What Eats Hydrangea Flowers

Hydrangea plants are a favorite food of slugs and snails. They will mostly consume fresh plant growth or branches.

The slugs and snails, which are nocturnal like deer, perform the majority of their damage at night. The harm to your hydrangea bush can be fairly severe if there are enough of them.

Slugs and snails typically leave a silvery trail all around your plant, making it easy to identify the problem. In contrast to deer, they will rip numerous small, ragged holes across the leaves.

Do animals consume hydrangeas?

Whether hydrangeas are resistant to deer is a subject we are frequently asked. In actuality, NO vegetation are resistant to deer. Deer will consume almost any plant if they are sufficiently hungry. Deer do, however, favor some plants more than others. The majority of hydrangeas are “sometimes badly injured,” according to Rutgers University. This means that although deer prefer other plants, they will eat hydrangeas if they are really hungry. They advised including additional protection or repellant, particularly in the winter.

Whether or whether you should be concerned about deer eating your plants will depend on a number of environmental factors. Cities are developing and there are more deer, which increases the pressure on deer to find food. This is made worse in the winter when food is harder to come by. Deer are mainly attracted to plants that have exposed branches poking out in the winter. Consequently, deer damage is more likely to affect hydrangeas that bloom on old wood since it could destroy the flowers the following year.

Insects on my hydrangeas: what should I do?

Spider mites, which are nearly imperceptible to the unaided eye, lead to malformed growth, particularly on young stems. Without a magnifying glass, you might not be able to see the mites, but you can spot them by the webs they create between the leaves. Since spider mites like hot, dry weather, you can frequently get rid of them by giving your hydrangeas plenty of water and giving them a good hose down every few days. Insecticides should only be used as a last resort because many predators, including ladybugs, eat spider mites. Insects that aren’t harming anyone and might help with pest management naturally shouldn’t be killed.

Planting distance

Avoid planting your hydrangeas too near to one another unless you intend to create a hydrangea hedge.

By doing this, the likelihood of pests and other illnesses migrating from one bush to another will be decreased.


This may result in fungal illnesses. Water early in the day so that leaves have time to dry if they do get wet.

Hosing down the foliage of your hydrangeas can assist, as some insects prefer dry, heated conditions.


Especially to promote aeration, which will prevent illnesses and will help deter some pests, remove dead, diseased leaves and blossoms.

To prevent the spread of illnesses and insect eggs to other portions of the same shrub or to other shrubs, disinfect pruning tools after each use.

Preventative spraying

Neem oil or other commercially available ready-to-use formulations are examples of organic pesticides or insecticides that can be sprayed to control pest problems.

By periodically spraying your hydrangeas, you can keep pests at bay or even lessen their population.

Visual inspection of leaves

At each watering, visually check the leaves and look under the leaves as well because many pests like to make their homes there.

When feasible, manually eradicate pests (e.g., slugs, beetles). To stop the infestation from spreading, you can remove any severely infected leaves or entire stems.

The likelihood of severe harm and unmanageable infestation will be reduced by determining the issue and implementing the therapy promptly.

Natural predators

Introducing beneficial bugs into your garden that will feed on these pests without harming your plants is one of the simplest ways to deal with some insect issues. Spider mites are only one of the many pests that ladybugs can eradicate.

Do hydrangeas get eaten by rabbits and squirrels?

As herbivores, rabbits enjoy nibbling on leafy greens, carrots, celery, clover, dandelion, and other vegetables and plants. Rabbits consume many different kinds of flowers, including pansies, petunias, marigolds, and more. Hydrangeas are just one of the flowers they like to eat.

Are hydrangeas eaten by squirrels?

A variety of flora are attractive to squirrels. However, certain plants will draw them in more than others. The list of plant species and the likelihood that squirrels may visit your backyard to gorge on the leaves, flowers, bulbs, and other vegetation is provided below.

We are aware that there are many different kinds of plants, including climbers, creepers, herbs, and shrubs. The most popular flowers Americans around the country plant in their backyards are listed here.


Because they are the most vibrant spring flowers, tulips are very well-liked by homeowners. Additionally, they are among the simpler flowers for beginners to grow.

A fully grown tulip’s lovely blossoms may lure squirrels to eat them, but they are more likely to dig up the bulbs.


