Vole Resistant Perennials: The Top Options for Your Garden

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Voles are a common garden pest that can cause significant damage to plants, especially in the fall and winter months. These small rodents can gnaw on roots and bark, leaving plants vulnerable to disease and death.

While there are many methods for controlling voles, such as trapping and repellents, prevention is often the best approach.

One way to prevent vole damage is by planting vole-resistant perennials. These plants are less appealing to voles because of their taste, scent, or texture.

By choosing vole-resistant perennials, gardeners can reduce the risk of damage to their plants and save time and money on pest control measures.

Many vole-resistant perennials include ornamental grasses, herbs, and flowers. Some popular options include lavender, yarrow, and Russian sage.

By incorporating these plants into their garden design, gardeners can create a beautiful, low-maintenance landscape that is also resistant to voles.


Importance of Vole Resistant Perennials


Voles are small rodents that can cause significant damage to gardens and landscapes. They feed on the roots and bulbs of plants, which can kill them or stunt their growth.

Vole damage can be especially frustrating for gardeners, as it can be difficult to control and prevent.

One solution to this problem is to plant vole-resistant perennials. These plants are less attractive to voles and, therefore, less likely to be damaged by them. By planting vole-resistant perennials, gardeners can protect their plants and enjoy a more beautiful and healthy garden.

There are many benefits to planting vole-resistant perennials.

For one, they can save gardeners time and money by reducing the need for costly pest control measures.

Additionally, vole-resistant perennials can help maintain a healthy ecosystem by reducing harmful chemicals and pesticides.

Some examples of vole-resistant perennials include:

  • Alliums
  • Daffodils
  • Fritillarias
  • Hyacinths
  • Narcissus
  • Snowdrops
  • Tulips

By incorporating these plants into your garden, you can help to protect your plants from vole damage and enjoy a more beautiful and healthy landscape.


Types of Vole Resistant Perennials

Flowering Perennials


Flowering perennials are a popular choice for gardens due to their attractive blooms. Here are some vole-resistant flowering perennials:

  • Coneflowers (Echinacea spp.): Coneflowers are not only resistant to voles but also drought-tolerant and easy to care for. They come in various colors, including pink, purple, and white.
  • Lenten Rose (Helleborus spp.): Lenten rose is a shade-loving perennial that produces beautiful, long-lasting flowers in late winter or early spring. They are also known for their ability to repel voles.
  • Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp.): Black-eyed Susan is a hardy perennial that produces bright yellow flowers with black centers. They are not only resistant to voles but also attract pollinators to the garden.

Non-Flowering Perennials


Non-flowering perennials may not have showy blooms, but they are still a great addition to any garden. Here are some vole resistant non-flowering perennials:

  • Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina): Lamb’s ear is a soft, fuzzy perennial resistant to voles and drought-tolerant. Its leaves are silver-gray and make a great ground cover.
  • Sedum (Sedum spp.): Sedum is a low-maintenance perennial resistant to voles and comes in various colors and textures. They are also drought-tolerant and attract pollinators to the garden.
  • Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia): Russian sage is a tall, airy perennial that produces fragrant, lavender-blue flowers. It is also resistant to voles and drought-tolerant.

It is important to note that while these perennials resist voles, they may not be completely immune to damage.

To protect your garden from voles, it is always a good idea to take preventative measures, such as using wire mesh or planting bulbs in wire cages.


Planting Vole Resistant Perennials


When it comes to planting vole-resistant perennials, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure success. Choosing the right location and preparing the soil are key factors that can make a big difference in the long run.


Choosing the Right Location


When selecting a location for your vole-resistant perennials, it’s important to consider factors such as sunlight, drainage, and soil quality.

Most vole-resistant plants prefer well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter and a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. They also tend to thrive in full sun or partial shade.

It’s also a good idea to avoid planting vole-resistant perennials near areas with heavy vole activity, such as vegetable gardens or compost piles.

Instead, consider planting them in raised beds or containers to keep them out of reach of these small rodents.


Preparing the Soil


Before planting your vole-resistant perennials, properly preparing the soil to ensure optimal growth and nutrient uptake is important. Start by removing any weeds or debris from the planting area, then loosen the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches.

Adding organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, can also help improve soil quality and drainage. It’s also a good idea to test the soil pH and adjust it using lime or sulfur if necessary.

