I'm trying to grow sunflowers from seed and have been unsuccessful due to chipmunks and/or squirrels eating all of the seeds. So far I've tried the following:

  • Spread a lot of seeds and maintain an active bird feeder with lots of sunflower seeds to distract from the seeds I want to grow.
    • Nope, The chipmunk found all but about 4 of the seeds I spread
  • Plant the seeds about 1 to 2 inches below the surface
    • Nope, The chipmunk dug up: Every. Single. Seed. I. Planted. Seriously, I used a butter knife and plated two staggered rows one knife length apart (about 6 inches). After about a week and a half I went to check the progress and I found perfect little holes dug in staggered rows one knife length apart.

For my next attempt, I'm going to try to grow seedlings inside and then plan the seedlings and hope for the best.

I'll keep you posted.

  • Specifically, I'm in south eastern Connecticut.
    – John
    Jun 24, 2017 at 22:02
  • 1
    Provide food for the animals with which you share your environment. Over and above sunflower seeds. Start your seeds so you plant young plants instead of seed. Erect wire fences, chicken wire would be good. If you feed these animals with left over scraps, bird seed far away from your sunflowers, you won't have any problems. Growing seedlings inside and better with artificial light would be a good idea. I feed the bunnies, the deer, the birds and have no problems. And there is an awful lot of wildlife to feed...plenty of waste to give the animals.
    – stormy
    Jun 25, 2017 at 0:10
  • I've had squirrels chew the tops off my two foot sunflowers, not even flower yet. The plants fare better 100 feet away from the tree with all the squirrel nests. Jun 17, 2018 at 14:19

2 Answers 2


I don't have so many squirrels, and I think they didn't know yet that such seeds are good. [and they could find easier way to get it: chicken foods contain a lot of sunflower seeds. BTW my sunflowers come originally from such chicken leftover]

I see two possibilities: you could place a metallic net horizontally, and keep it. It should not disturb sunflowers. Or you can paint the seeds with some "nasty" substance, e.g. pepper, chili, tomato leaves, etc. Something that remain only externally to seeds, but it will not taste good for squirrels.


I have this exact same problem! Cute little nuscences! I can't bare to put anything out that may harm them so I need a natural solution. It all started when I began feeding the birds, then the squirrels, then these adorable little creatures called Chipmunks. Some of the seeds would fall to the ground and little sunflowers started coming up so I decided to plant lots of them all around my porch and the front of the house. Now no matter how many seeds I keep out for them those little stinkers dig them up. And not only that, they even eat the tops off of the baby sunflowers. I read that apple cider vinegar helps so I put that out yesterday. It's still too soon to tell though. I also heard that chilli powder or cayan pepper would deter them, you might give one of these a try.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.