Rhododendron leaves, bulbs, and leaves all draw squirrels in. You can defend them by reading my in-depth post on how to keep squirrels away from rhododendrons. The rhododendron family including azaleas is another plant that squirrels adore.


Hosta plants are foliage plants that can tolerate shade and are part of the Asparagaceae family. The succulent stems and leaves of the bushy perennials are a favorite food source for squirrels, deer, and other animals. These vermin favor young plants and take pleasure in removing the roots of newly planted bulbs.


The floral plant known as the hydrangea is indigenous to Japan. It is a deciduous shrub with summer and fall blooms. The newborn bulbs are what squirrels are drawn to the most. Japanese beetles are probably what is munching on the hydrangea leaves if you notice anything.


The Malvaceae family of flowering plants includes hibiscus plants. Warm climates are ideal for their growth, and squirrels adore the dark green leaves. I’ve detailed how to keep squirrels away from hibiscus plants in a detailed article.


A flowering plant genus in the Oleaceae family is called Forsythia. The Squirrel Board forum claims that squirrels will consume forsythia plants, but not in large quantities. If there are no other plants around, they will destroy the plants in your yard instead of eating the branches.

Monkey Grass

A groundcover that resembles turfgrass is called monkey grass. It’s also known as “lily turf.” It is a perennial in the same family as asparagus. Although squirrels often avoid eating monkey grass, they will consume the related mondo grass.


This flowering plant comes in more than 20 different kinds. It is an annual plant that is a member of the nightshade family. They are widely planted by gardeners because they require little maintenance and can withstand heat and drought. The drawback is that animals like squirrels are drawn to the vivid colors and enjoy the flavor.

If there is nothing else for squirrels to eat, they may be enticed to nibble on the petals.

Sunflower Plants

There are around 70 different species of sunflower plants. They are flowering plants that are both annual and perennial and are members of the Asteraceae family. The sunflower seeds in these bushes are a squirrel favorite. To assist you in preventing squirrels from damaging your sunflower plants, I wrote an article.


Impatient flowering plants come in more than 1,000 different species. These plants are employed as containers, bedding plants, or border plants. They are a big member of the Balsaminaceae family of herbaceous plants. The pleasant flavor of the blossoms may draw squirrels. However, a lot of individuals have claimed that although squirrels will dig up and consume the bulbs, they rarely harm the plant itself.

These are just a few examples of the trees, flowers, and shrubs that squirrels like. There are probably additional outside plants that squirrels will be drawn to than those mentioned above.

It might be squirrels or other animals like deer if you have other outdoor plants and someone is eating them.

What can I do to prevent rabbits from consuming my hydrangeas?

Exclusion is one method for defending hydrangeas against deer and rabbits. Using commercial deer fence kits, which are available in box shops and online, erect a temporary fence. Alternately, utilize galvanized cattle panels purchased from agricultural supply stores like Tractor Supply. To safeguard your plants, you can bend them over.

One method of hydrangea protection is using cattle panels. Simply incline them toward your plant.

How much you need to protect, how big your plant is, where it is located, and how much ugliness you can tolerate in the landscape will all play a role. So gather your resources, make your purchases, etc. There won’t be much time to complete this task, typically in bad outdoor weather.

Are rodents attracted to hydrangeas?

Because they don’t tend to draw many pests or animals, hydrangeas are a suitable option for many landscapes. While certain insects and animals will consume hydrangeas if they come across them, most creatures avoid them.

Bees are not drawn to mophead hydrangeas. The most alluring varieties of hydrangeas for bees are laccap and oakleaf varieties.

Other insects can occasionally cause problems for hydrangeas, including Japanese beetles, rose chafers, leaf-tiers, aphids, scale, and mites. The majority of pests only cause aesthetic harm and may be prevented from becoming an infestation by using natural controls. To spot issues early, regularly inspect your hydrangeas.

In terms of fauna, hydrangeas are neither particularly attractive to, nor resistant to, deer, rabbits, and groundhogs. If you see indications that one of these species is bothering your hydrangeas, take precautions to protect them and keep them from returning in the future.

Ideally, you won’t have many issues with pests and critters affecting your hydrangeas, but in the event that you do, you now know how to handle them.

Are hydrangeas eaten by deer or rabbits?

regrettably, absolutely. The fragile, newly growing hydrangea plant tips are particularly beloved by deer. The elder leaves normally don’t attract them, but if they’re extremely hungry, they’ll eat even those.