In addition to soil preparation, it’s important to water your vole-resistant perennials regularly to help them establish a strong root system. Mulching around the plants can also help conserve moisture and suppress weeds.

Following these simple steps ensures your vole-resistant perennials have the best chance of thriving in your garden.


Maintaining Vole Resistant Perennials

Watering and Fertilizing


Maintaining proper watering and fertilizing practices is essential for the health and longevity of vole-resistant perennials. These plants require regular watering, especially during dry spells, to moisten the soil.

However, overwatering may lead to root rot and other diseases. It is recommended to water deeply and infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between watering sessions.

Fertilizing should be done sparingly, as over-fertilization can lead to excessive growth and attract voles.

Organic fertilizers, such as compost and aged manure, are preferred over chemical fertilizers, as they provide slow-release nutrients and improve soil structure.


Pruning and Mulching


Pruning and mulching are important practices to maintain the health of vole-resistant perennials. Pruning helps to remove dead or diseased plant material, promote new growth, and improve overall plant appearance.

It is recommended to prune in the spring or fall, depending on the plant species.

Mulching helps to retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weed growth. It is recommended to use organic mulches, such as shredded leaves or bark, and to apply a 2-3 inches layer around the base of the plant.

Overall, maintaining vole-resistant perennials requires proper watering, fertilizing, pruning, and mulching practices.

By following these guidelines, gardeners can ensure the health and longevity of their vole-resistant perennials.


Dealing with Vole Infestation

Natural Predators


One of the best ways to control vole infestation is to encourage natural predators. Owls, hawks, and snakes are some of the most effective predators of voles.

Encourage these predators by providing nesting boxes or habitats. Also, avoid using pesticides that harm these predators.




Trapping is another effective method to control voles. Various types of traps are available, including snap traps, live traps, and glue traps.

Snap traps are the most effective but require more effort to set up and monitor.

Live traps are humane but require the voles to be released far from the garden to prevent them from returning. Glue traps are the least humane and are not recommended.




Repellents are another option to control voles. Some repellents contain predator urine, which can deter voles.

Other repellents contain castor oil, which creates an unpleasant odor that voles dislike. However, repellents are ineffective and may need to be reapplied frequently.

In addition to these methods, it’s important to keep the garden clean and free of debris, which can provide hiding places for voles.

Also, avoid overwatering, which can create ideal conditions for voles to thrive. By combining these methods, gardeners can effectively control vole infestation and protect their plants.


Benefits of Vole Resistant Perennials


Voles can cause significant damage to gardens, lawns, and landscapes. They are notorious for chewing on roots, stems, and bulbs of plants, which can lead to plant death.

However, planting vole-resistant perennials can help prevent this damage and offer many benefits:

1. Low Maintenance

Vole-resistant perennials require less maintenance compared to other plants. They are hardy and can survive harsh winters and dry summers. This means less watering, fertilizing, and pruning, which saves time and money.

2. Cost-Effective

Planting vole-resistant perennials can be cost-effective in the long run. Since they require less maintenance, they don’t need as much care and attention as other plants. This means less money is spent on fertilizers, pesticides, and water bills.

3. Attractive

Vole-resistant perennials are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. They come in various colors, shapes, and sizes, which can add beauty to any garden or landscape.

4. Environmentally Friendly

Vole-resistant perennials are an environmentally friendly option since they resist pests and diseases. This means less need for harmful chemicals and pesticides, which can harm the environment and wildlife.

5. Durable

Vole-resistant perennials are durable and can survive in different soil types and weather conditions. They can also withstand vole damage, making them a reliable option for any garden or landscape.

Planting vole-resistant perennials can offer many benefits, including low maintenance, cost-effectiveness, attractiveness, environmental friendliness, and durability.



In conclusion, vole-resistant perennials can be an effective solution for gardeners dealing with vole damage. Gardeners can save time, money, and frustration by selecting plants that voles are less likely to eat.

Some of the most effective vole-resistant perennials include daffodils, alliums, Siberian iris, lavender, and Russian sage. These plants have strong scents or flavors that voles find unappealing, making them less likely to be eaten.

It’s important to note that while these plants are less likely to be eaten, they are not completely immune to vole damage. Gardeners should still take precautions such as planting in raised beds or using wire mesh to protect the roots.

Incorporating vole-resistant perennials into a garden can be a smart and effective way to manage vole damage. By doing so, gardeners can enjoy a beautiful and thriving garden without the frustration of dealing with vole damage.

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