- This article is about the shovel used by the player. For the shield used by Excavator Zombie, see Shovel (armor).
The shovel is an item available in Plants vs. Zombies, Plants vs. Zombies 2, and Plants vs. Zombies Online that is used to dig up plants. It is obtained after completing Level 1-4 of Adventure Mode in the first game and before playing Player's House - Day 3 in the second game. When the level starts, either Crazy Dave or the game's tutorials will have the player use the shovel to dig up three Peashooters planted on the lawn, forward facing in Plants vs. Zombies and backward-facing in Plants vs. Zombies 2. In order to replace or remove plants, the player will need to dig them up with the shovel.
The shovel does not cost the player any coins or sun to be used, meaning it can be used an infinite amount of times in a single level as long as the player has plants to remove on the field. The player cannot get any shoveled up plants back in any way (of course, other than replanting them). They will also not get the sun back, except in the Puzzle Mode version of Last Stand, having the Shovel upgrades (although this will not give all the sun back), and in the Last Stand Brain Buster during the setup phase in Plants vs. Zombies 2. In these situations, the shovel will be replaced by a dollar sign in Plants vs. Zombies, or an icon with the shovel and sun in Plants vs. Zombies 2.
A disadvantage is that sometimes, the inconvenient placement of the shovel causes players to dig up the wrong plant accidentally, especially in the Nintendo DS version, where it is placed right next to two squares on the lawn. This can easily mess up defenses, and possibly even cause the player to lose. However, the plant that will get dug up on many versions will be highlighted, making mistakes harder to make.
The sound when the shovel is used to dig out a plant.
Plants vs. Zombies
Plants vs. Zombies 2
Plants vs. Zombies Online
- While playing a Last Stand puzzle on either the original or Plants vs. Zombies 2, any plant dug up prior to starting the zombie attack will give back the full amount of the plant's cost if the player has not started the level yet.
- There are only two exceptions to this rule, and the both apply to the original game. The first is when playing the mini-game version rather than the puzzle series. The second is when digging up an upgrade plant or mushroom in Last Stand Endless, in which case the game will negate the base plant or Coffee Bean (e.g. 200 for Winter Melon instead of 500, 75 sun for Fume-shroom instead of 150).
Specific to Plants vs. Zombies
- According to unused text in the game's data, the shovel was originally going to have to recharge for an unknown amount of time before it could be used again. In the final version, there was no recharge needed for the shovel, rendering the text unused.
Specific to Plants vs. Zombies 2
- Player's House - Day 3 is the first level the shovel is used, where the player must dig up three Peashooters that are facing backwards. This level starts out as "Ready...Set...WAIT!!!", where "WAIT!!!" is shown as tutorial dialogue. Once the Peashooters are removed, the level is restarted with "Ready...Set...PLANT!"
- Before the 1.9 update, it was possible to shovel an endangered plant during a Save Our Seeds level, and it would still make the player lose the level. However, the partially-eaten brain will still appear just like any other level and cases of losing (there are some exceptions, because in this mode, there is a chance that the brain will not appear).
- Using shovel bonus will always give the player tiny sun (5) and normal sun (50). The player cannot get small sun (25) or large sun (75). For example, digging up a Wall-nut (with a 50% Shovel Bonus) gives the player 5 small sun, and digging up a Snapdragon gives the player a normal sun and 5 small suns.
- So far, it is only possible to achieve a 75% shovel bonus: as an in-app purchase (the price may vary, depending on the app store used), after beating Pirate Seas - Day 12 and after beating Wild West - Day 11.
- While the effect remains the same, each upgrade is named slightly different: the purchase is "Shovel Bonus," the Pirate Seas reward is "Shovel Boost," and the Wild West reward is "Shovel Perk."
- This is likely just to avoid confusion.
- When the Wizard Zombie is about to turn a plant into sheep, it cannot be dug up.
- The same goes for frozen plants and octopi.
- If the player digs up a plant in a level with the objective "Don't lose more than X plants," it will count as losing a plant.
- When the player has the Shovel Bonus, Shovel Boost or Shovel Perk upgrade, if they dig up an Imitater before it turns into a plant, it will not give back any sun.
- It is possible to dig up an instant use plant before it disappears.
- It is also possible to dig up a Grimrose after it has used up all its stamens, right before it disappears.
Specific to Plants vs. Zombies Online
- The handle of the shovel is purple instead of red.