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Do Marigolds Keep Squirrels Away? (Quick Answers)

While it is quite entertaining to watch squirrels playing around, when these little creatures start invading your beautiful garden and damage what you produce, you can’t just sit down and do nothing about it. 

There are many chemical solutions and traps available in the market, but we suggest you only go for harmless, natural solutions as we don’t want to harm any animals. The target is to just keep the squirrels away.

Do marigolds keep squirrels away?

Marigolds can keep squirrels away. They have a strong pungent aroma that squirrels don’t like to be around. This is why it is a good idea to plant strongly scented marigolds here and there to cover the entire garden. You can also line up some marigolds around the important plants as a barrier. 

Also, the beautiful bloom of red, orange, and yellow bring gorgeous warmth to your garden. The only problem is, even though some people like the aroma, most people dislike the strong smell coming from marigolds. 

But there are other less aromatic and even odorless marigolds that you can choose to plant. But they won’t be able to deter any pests or animals.

Ground squirrels:

Marigolds can help keep ground squirrels out of your garden. Ground squirrels live on the ground and they are quite passionate about invading gardens. Most squirrels love nuts and acorns. 

So if your garden has these trees in abundance, you may have to deal with them a lot.

But the good thing is that these rodents can’t stand the strong smell. So marigolds and other powerfully aromatic plants can detract them. You have to go for the exceptionally strong scented marigolds to do this.

Flying squirrels:

Marigolds may be able to keep flying squirrels away. Flying squirrels are mostly found in dark places like the attic since they can’t tolerate bright lights. But they can also invade your garden and other spaces. 

Since strongly scented marigolds are detested by even humans, they may be able to keep squirrels out of your garden.

What marigolds keep squirrels away?

Only the strong scented marigolds can help keep the squirrels at bay. While squirrels love to feed on vegetables, plants, and especially bulbs, they are not a fan of pungent aroma. Hence planting marigolds can be a great way of keeping them at a distance.

Mexican marigolds:

Mexican marigolds are drastically potent. They have a very strong, pungent aroma that disturbs critters like raccoons and squirrels. They dislike the smell and deter as soon as they sense it around. 

Since Mexican marigolds are very powerful, it is wise to plant them away from sensitive plants like cabbage and beans.

French marigolds:

French marigolds are exceptionally good for repelling pests and insects. They have the perfect aroma that attracts beneficial insects that feed on or perish aphids. French marigolds are loved by gardeners for keeping harmful bugs and whiteflies away. 

They also deter cabbage worms and Mexican bean beetles. French marigolds release a toxic compound that eradicates nematodes.

African marigolds:

African marigold has a strong scent quite similar to French marigold. They are good for repelling insect pests and perishing nematodes. The pungent aroma may be able to discourage squirrels. 

But some squirrels soon get habituated with the scent and come back again.

There are some other variants like a lemon gem, tangerine gem, orange gem, and vanilla marigolds that come with a nice fruity fragrance that attracts beneficial insects. The sweet and pleasant-smelling marigolds can rarely deter any animals. 

Do squirrels like or dislike marigolds? 

Squirrels don’t like the strongly scented varieties of marigolds. Since these marigolds possess a very strong and pungent scent, they are avoided by a lot of animals. This can be beneficial to protect your garden.

Do squirrels eat marigold plants and flowers?

Squirrels are unlikely to eat marigolds because of their pungent aroma. Strongly scented marigolds are commonly used to prevent squirrels and some other animals from getting into the garden and damaging crops and plants.

But as there are different types of marigolds out there, some of them have a very sweet aroma that attracts animals instead. There are also some odorless marigolds that some squirrels and other similar critters find easy to chew on.

How to keep squirrels from eating my marigolds?

You can use the following methods to keep squirrels from eating my marigolds –

Fencing the garden:

The best way to protect your garden from these pesky visitors is by installing fences all around it. Keep in mind that squirrels are very little and they can easily squeeze in through small holes. So the fences can’t have holes that they can use to come inside.

Also, the fencing needs to cover at least 8-12 inches below the soil. Squirrels are good diggers and when they find no other way to get in, they may dig the soil to enter the garden. But fencing with the deep bottom will prevent them from doing so.

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Netting or covering:

You can also protect the flowers as well as other plants by covering them up with nets. Netting is a good way of securing plants while making sure that they are not harmed in any way. But you have to make sure that the netting material is chew-proof.

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Cayenne pepper:

Squirrels absolutely detest peppers. Using cayenne pepper to deter squirrels is suggested by many gardeners and homeowners. You can purchase a cayenne pepper spray from the market and use it to spray over the plants and areas inside your home.

You can also use cayenne pepper straight from your stock. An easier, affordable, and more promising way is to repeatedly sprinkle cayenne pepper over and around your plants. They are harmless to the plants but disliked by the squirrels.

Hot sauce:

Another good way of discouraging squirrels from entering your garden and home can be using hot sauce. You can mix some hot sauce and water and spray the mixture over the plants and flowers.

Apple cider vinegar:

You can use apple cider vinegar for its strong and pungent smell that squirrels detest. The most suitable way to use this is with the help of a spray bottle. The best part about ACV is that you can use it directly without harming any of your precious plants.


Mothballs can also help for the same deterring smell. Alongside squirrels, mothballs can help you keep many other critters away from your garden as well as your home. You can place some mothballs in rows inside your garden and cover them up with soil.

This will drive the squirrels away. But do keep in mind that mothballs are quite unsafe for pets and children. So if you have them at home, it is suggested not to use mothballs either at home or in the garden.

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What animals do marigolds keep away from?

Marigolds can keep away the following animals easily –


Squirrels don’t like the strong smell coming from the scented varieties of marigolds. You can plant these marigolds to keep squirrels out of your garden. You can barricade your important flower and vegetable plants by planting marigolds in rows. 

Another idea is to plant marigolds here and there in scattered ways so squirrels find it hard to go near any of the plants.


Much like squirrels, raccoons also like to keep a safe distance from strong scents that seem unappealing to them. Therefore, the pungent aroma of some marigolds can discourse these troublesome animals to come near your garden.


Not all marigolds will repel snakes. But some drastically strong scented ones can keep snakes away from your garden. The smell of marigolds disturbs them hence they often choose to avoid going near them. 

But do keep in mind that you can’t depend on marigolds solely to deter snakes.


Marigolds are great in repelling some harmful insects and pests away from your garden and plants. French marigolds are known for perishing root nematodes and repelling whiteflies. Mexican marigolds keep destructive insects away. 

Most strong scented marigolds prevent pests like bean beetles, cabbage worms, and mosquitoes. They also help attract beneficial insects that perish aphids.

Final thoughts

Only the strong scented marigolds can keep squirrels away. The pungent aroma of these marigolds discourages squirrels to come near them and avoid the garden. But some squirrels get used to the smell and even start chewing on the plants. There are other ways to keep them out of your garden.