Do you love your ferns, but find that birds are constantly causing damage to them? You are not alone. Birds can be attracted to ferns for various reasons, such as seeking shelter or food sources. However, their presence can lead to destruction of ferns, foliage, and even soil. The good news is that there are numerous effective techniques to keep birds away from ferns without causing them or their habitats harm. Read on to discover how to keep birds out of ferns.

Key Takeaways:

  • Birds can cause significant damage to ferns.
  • There are several physical, visual, auditory, and plant-based solutions to deter birds from ferns.
  • Maintaining a clean garden can help reduce bird attraction and damage.

Understanding Bird Behavior in Fern Gardens

Ferns provide an attractive and nourishing environment for birds, which can create challenges for fern gardeners. Understanding why birds are attracted to ferns is the first step in preventing them from causing damage to the plants.

Birds are drawn to ferns for a variety of reasons. Ferns provide a source of food and shelter for many species, and their fronds make convenient perches for birds to rest on. Additionally, ferns retain moisture, which can make them an attractive spot for birds to bathe or drink from.

Unfortunately, birds can also cause damage to ferns by uprooting them, eating the new growth, or leaving droppings that can harm the plants. As a result, it’s important to find bird control methods that do not harm the birds themselves or their natural habitats.

One effective approach to bird control in fern gardens is to focus on bird-friendly solutions that divert birds from ferns. This can be achieved through a combination of physical, visual, and auditory deterrents, as well as planting bird-friendly alternatives and maintaining a clean and bird-unfriendly environment. By implementing these strategies, you can create a more balanced ecosystem in your garden, while protecting your ferns from damage.

Implementing Physical Bird Deterrents

Physical bird deterrents are one of the most effective ways to prevent birds from damaging ferns. By creating physical barriers or obstacles, you can make it difficult for birds to land on or near your fern plants, keeping them safe from harm.

Netting is a popular option for protecting ferns from birds. You can purchase bird netting from your local garden center or online retailer. Simply drape the netting over your ferns and secure it in place with stakes or weights. Make sure the netting is taut so that birds cannot become entangled in it.

Fences are another option for keeping birds away from ferns, particularly if you have a large garden. Choose a fence that is at least six feet tall and has a tight weave so that birds cannot pass through it. Electric fences can also be effective, but they should only be used as a last resort, as they can pose a danger to birds and other wildlife.

Bird spikes are a physical deterrent that can be attached to the edges of structures or surfaces, making it difficult or impossible for birds to land on them. You can purchase bird spikes online or at your local hardware store. Be sure to install them properly and follow all safety precautions to avoid injury.

Using Visual Bird Repellents

Visual bird repellents can be used to discourage birds from approaching ferns. These repellents work by causing birds to feel uncomfortable or threatened, making them avoid the area. Here are some effective visual bird repellents:

  • Scarecrows: Scarecrows are a classic way to keep birds away. They work by creating the appearance of a person in the garden, which can make birds feel uncomfortable. To make a scarecrow, simply stuff old clothes with hay or straw and place it in the garden.
  • Reflective Materials: Reflective materials, such as CDs or mirrors, can create glare and confusion that make birds uncomfortable. Hang them in the garden near the ferns to provide maximum coverage.
  • Predator Decoys: Predator decoys, such as fake owls or snakes, can create the appearance of a natural predator in the garden. This can make birds feel threatened and avoid the area. Place them strategically throughout the garden to maximize coverage.

Tips for Using Visual Bird Repellents

When using visual bird repellents, it’s important to keep in mind a few key tips:

  • Move repellents around: Birds can become accustomed to visual repellents if they remain in the same place for too long. Try moving them around periodically to keep birds on their toes.
  • Use a variety of repellents: Using different types of repellents can help keep birds from becoming acclimated to any one method. Experiment with different types to find what works best for your garden.
  • Use them in combination with other methods: Visual repellents work best when used in combination with other bird deterrents. Implementing a variety of bird control methods can create a comprehensive approach to keeping birds away from ferns.

Employing Auditory Bird Repellents

If physical barriers and visual repellents alone are not sufficient to keep birds away from your fern garden, auditory repellents can be a highly effective additional measure. These devices emit sounds that are unpleasant for birds, creating a hostile environment that they will be reluctant to approach.

One type of auditory repellent uses high-frequency noises that are audible only to birds. Ultrasonic devices emit sounds above the range of human hearing, but that are irritating to birds. Ultrasonic repellents can be purchased as standalone units or as part of a larger bird control system. Be sure to place the device in an area where it will not disturb humans or pets.

Another type of auditory repellent uses recorded bird distress calls to mimic the sound of danger or a threat. This can help to deter birds from approaching ferns without causing physical harm to them. These devices may be particularly effective for deterring birds during nesting season, as the distress calls can trigger a protective response.

However, it’s important to note that while auditory repellents can be a useful tool, they should not be used as the sole method of bird control. Birds can become habituated to the sounds emitted by these devices, rendering them ineffective over time. Therefore, it’s best to use auditory repellents in combination with physical barriers and visual repellents for maximum effectiveness.

Planting Bird-Friendly Alternatives

One effective way to keep birds away from ferns is to provide alternative plantings that can satisfy their needs without damaging your ferns. Adding bird-friendly plants to your garden can help divert birds’ attention away from ferns and create a more balanced ecosystem.

