Varmints are digging into the mulch we spread around Hibiscus and Hydrangea plants. They are digging into the top and the side and looks like they are eating stems and maybe even bulbs. We thought to cover with screen wire hopefully that will let winter sun in and block the varmints. Any advice you can offer will be appreciated. Thanks.
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By BJ from mid MO
Spray them with hot sauce, maybe it will help, critters do not like hot stuff, good luck.
Hot sauce can work. You can dip a cotton ball in hot sauce and place it in the pot.
Forget the hot sauce. Make a mix of: 1/3rd each of black pepper, crushed red pepper like they put on pizza & ground red pepper. Then mix in about 1/8 cup of dry hot mustard. Put into something you can sprinkle it from water well, if the ground needs it & then sprinkle it, then leave it alone for at least a week. It chases off pretty much anything that sniffs. All animals sniff to find what they want & most of them have long memories. I have had it work for cats & dogs for up to 4-5mos. When I water this area, I run a slow hose to soak the ground, rather than spray with a nozzle It's pretty amazing, but when you mix it, do it outside & be up wind of it. Mix slowly, this can get in your nose. It's pretty bad, & you don't need to cover the ground, just sprinkle it around. Make sure you cover the entire area. It's great stuff. I got this from Jerry Baker. He has books on stuff for the garden from your kitchen.
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What is eating my hibiscus buds during the night?
Avril from Malaga, Spain
Q: I just planted two small hibiscus plants outside this early fall
season, and something has cut off (or eaten) all the small branches
and leaves from the plant. Are there any animals or birds that would
devour this plant? Do you think it'll come back next spring? How can
I prevent to from happening again?
Hardiness Zone: 6a
Donna from Sterling Heights, MI
It sounds like you have deer in your neighborhood. As days grow shorter in the fall, it's common for them to leave the woods in search of food. They happen to love hibiscus. Whether yours will come back again in the spring depends on how much damage was done and whether the plants had enough to time to settle in and establish good roots.
Here is an organic recipe for repelling deer:
Mix this with one gallon of water and apply with a spray bottle every 1 to 2 weeks (and after rain). Unfortunately, during times when food is in short supply, deer will eat just about anything and repellants become less effective.
I hate to tell you but I don't think your hibiscus will last out the winter in Michigan. I believe they cannot stand weather below 40 and I, too,live in the Detroit area. So, my advice is dig them up, bring them in the house, water and enjoy all winter and you can put them out next spring. (10/17/2005)
Deer are famous for eating Hibiscus and they also love hoyas and other ground covers. (10/18/2005)