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Do Deer Eat Petunias? What You Should Know

Do deer eat petunias? Want to know how to protect your garden or just curious about what deer eat? We’ve covered everything you need to know about this species.

Deer are herbivores, which means that they eat plants exclusively. While there are a few types of native deer that may enjoy eating wildflowers and other types of greenery, most types of deer will not eat petunias in a flower bed in your front yard.

The only kinds of deer who may go for a petunia are those who have started eating them due to being fed by people. But the simple answer to this question is yes, some deer eat petunias.

What Does a Deer eat?

Group of Deers in Nara, Japan
WANG Tianfang / Unsplash

Deer are herbivores, which means deer eat plant-based food. As such, deer eat plants like tree bark and other types of greenery. Deer eat tall grasses as well as the parts of trees themselves.

Deer’s favorite plants grow along river banks and in marshes. Most types of deer would not be interested in eating common flowers like a petunia though, because it lacks the nutritional value of other, more natural types of food.

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What to Know About Deer Eating Petunias

Deer Eating

While petunia-eating deer are in certain areas of the country, most deer will not eat it by choice due to their lack of nutritional content. If they do happen to eat them, they have been effectively trained to do so by people who keep feeding them.

This can often lead to changes in their natural diet and other issues related to the resulting behavior of these deer. Whenever you encounter a deer in your yard, use smelly garden plants to prevent deer visits.

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Deer and Petunias

Bright yellow petunias
Eliza Diamond / Unsplash

In most cases, deer will not eat petunias unless they have been trained by people who keep feeding them. In some very rare instances, a type of deer may become addicted to eating petunias because they lack the nutritional content of more natural foods.

But in general, deer will not eat petunias, and it is very unlikely for this to become an issue. Deer are herbivores. This means that they eat certain plants only. When it comes to whether a deer will eat it, you have to look at what a deer would consider a plant in the first place. For whatever reason, when a deer eats something, they typically eat it right down to its roots.

This is not the case with petunias, however. Deers will eat Petunias if they’ve managed to get them out of their pot and into their mouth.

But since most types of deer will agree that it’s easier to eat something like an oak tree or a holly bush than trying to munch on a flower, most typically won’t eat petunias. Unless in cases of a very hungry deer.

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How to Protect Deer and Your Yard

Lone Spotted Deer in the wild
Mamun Srizon / Unsplash

If you have deer in your area or suspect there may be deer around your area, consider not planting any flowers. This is the only way to ensure that nothing gets eaten, instead of planting something like a flower and seeing it munched on.

While some types of deer may eat petunias, most typically won’t bother with them because they are less convenient to eat than other plants in your yard. If you want a deer-resistant yard, try to plant smelly flowers or plants.

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What are deer-resistant plants?

Purple Petunias

There are many types of deer-resistant plants that deer don’t like to eat. These typically include things like lavender, hydrangeas, and roses. Fragrant plants.

One major drawback to these is that while they don’t taste good to deer, they also tend not to attract them in any other way. If you want a garden with both pretty flowers and plants that are deer resistant, consider planting a mix.

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What natural deer repellent can be used for the garden or yard?

do deer eat hydrangeas?
Connor Moyle / Unsplash

There are many different types of natural ways that you can use to make your garden deer-resistant. The most common ingredients include chili powder, hot sauce, and garlic oil.

These typically work best when spraying directly onto the plant itself rather than putting on some protective barrier around it. It’s usually best to use these methods in conjunction with a physical deer fence.

While deer have been known to eat petunias on rare occasions, the vast majority of types of deer will not bother with them because they are less convenient to eat than other things in your yard.

It’s also important to consider certain plants like lavender, hydrangeas, and roses are often some of the top choices for deer-resistant plants because they are relatively difficult to eat and don’t tend to attract deer either.

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What is deer candy?

Boss Buck Deer Candy
Boss Buck / Amazon

It is a specially formulated deer repellent. It is made not only to keep them away from your flowers but also to keep deer off of your entire property.

If you don’t want the animals in your yard, this product will provide you with all the protection you need. It contains natural ingredients strong enough for deer to smell it from more than a mile away.

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Do I need to worry about my flower garden if I have petunias?

