Do Animals Eat Hyacinth Bulbs: Facts and Prevention Tips

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Hyacinth bulbs are a popular choice for gardeners looking to add colorful and fragrant flowers to their gardens. However, animals such as rodents and deer can pose a threat to these beautiful blooms. In this article, we will discuss whether or not animals eat hyacinth bulbs and explore measures to protect them.

Do Animals Eat Hyacinth Bulbs?

Hyacinth bulbs are among the few that can be considered deer-resistant, as they are toxic to deer, squirrels, and other animals known for eating bulbs (The Spruce). Because of their poisonous nature, these animals are less likely to consume hyacinth bulbs or damage their foliage during blooming.

However, flower bulbs may still be a tempting treat for other creatures, such as mice, voles, chipmunks, and gophers(Gardening Know How). To protect your garden from these pests, consider using methods like rodent-proof enclosures or avoiding smelly fertilizers that can attract animals(The Spruce).

Common Animals That Consume Hyacinth Bulbs


Various rodents are known to consume hyacinth bulbs, such as voles and mice. HGTV suggests implementing planting methods and strategies to outsmart these critters and protect your bulbs.


Squirrels also enjoy feeding on hyacinth bulbs. However, there are ways to deter squirrels by planting bulbs they tend to avoid, such as ornamental onions and daffodils.


Interestingly, deer are less likely to consume hyacinth bulbs, as they are poisonous to them. Deer tend to avoid both the flowers and foliage of hyacinths, making these bulbs a suitable option for deer-prone areas.

Why Do Animals Eat Hyacinth Bulbs?

While many animals are known to snack on flower bulbs, it’s worth noting that hyacinth bulbs are generally avoided by most creatures. This is primarily due to their toxicity and strong scent, which make them unappealing to animals such as deer, rabbits, and squirrels, as mentioned by The Spruce and Better Homes & Gardens. However, some rodents might still attempt to dig up hyacinth bulbs, but they usually avoid consuming them once they recognize their undesirable qualities.

Preventing Animals from Eating Hyacinth Bulbs

While some animals may be tempted to dig up and eat hyacinth bulbs, there are several strategies to prevent this from happening. By using physical barriers, repellents, and natural deterrents, you can protect your hyacinth bulbs and maintain a beautiful garden.

Physical Barriers

One effective method to protect hyacinth bulbs from animals is by installing physical barriers. Cover the planting area with chicken wire or hardware cloth, which can deter squirrels and other critters from accessing the bulbs. Alternatively, place a layer of sharp rocks or gravel at the bottom of the planting hole, as these textures can discourage digging animals.


Another way to protect hyacinth bulbs is by using repellents. You can apply commercial repellents specifically designed for garden pests, or opt for more natural alternatives like crushed garlic or hot pepper sprays. Be sure to reapply the repellent regularly, especially after rainfall or watering, to keep it effective.

Natural Deterrents

You can also deter animals from eating your hyacinth bulbs by planting less appealing plants nearby. For instance, daffodils and allium are unpalatable to most rodents and can be used as a natural deterrent when planted near your hyacinths. This not only protects your bulbs but creates a diverse and visually appealing garden.

Alternative Bulbs Less Appealing to Animals

While some animals might snack on hyacinth bulbs, there are several other types of flower bulbs that are less appealing to critters. Planting these alternative bulbs can help protect your garden from unwanted animal consumption.

A few examples of bulbs less likely to be eaten by animals include daffodils (Narcissus), allium (Allium sp.), and snowdrops (Galanthus sp.). Incorporating these bulbs into your garden design can provide a colorful display that is less attractive to animals such as deer and rodents.