No plant parent wants to see their succulents get ripped apart after the time and effort spent growing the plant.
Succulents are hardy plants that can survive negligence and require low maintenance.
If rats visit your home or garden, your succulents are not likely to survive their onslaught.
Luckily, rats can be prevented from eating your succulents quite conveniently.
Do Rats Eat Succulents?
To put it simply, rats love eating succulents.
Succulents are excellent, tasty food for rodents, and they will relish every bite of your plant once they find it.
The Cactus is a favorite among rodents, despite its spiky spine.
These critters can bite their way through the hard exterior of the cactus and even Aloe Vera to quench their thirst.
As a gardener, it is disturbing to see your plants get wrecked by these animals.
However, there is always a solution to keep your plants safe from rodents.
How To Prevent Rats From Eating Succulents?
Rat-proofing your home or garden is essential for every plant owner because of how easy it is for rodents to infiltrate and multiply.
Apart from eating your plants, rats also leave their droppings and hide in the smallest cracks in your house.
A single rodent can give birth to 14 little ones in one litter.
Several rodents can prove to be disastrous for your living spaces and garden.
Pest control is effective but also harmful for plants and pets if you have any at home.
Fortunately, there are many natural ways to keep rodents away.
If you have only a couple of plants, using covers like a bucket, container, or any plastic cover at night can keep the plants safe.
For an outdoor garden, installing a wire fence and burying it at least 5 inches into the soil will save your succulents from rats.
2. Planting Mint
The scent of mint is unappealing to rats, which helps keep them away.
You can either grow mint plants around your garden or buy a few pots of mint plants and place them around your succulents.
If you do not want to tend to more plants, you can get dried mint leaves and sprinkle them around the succulents.
Placing peppermint-soaked cotton balls around the succulents is also a good alternative.
Having an outdoor cat that hunts mice is a long-term solution to eliminating rats from your home.
Cats are alert and can identify mice easily within your home or even outdoors.
Some dogs may also help hunt smaller rodents.
Rodents tend to stay away if they smell a predator’s urine.
The urine of wolves, foxes, coyotes, or even dogs can be easily bought from a garden supply store.
Gardeners have had success in maintaining their gardens using these animals’ urine.
You can also use temporary repellants such as garlic, peppers, or onions, but this will not ensure permanent protection from rats.
Using traps may not always be effective.
Cleaning up the mess and stench that dead rats leave behind can be difficult, as well.
There are humane traps, too, that do not cause much suffering.
If the trap catches the rat alive, do not let the rodent loose on someone else’s property or in the wild.
6. Storing Food Properly
Pet food that is kept out in the open is alluring for rats.
Put out only as much food as is needed for your pet and store the rest away in airtight containers or cupboards.
Pet food or bird feed is edible and attractive for rats, which is why they may enter your home in search of more of this food.
So, these are some of the ways through which you can control this issue in your succulent garden.
Tips To Revive Your Succulents After Rat Damage
Despite doing everything right while growing succulents, external factors can derail your efforts.
Some animals might not particularly enjoy eating all sorts of succulents, but their curiosity will make them nibble on the plants they encounter.
Rats, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoy eating succulents.
Once these critters have devoured the plant, there is no way to revive the plant.
All you can do is find solutions to prevent this from happening again.
Still, here are a few ways you can save your plant if the damage is minimal:
Some leaves might be scratched, bitten, or torn, and it makes more sense to remove the leaves completely.
Instead of letting the torn leaves dangle on the plant, use a clean and sharp cutting tool to cut the leaves off neatly.
Ensure that you do not cut off more than ⅓ of the plant, as this can disrupt the photosynthesis process.
New leaves will grow and fill the plant once more quickly, depending on the succulent type.
The fresh leaves that have fallen off the plant can be used for propagation.
Most succulents propagate quickly, and you can get new plants added to your home garden!
Propagating is relatively easy.
All you need to do is:
- Leave the fallen leaves outside for a couple of days until they begin to form a callus. After this, place the leaves on a pot or container filled with cacti soil.
- Spray a little water on the leaves every alternate day.
- After a month or so, you will see new rosettes and roots forming on the base of the leaves.
- Take these old leaves and plant them in cactus soil for a brand new plant!
If rats have bitten the plant from its stem, separating the upper part and its roots, there is a way to fix it!
- Place your succulent in a dry area for a few days until the cut part calluses.
- Then, place the stem in cactus soil.
- Once you do this, leave the plant alone for three weeks without water or direct sunlight.
- You will find your plant growing new roots after three weeks.
These are the two methods that can really help revive the succulents after rats damage.
Now, let's have a look at the FAQs below.
Squirrels, rats, voles, and gophers can eat and steal your succulents.
If you do not notice them during the day, it is because they usually come out during the night.
Yes, possums may eat succulents.
Larger animals often try to eat succulents, either because they enjoy them or out of curiosity.
Possums can eat several succulents in one night if they can get their hands on them.
Echeverias and Graptopetalums are favorites of this animal.
Rats, squirrels, possums, gophers, voles, or even your pets might be eating your succulents at night.
It is best to create a barrier with a fence or mesh net between your plants and the animals.
Raccoons eat almost anything, which means your succulents aren’t safe from these creatures.
If you have other plants and vegetables in your garden, raccoons are likely to eat those as well.
The sharp teeth of rats help them nibble through the cactus plant.
Rodents usually bite around the spine of the cactus to get to the juicier parts of the plant.
This generally happens when there is no other food around.
Over To You
Do you see rat damage on your succulents?
Well, it is the last thing you want to see on your beautiful succulents.
Fortunately, though, you can fix this problem with the tips and suggestions shared in the above guide.
In case you have any concerns or doubts, let me know in the comments.
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