Will Voles Eat Geraniums? The Truth About Vole Feeding Habits

  • MickAdmin
  • July 27, 2023

Geraniums are a popular garden plant known for their vibrant colors and ease of care. However, gardeners may wonder if voles, small rodents that can cause significant damage to gardens, will eat their geraniums. The answer is not straightforward, as it depends on various factors.

Voles eat many plants, including roots, bulbs, and tubers. However, their feeding habits can vary depending on availability and the season.

In general, voles are more likely to eat plants in the winter when other food sources are scarce.

Therefore, gardeners may be more likely to encounter vole damage to their geraniums during winter. However, voles may not bother with geraniums if other food sources are available.

 

Voles and Geraniums

Voles’ Impact on Geraniums

 

Voles are known to be voracious eaters and can cause significant damage to gardens and crops.

Geraniums are no exception, and voles can cause significant harm to these plants. Voles feed on the roots and stems of geraniums, which can lead to stunted growth, reduced flowering, and even death of the plant.

Voles are most active during winter when they tunnel under snow and soil. They can cause significant damage to geraniums during this time, as they feed on the roots and stems of the plant.

Signs of vole damage to geraniums include wilted leaves, yellowing foliage, and chewed stems.

 

Preventing Voles From Eating Geraniums

 

There are several methods that gardeners can use to prevent voles from eating geraniums. One effective way is to use physical barriers such as wire mesh or hardware cloth around the base of the plant.

This will prevent voles from tunneling under the soil and accessing the roots and stems of the plant.

Another effective method is to use repellents such as castor oil, which can be applied around the base of the plant.

Castor oil has a strong odor that voles find unpleasant, which can help deter them from feeding on geraniums.

In addition to physical barriers and repellents, gardeners can also use cultural practices to prevent vole damage to geraniums.

This includes removing any debris or clutter from the garden, as voles are attracted to areas with plenty of cover.

Gardeners can also reduce the number of hiding places for voles by mowing the lawn regularly and keeping the area around the garden clean and tidy.

Overall, preventing vole damage to geraniums requires a combination of physical barriers, repellents, and cultural practices.

By taking these steps, gardeners can help to protect their geraniums from the harmful effects of voles.

 

Alternative Plants Voles Avoid

 

While voles can be a nuisance to gardeners, there are several alternative plant options that they tend to avoid.

These plants are safe from vole damage and add diversity and beauty to any garden.

Daffodils

Daffodils are a great option for gardeners looking to add color to their garden while avoiding vole damage. Voles are known to prevent daffodils due to their toxic properties.

These plants contain a toxic compound called lycorine, which makes them unpalatable to voles. Daffodils also come in various colors, making them popular for gardeners.

Alliums

Alliums are another plant that voles tend to avoid. These plants, which include onions, garlic, and chives, contain a strong odor that repels voles.

Alliums also have a variety of uses in the kitchen, making them a practical choice for any gardener.

Tulips

Tulips are a popular spring flower that voles tend to avoid. Like daffodils, tulips contain toxic compounds that make them unpalatable to voles. Tulips also come in various colors and sizes, making them versatile for any garden.

Catmint

Catmint is a plant that voles tend to avoid due to its strong odor. This plant is a member of the mint family known for its fragrant leaves and purple flowers. Catmint is also a popular choice for attracting pollinators to the garden.

Overall, these alternative plant options are great for gardeners looking to avoid vole damage. By incorporating these plants into their garden, gardeners can enjoy a diverse and beautiful landscape without worrying about vole damage.

 

Understanding Voles

Voles’ Diet

Voles are small rodents known to feed on various plant materials, including grasses, roots, bulbs, and tubers. They are also known to feed on the bark of trees, insects, and other small animals.

One question that often arises is whether voles will eat geraniums. While voles are not known to be particularly attracted to geraniums, they may still feed on them if other food sources are scarce. Voles are opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever is available to them.

 

Voles’ Behavior

 

Voles are active throughout the year, most active in the early morning and late afternoon. They are social animals and live in colonies ranging in size from a few individuals to several hundred.

Voles are also known for their burrowing behavior. They create complex tunnel systems that can extend for several feet underground. These tunnels provide shelter from predators and a means of transportation between feeding and nesting sites.

In terms of reproduction, voles are prolific breeders. Females can produce several litters yearly, with each litter having several young. This high reproductive rate allows voles to colonize new areas and expand their populations quickly.

Understanding voles’ diet and behavior is important for managing their populations and minimizing damage to plants and other vegetation.

It is possible to reduce the impact of voles on gardens and other landscaping by implementing appropriate control measures, such as trapping or exclusion.

 

Geraniums Overview

Geraniums’ Characteristics

 

Geraniums, also known as Pelargoniums, are a popular flowering plant that belongs to the Geraniaceae family. These plants are known for their vibrant and colorful flowers that bloom in various shades, including pink, red, white, and purple.

Geraniums are also characterized by their distinctive and fragrant leaves, often used in perfumes and essential oils.

Geraniums come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from small, compact plants to large, sprawling bushes. Some varieties of Geraniums are annuals, while others are perennials that can live for many years with proper care.

Geraniums are also easy to propagate, making them popular for gardeners and plant enthusiasts.

 

Geraniums’ Growth Requirements

 

Geraniums are relatively easy to grow and care for, making them popular for beginners and experienced gardeners alike. These plants require well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight to thrive. They also prefer moderate water and can be sensitive to overwatering.

Geraniums can be grown in various settings, including containers, hanging baskets, and garden beds. They are also relatively pest-resistant but can be susceptible to aphids, spider mites, and other common garden pests.

Geraniums are versatile and attractive plants that add color and fragrance to any garden or indoor space. With proper care and attention, these plants can thrive for many years, providing beauty and enjoyment to gardeners and plant enthusiasts alike.

 

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