Gardening enthusiasts often find solace and joy in nurturing their green companions, but the furry friends in our homes may not always share our enthusiasm for beautiful blooms and thriving foliage. Dogs and cats, in particular, can be quite curious and may see your garden as their personal playground. To maintain the harmony between your pets and your plants, it’s essential to take some proactive steps to protect your green treasures.

Here are tips to keep your plants safe from rambunctious felines and Fidos:

Protect your plants from pets


Choose pet-friendly plants

One of the most effective ways to safeguard your garden from your pets is to choose plants that are safe for them. Research pet-friendly options that won’t pose a threat if your curious pet decides to nibble on them. Some common choices include lavender, catnip, and pet grass for cats, while dogs tend to be less discriminating but may benefit from non-toxic plants like sunflowers and marigolds.

Create physical barriers

Fencing or garden netting can serve as an effective deterrent, keeping pets away from delicate plants. Secure these barriers firmly to prevent pets from squeezing through or digging underneath. This approach not only safeguards your plants but also keeps your pets from potentially harmful encounters with wildlife or pests.

Use natural repellents

There are natural substances that pets tend to avoid, such as citrus peels, cayenne pepper, or vinegar. Scatter these around your garden beds or mix them with water to create pet-friendly repellent sprays. Just be sure to reapply these deterrents after rain to maintain their effectiveness.

Read more: Creating a safe garden space for pets

Protect your plants from pets 1


Training and distraction

Training your pets to stay away from certain areas of your garden can be a valuable long-term solution. Reward them when they respect boundaries and redirect their attention to designated play areas with toys and activities to keep them engaged.


Raised beds and containers

Elevating your plants in raised beds or containers can make it more challenging for pets to access them. This method also adds an aesthetic dimension to your garden design. Just ensure that the containers are stable to prevent accidental tipping.

Provide an alternative

Consider creating a pet-friendly space within your garden, complete with pet-safe plants, where your pets can explore and play without damaging your precious plants. This designated area can also help satisfy their natural instincts and curiosity.

Maintaining a beautiful garden while coexisting harmoniously with your pets is entirely possible with some thoughtful planning and precautions. By choosing the right plants, creating barriers, using natural repellents, and providing alternatives, you can ensure that both your garden and your furry companions thrive in a safe and happy environment. Remember, a little effort in protecting your plants from pets can go a long way in preserving the beauty of your outdoor space.



How to create a pet-friendly garden

A version of this article was originally published in the Garden&Home September 2022 printed magazine.

Feature image: Unsplash