Consider planting native shrubs and trees that produce fruit or nuts, such as dogwood, serviceberry, or oak. These provide an alternative food source for birds, reducing the likelihood that they will turn to your ferns. Likewise, planting flowers that attract insects and other small animals can keep birds busy hunting elsewhere.

Bird-Friendly Plants Benefits
Dogwood Produces fruit favored by many bird species
Serviceberry Produces berries that attract birds, especially in the spring
Milkweed Attracts insects that birds like to eat, while also supporting monarch butterfly populations
Lavender Attracts bees and other pollinators that provide food for birds

It’s essential to research which species of plants are native to your area and will thrive in your garden. Native plants are better adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, making them more resistant to pests and diseases. Furthermore, native plants provide food and nesting habitats for native birds and other wildlife.

Remember that planting bird-friendly alternatives is just one aspect of creating a bird-friendly garden. Combining multiple techniques, such as physical or visual bird deterrents, with a variety of bird-friendly plantings can help protect your ferns while supporting diverse bird populations.

Maintaining a Clean and Bird-Unfriendly Environment

Maintaining a tidy garden can be an effective way to keep birds away from your ferns. Fallen seeds and fruits can be a tempting food source for birds, so regular cleaning is essential.

Do not place bird feeders near your ferns, as this will attract birds to the area. You can also consider reducing other attractions that may draw birds, such as bird baths or water features.

Preventing the buildup of debris, such as leaves and twigs, can also make your garden less attractive to birds. Take care to keep the area around your ferns clean and free from debris.


Keeping birds away from ferns may seem like a daunting task, but with the right techniques and tools, it is definitely achievable. By understanding the behavior of birds and implementing effective deterrence methods, you can safeguard your ferns and ensure that they remain healthy and thriving.

While physical bird deterrents like nets and fences are effective in keeping birds away from ferns, they can also be unsightly and disrupt the natural flow of your garden. Therefore, using visual and auditory repellents, as well as planting bird-friendly alternatives, can help create a more harmonious and balanced ecosystem in your garden.

Remember, it is also crucial to maintain a clean and bird-unfriendly environment by regularly cleaning up fallen seeds and fruits, removing bird feeders near ferns, and reducing any other attractions that may draw birds.

By following these tips and techniques, you can enjoy a beautiful fern garden without the fear of birds damaging your plants. Happy gardening!


Q: How can I keep birds out of my ferns?

A: There are several effective techniques to keep birds away from your ferns. Implementing physical bird deterrents such as netting, fences, or bird spikes can help create a barrier between the birds and your ferns. Using visual repellents like scarecrows, reflective materials, or predator decoys can also discourage birds from approaching your ferns. Additionally, employing auditory repellents such as bird distress calls or ultrasonic devices can create an unfavorable environment for birds near your ferns. Planting bird-friendly alternatives that divert birds’ attention away from ferns and maintaining a clean and bird-unfriendly environment are also important strategies.

Q: Why are birds attracted to ferns and how can I prevent them from damaging my ferns?

A: Birds are attracted to ferns for various reasons. They may see them as a source of food or nesting material. However, their presence can lead to damage to the ferns, such as broken fronds or trampled plants. To prevent this, it is essential to implement bird control measures that do not harm the birds or their natural habitats. By understanding bird behavior in fern gardens and implementing physical, visual, and auditory deterrents, you can create an environment that discourages birds from damaging your ferns.

Q: What are some effective physical bird deterrents for ferns?

A: Physical bird deterrents for ferns include installing netting, fences, or bird spikes. Netting can be used to create a barrier around your ferns, preventing birds from accessing them. Fences can also create a physical barrier, while bird spikes can deter birds from landing on or nesting near your ferns. It is important to follow proper instructions when applying these deterrents to ensure their effectiveness.

Q: How can visual repellents be used to keep birds away from ferns?

A: Visual repellents such as scarecrows, reflective materials, and predator decoys can be effective in deterring birds from approaching ferns. Placing scarecrows or reflective materials near your ferns can create a visual deterrent, as birds may perceive them as potential threats. Predator decoys, such as fake owls or snakes, can also trick birds into believing there is a predator nearby, causing them to avoid the area. Proper placement of these visual repellents is important for their effectiveness.

Q: What are auditory bird repellents and how can they be used to deter birds from fern plantings?

A: Auditory bird repellents include devices that emit bird distress calls or ultrasonic sounds. These deterrents create an unfavorable environment for birds near your ferns, as they mimic natural warning signals or emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant to birds. Choosing the most appropriate devices and using them properly can significantly deter birds from your fern plantings.

Q: Are there any bird-friendly alternative plantings that can help protect ferns?

A: Yes, there are bird-friendly alternative plantings that can divert birds’ attention away from ferns. By providing other plants that offer food sources or nesting habitats for birds, you can create a more balanced ecosystem in your garden. Consider planting native shrubs or trees that produce berries or fruits, as these can attract birds and keep them away from your ferns.

Q: How can I maintain a clean and bird-unfriendly environment to protect my ferns?

A: Maintaining a clean and bird-unfriendly environment is crucial in keeping birds away from your ferns. Clean up fallen seeds and fruits regularly, as these can attract birds. Remove bird feeders or birdbaths that are near your ferns, as they can serve as additional attractions for birds. Minimize any other factors that might draw birds to your garden, such as excessive water sources or unsecured garbage.

Categorized in: