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What’s eating you? (and your plants)



January 27, 2014
Ringtail possums might look small but they're voracious tree-destroyers

Ringtail possums might look small and cute but they’re voracious tree-destroyers

If, like me, you’ve been tending plants in your garden only to find them suddenly eaten to the ground by an animal, you’d probably like to know what you could grow that was less to their taste. I’d be happy to share my plants with the local ringtail possums, but they seem to develop such strong preferences for certain plants, including mature trees, that they will eat and eat them, night after night, until they’re so debilitated, they die, or look so terrible you have no choice but to pull them out.

So please don’t inundate me with protestations that we should plant more animal food. I do, and any possum that wants to nibble here or there, or come calling when there’s little to forage in the wild because of bushfire or drought will always be welcome in my garden. But I did love my fifteen year old Japanese maple, and my friend loved her mature magnolia, until the possums killed them, and the blasted rabbits that have eaten my dahlias to the ground can become someone’s ragoût de lapin any day.

Axis axis (Nagarhole, 2010) Photo Yathin S Krishnappa

Axis axis (Nagarhole, 2010) Photo Yathin S Krishnappa


To know what various marauding animals eat, I thought it would be easier to start by compiling their favourite hit lists.

This survey is for ANY gardener in ANY country. Possums, deer, rabbits, wallabies……hippos ……. if there’s any herbivore that’s totally destroying your plants, share that information so other gardeners in your area can know what not to plant.



[contact-form to=’animals@gardendrum.com’ subject=’Animals%26#x002c; and the garden plants they love to eat’][contact-field label=’Your country’ type=’text’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Your state/province/county?’ type=’text’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’What animals eat your plants? Try and be specific eg ringtail possum%26#x002c; or red deer ‘ type=’text’/][contact-field label=’What plants do they eat? Please make a separate list for each animal.’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]
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