What can you do to prevent birds from nesting in hanging baskets?

bird in hanging basket
This cardinal was placed there through the magic of Photoshop, but what can you do to keep birds out of your hanging baskets in real life? Photo illustration by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Here’s a question from a reader:

Have you heard of any way to deter pesky little birds from nesting in my hanging planters?

Carol Thibault of Elma

We love birds visiting our gardens, but I can see where it would be a nuisance if birds nest in hanging baskets. When you try to water your plants, you disturb the birds, and if you don’t water, your plants will die. Plus, the nest may mess up the appearance of your flowers.

I didn’t have any ideas, but Lyn Chimera of Lessons from Nature suggested using bird netting to cover the planters. Place the netting loosely so the plant has room to grow. It’s invisible from a distance and the birds can’t get into the planter, Chimera said.

Of course, you have to think to do this before they build a nest. If you see birds starting to pay a lot of attention to a hanging basket, it might be time to put on some bird netting.

Readers, have you encountered this problem? Do you have suggestions for Carol? Please leave a comment below.

How to get your questions answered

Readers often contact me with questions that I can’t answer. I’m not a gardening expert– I’m a writer by profession. I interview knowledgeable people in order to provide you with great articles on Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com.

So when someone asks a question I can’t answer, sometimes I post the question and rely on my readers to share their expertise. If you have advice for Carol, please leave a comment below. If you want to know the answer to this question, check back later to read the comments.

Sending a question to me to post can be helpful if you’re looking for a wide range of opinions and don’t mind waiting for the answer. If you want to try this route, email the question to me at connie@buffaloniagaragardening.com and I’ll pose it to my readers in an upcoming issue.

However, don’t send me questions:

  • To find out what is wrong with your plant
  • To identify a particular plant or insect
  • If you need an answer quickly

To find out specific information like that, ask the Master Gardeners with Cornell Cooperative Extension or turn to your local garden center. They can give you the information you need.

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4 Comments on “What can you do to prevent birds from nesting in hanging baskets?

  1. In the past I’ve used rubber snakes, twined around the hanger. Last year it really freaked out my neighbor when she came over to water while we were away. She had to get someone else to water that one basket LOL. This year I tied a little glass hummingbird to the chain with a long piece of curling ribbon so it hangs right in the center of the plant. It seems to be working.

  2. If you place a nylon shower scrubby in top of basket, birds think there is already a nest in there and will go elsewhere.

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