Put wire cages over the smaller plants to safeguard them if you want to give your hydrangeas a greater chance of surviving but don’t want to erect a full-on fence.

Another tip I picked up this year for our garden was to place the hydrangeas in close proximity to other green plants so that they blend in and take up little space. You will benefit from the fact that deer won’t enter a small area.

Will hydrangeas be harmed by soapy water?

Hydrangea Slug Treatment Spray some soapy water on the plants. Use a spray bottle with a quart of water and a teaspoon of dawn or Joy dish soap. The plant’s ground, branches, and leaves should all be sprayed. That ought to discourage them from returning.

I want to keep slugs away from my hydrangeas.

Cornmeal: Wherever slug activity is present, place a tablespoon or two of cornmeal in a jar and set it on its side. The slugs adore this substance, and they perish after consuming it.

Beer: Create a hole that is 4-6 inches deep. In the hole, insert a disposable plastic cup. Pour beer into the cup until it is about 80% filled. Indeed, beer. daily check As often as necessary, empty the slugs and refill with beer. The yeast and barley in the beer draw the slugs in.

Ammonia: Combine one part ammonia to six parts water when using ammonia. Foliage doesn’t appear to burn in this dilution. Spray the slug with a trigger sprayer or a pressurized garden sprayer, and it will dissolve in five minutes.

Spray made of caffeine should be used to treat diseased regions, particularly the soil and leaves next to any tasty slug treats. Visit a garden center to find it. Plants, animals, and children are unaffected. Mollusks’ appetites are decreased as a result, and if you catch one close to the plant, you’ll watch it make a very unnatural U-turn to escape.

Salt will cause them to dry up if you sprinkle salt on the area where they are crawling. However, avoid using the soil for plant growth as salt might harm the environment for plants.

Slugs can be repelled by eggshells, used coffee grounds, and chewy gum balls. Put them in a circle around the plants you want to keep safe.

Sand: Early in the spring, liberally scatter coarse playground sand over new plants. The slugs’ fragile stomachs object to the sharpness, just like the coffee grinds and other items above.

Purchase copper strips: Although they are pricey, these are a fantastic option for shielding particular plants or small regions. The slug or snail slime reacts to them electrostatically. The pests disappear.

A silica stone with a sharp edge and water absorption, diatomaceous earth. Sharpness is not something slugs like to slide over, and if they do, it behaves like salt and desiccates them.

Plant a lot of red-leafed plants. Slugs try to avoid plants with red leaves since they don’t like them. Examples of plants that could be planted in a barrier formation include red coleus and Swiss chard.

Pine needles can be used as a mulch to protect the region from slugs. Slugs prefer alkaline settings; pine needles are acidic. However, be sure the plants can withstand the acidic atmosphere.

As a last option, think about using poisonous compounds as a remedy. Unfortunately, dogs are drawn to the toxins as well and can ingest them. Slug pellets that are organic are available; inquire at your neighborhood garden center.

Slugs should be sought for in the early evening, ideally on damp nights, or captured in the early morning. For easy pickings, they tend to gather under boards or wet newspapers. That sounds like so much fun, right?

How to correctly dry hydrangeas

The hydrangea blossoms are in bloom at the ideal time of year to preserve them for the winter.

1. Search for blossoms that feel papery and have slightly dried out. If there are any unopened florets, the blooms are likely too young to dry properly.

2. Cut the stem between nodes and length. Once the flower has dried, you can trim it shorter.

3. Get rid of the leaves because they’ll curl and fall off.

4. Hold the flower-hanging stem end as it is optionally doing so. A little coat of paint in the hue of the blossom should be applied to it. As the paint dries, it penetrates the florets for a more realistic appearance.

5. Recut the stem at a sharp angle in between the nodes. As a result, the plant can absorb more water and won’t wilt or curl.

6. Put the flower head in a vase that is tall enough to sustain it. Add one to two inches of water. Place the vase in a shaded, cool area away from the sun. Don’t top off the water. After absorbing all they require and gradually drying out, the stems will be left with straight stems and full flower clusters.

Contact a master gardener at the University of Illinois Extension office in Charleston at 217-345-7034 if you have any questions regarding your garden or landscape. Visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ccdms/ to browse the many horticulture pages on the U of I Extension website.

In Coles County, Kathy Hummel is a master gardener with the University of Illinois Extension.