chipmunks dislike gravel.
They find its sharp jagged edges disagreeable.
So by planting your Hyacinths alongside gravel, they’ll be much less likely to dig them up. Simple!
How Do I Get My Hyacinths To Flower Again?
Unfortunately, when a bulb has been carelessly pulled out of the ground or has undergone a truly severe mite infestation, there is usually little that can be done to repair them.
However, the idea is to avoid getting to that point, thereby ensuring that your hyacinth has the opportunity to live its full life as intended.
It’s a perennial, after all!
Undertake Pest Control
My first recommendation is to undertake a cold case of pest control!
That means adopting the above solutions if you suspect an animal or insect attack, and even if you don’t.
I prefer prevention to cure!
Optimize Growing Conditions
Second, you’ll want to ensure that your Hyacinths are in the right conditions for their best possible growth.
They thrive in full sun – no shade necessary!
Plus their soil should be well-drained and nutrient-rich.
A fertilizer could help here.
Opt for a slow-release fertilizer that has been made especially for bulb plants, like this on Amazon.
Prune Your Hyacinths
Finally, once your Hyacinths have finished flowering, which is usually around the end of Spring, you’ll need to prune them.
Remove the flower heads and only remove the foliage much later, when it has turned brown in color.
The pruning process will allow your Hyacinths to make way for new healthy growth!
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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.