Flower varieties that will scare off unwanted pigeons as their colour 'deters birds from landing' in gardens

Flower varieties that will scare off unwanted pigeons as their colour 'deters birds from landing' in gardens

A Royal Horticultural Society video

Royal Horticultural Society
Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 15/04/2024

- 19:39

Flowers of a certain colour and scent may create an unwelcoming environment to pigeons in your garden

The only surefire way gardeners can protect flowers from unwanted pigeons is by creating a physical barrier with netting.

Introducing white plants into their flora may also help by tricking the flying creatures into perceiving danger where there is none.

Of all the flower shades, white is reportedly the shade most widely avoided by birds because it signals danger.

The Meadows Garden Centre confirms this, explaining that the white plumage of birds may be the reason birds avoid landing in certain areas where the colour is visible.

Pigeons and colourful flowers

Plants can act as an effective deterrent for unwanted birds


The gardening body explained: “The white plumage of birds may be the reason they avoid landing in certain areas.

"Many birds use the white plumage in their feathers to show each other that there is danger ahead.

“Planting a variety of white flowers sound areas you want to keep protected might be enough to deter birds from landing.”

The Royal Horticultural Society writes that pigeons are often the cause of “agricultural crop damage, but they can feed on plants in gardens and allotments”.

It adds: “Pigeons feed on a wide range of plants, but seem particularly keen on the leaves of brassicas (such as broccoli, sprouts, cabbages and cauliflower), cherries, lilac and peas.

“They will peck at the leaves and rip off portions, often leaving just the stalks and larger leaf veins. They may also strip buds, leaves and fruits, from blackcurrants and other fruit bushes.”​​

Other flowers to consider are pink ones, as they help attract butterfly species, while purple flora is deemed particularly attractive to bees.

Planting lots of red flowers, on the other hand, tends to deter insects, despite being completely inconspicuous to birds.

What's more, when flowers are double-layered, this makes it even more difficult for the birds to reach them.

There are reports that the scents of certain plants, namely those of lavender, mint and marigold, can also create an unwelcoming environment for pigeons.


A white dove or white pigeon amongst other pigeons in Victoria Park, Bath.

The colour white signals danger to birds


GB News previously reported on the benefits of these plants for deterring rodents, who rank highly in terms of olfactory abilities.

According to Pest Control Expert Robert Collins, peppermint, eucalyptus and citronella essential are some of the safest repellents around.

The expert told GB News: “There are several essential oils that can be used to deter rats from your garden. This is one of the safest and most effective natural ways to get rid of rats.

“Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Citronella are great examples of essential oils that are brilliant at deterring rats.”

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