The Pinecone Hack That Will Keep Your Pets Out Of Your Houseplants

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Tending to and keeping your houseplants alive might be your lifelong passion or a new activity you picked up as part of your New Year's resolution. Whatever the case may be, seeing your furry family members feasting on the soil or plant foliage will have you hunting for simple ways to pet-proof your plants. While the easiest way is to get the pots out of their reach — placing them on high shelves or investing in hanging baskets — what do you do with plants that are too big to be moved or hung? You employ the pinecone hack to keep pets out of your houseplants.

Simply drop a few pinecones on the topsoil and watch the prickly conifer repel your pets with gusto. This is a pet-friendly hack since pinecones aren't toxic and won't hurt your furry friends. Besides not having to worry about your houseplants, you won't have to discipline your pets from digging them up or clean up the resulting mess. Better yet, this genius hack requires just one ingredient and is incredibly cost-effective. You can even score a few for free by scouring under the pine trees in your yard or checking out a nearby park or garden during autumn. Otherwise, you can go to your local craft supply store or order a 25-pack of QHZHANG's natural pinecones from Amazon for about $10.

How to use the pinecone hack

To prevent hitchhiking pests and bacteria from entering your home, you should first bake your pinecones at a low temperature in your oven. Then, as mentioned, you just need to lay down the pinecones on the topsoil. Ensure you cover the entire surface of your houseplant to seal all openings for your mischievous pets. Now, sit back and watch as the sharp conifers come into contact with your furball's sensitive paw and deter them. The uncomfortable surface will keep them from digging into your houseplants and disturbing the soil. Moreover, this hack is especially helpful if you've got cats since generally, they don't like the natural aroma of the cones. Even pinecone coverage has the dual advantage of making it more difficult for fungus gnats to get at your soil.

The hack is not without its weaknesses, of course. If you don't press the pinecones down into the soil, your pets might be able to dislodge them. And pinecones can't do all the work — if they're not preventing your pets from attacking your plants, you can use a sprayable scent deterrent, or you can try being firm with them and saying "no" if they try to dig up the pinecones.

Alternatively, you can add small stakes around the plant's perimeter to prevent your pets from pushing them out. Remember, this hack works best on young or smaller breeds of dogs, as the bigger ones might just eat the pinecones, which will lead to gastrointestinal or digestive problems. Also, don't go to conifers whose pinecones have sharp needles, like the lodgepole pine, to avoid injuring your pets accidentally.