How to keep birds out of hanging baskets

Last updated on April 7th, 2022

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We all love hanging baskets for the added geometry and height they bring to any garden. Their versatility means you can grow just about anything in them, from stunning floral displays to upside-down tomatoes, even fruit. The problem comes when birds start hanging around your hanging baskets and nabbing all the goods. 

Why are birds a problem?

Birds can be a problem in two ways. First, if you are growing fruit and vegetables in your hanging basket, birds can fly over and steal the produce when it is growing. This obviously defeats the purpose of having fruit or vegetables growing in your baskets as you don’t get to enjoy any of it.

The second and more common problem for baskets that just have flowers or fruits and vegetables is that birds will use the lining and the protective space to their advantage by making a nest inside of your hanging baskets.

This not only leaves a huge mess but also prevents the overall production of your flowers or your food. Some people grow floral displays and they don’t mind having the birds in the garden, and if you are one of those people, there are plenty of methods you can utilise to keep birds out of the hanging baskets while still providing them with a place to live so that you can enjoy their company. Alternatively, there are ways to get rid of birds and keep them away so that they don’t bother you at all.

Have a winter set of hanging baskets and winter hanging basket to swap

How do you keep the birds away from your baskets?

Offer alternative nesting opportunities

Attaching a nest box to a fence, wall or tree

The best method is that of prevention. Start by offering the birds somewhere more appealing to stay. Build birdhouses or nesting boxes and place them around your property so the birds won’t want to bother with your hanging baskets. 

Add fine wire mesh around the baskets before planting to prevent nesting

When you plant your basket, put a light wire mesh over it so the birds aren’t able to access it. 

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Use fake decoys to scare them away

Place fake predators around your hanging baskets, like fake owls or rubber snakes to dissuade the flying visitors. 

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Hanging CDs and streamers

You can even hang things that reflect sunlight, like strings of hanging CD’s or streamers along the edges of the basket. These items will prevent the birds from hanging around your hanging baskets, but this method can be a little messy and not for everyone. 

Use bamboo or canes to try and stop them from landing on your basket

Small bamboo canes or flower sticks can also be cut and placed around the perimeter of your basket to prevent animals from landing or loitering. 

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Place cotton balls soaked in citrus soil in the hanging basket

If this level of warfare seems too extreme, you can always try soaking cotton balls in citrus oil and leaving them in the hanging baskets. For many birds, the scent of citrus oil will deter them. 

Using these tips you can keep your hanging baskets in great shape all year round, with blooms and fruit to spare!

What if you already have a bird making its nest in your hanging basket or stealing your produce?

Try moving to a new hanging basket close by

Lobelia hanging basket

Well, if there is a nest in your basket, you can carefully remove it if possible, but do so in a nearby location. For example, put a similar hanging basket with moss next to your original basket and put the nest in there. You can even integrate this preemptively by hanging two baskets together at all times, one with moss for nests and the other with your flowers, fruits, or vegetables. 

Related articles you may be interested in

How to make and plant a hanging basket

How to grow Petunias in hanging baskets

How to secure a hanging basket

Deciding how many plants to use in your hanging baskets

The best plants for using in hanging baskets

Last update on 2024-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at

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