Pink Petunias

If you have petunias in your home or yard, deer will not be more inclined to bother them than any other plant. When a deer tends to eat petunia from time to time, these instances are rare and do not indicate any larger problems.

There is no reason to worry about your petunias or any other flowers in your yard or home if you have deer that live nearby.

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What Other Problems Do Deer and Petunias Create?

Lone deer in the wild
Divide By Zero / Unsplash

While petunia-eating deer aren’t considered a threat to your yard, they may pose other problems. For one thing, when deer begin to eat plants like petunias, they can be very unwilling to move on and stop.

This is especially true if the people in your neighborhood keep feeding them, giving these deer a reason to hang around. As a result of this issue, you may start having issues with deer overpopulation and other types of problems.

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Is It Safe to Feed Deer Petunias?

Group of Deer and a Woman
Giorgi Iremadze / Unsplash

While it isn’t safe for deer to eat anything other than plants, their behavior isn’t typically indicative of an unsafe issue. If deer are eating something, they’ll most likely eat grass or another type of plant-like tree bark.

A deer regularly eating it may be experiencing some other behavioral issues, or they may have gotten used to getting food from people rather than through their natural food sources.

When deer eat petunias, it is normally the case of conditioned food preference. They get used to eating it or other flowers by being fed them by people, so they continue to do so, but this doesn’t necessarily indicate any problem with their health.

It is simply a sign that they are becoming adapted to depend on human resources for their food and will need to learn how to get along with these new feeding habits.

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Are petunias dangerous to deer?

Yellow and orange colored petunias
Rebecca Niver / Unsplash

In general, no. Deer may eat anything that they can get in their mouth because their diet is very limited, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll cause you any problems or hurt themselves.

While deer can become sick if they eat the wrong things, chances are that any petunias or other flowers will not cause them too much harm.   Is a deer eating my petunias harmful?

There is no harm in a deer eating your petunias as long as it’s just doing so out of curiosity and not becoming sick from the consumption. Non-poisonous plants are not known for being harmful to deer or to any other type of animal in most cases, so you can rest assured that this issue will not become a major problem.

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Deer Eating Flowers

Deer Grazing and Eating Flowers
Pexels / Pixabay

In some rare cases, it may be possible for deer to eat certain types of flowers. When a deer eats a flower, it is typically much milder than when a deer eats grass or tree bark. But petunias are not known for being something that deer depend on as a food source and they won’t hurt the animal if they do decide to eat them from time to time.

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In conclusion, deer generally do not eat petunias because they are not worth the bother. While a deer may choose to eat a petunia from time to time, these instances are rare and do not indicate any larger problems. If you have petunias around your home or yard, feel free to keep them.

They will not be bothered unless deer are extremely desperate for food. Then again, deer have much better options than flower gardens that won’t hurt them if they decide to eat them from time to time.

Whenever a deer visit your yard, and you want a deer-resistant plantation, try considering smelly plants or flowers. This way, you could repel deer and have a petunias deer-resistant yard.


What flowers will the deer not eat?

Deer-resistant flowers are those that are less likely to be eaten by deer. However, it is important to note that there is no such thing as a completely deer-proof flower. Some generally considered deer-resistant flowers include daffodils, alliums, lavender, and peonies. These flowers contain unappealing compounds to deer, making them less likely to be eaten.

What plants do deer hate the most?

Deer hate plants with strong fragrances and tastes, such as lavender, mint, and sage. Additionally, they tend to avoid plants with prickly or hairy leaves, such as holly, barberry, and lamb’s ear. However, it’s important to note that deer preferences can vary depending on the region and time of year, so no plant can be guaranteed to be completely deer-proof.

Do deer eat marigolds or petunias?

Deer do eat both marigolds and petunias. Marigolds are not deer-resistant and are often targeted by deer. Petunias are also not deer-resistant and can be eaten by deer if hungry. It is important to protect your garden with deer-resistant plants or fencing to prevent damage from deer.

Will petunias grow back after being eaten by a deer?

Petunias are a flowering plant that can be grown in many gardens and landscapes. If deer eat petunias, they may or may not grow back, depending on the extent of the damage. If the deer only eat the leaves and stems, the petunias may recover and grow back. However, if the deer eat the entire plant, including the roots, it is unlikely that the petunias will grow back.

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