What Plants Do Deer Eat? Discover the Forbidden Foliage!

What Plants Do Deer Eat?

Deer are beautiful creatures that roam freely in the forests and woodlands. However, if you have a garden or landscape, these animals can quickly turn from delightful to destructive. Understanding what plants deer eat can help you protect your cherished green spaces and prevent them from becoming a deer’s favorite buffet.

Plants Deer Love

Deer are herbivores, and they have a diverse palate when it comes to plants. They are known to consume a variety of vegetation including:

  • Grasses: Deer have a particular fondness for grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, and fescue.
  • Flowers: Many bright and beautiful flowers are appealing to deer, including daylilies, tulips, pansies, and impatiens.
  • Shrubs: Some shrubs deer find irresistible are azaleas, rhododendrons, yews, and arborvitae.
  • Vegetables: Deer are not picky when it comes to their greens. They enjoy feasting on vegetables like lettuce, kale, beans, and peas.
  • Fruits: Apples, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are a treat for deer, and they won’t hesitate to help themselves.

Deer-Resistant Plants

If you are struggling to keep deer away from your garden, consider planting species that are less appealing to them. Here are some deer-resistant plants:

Plants Description
Daffodils Deer avoid daffodils due to their toxic bulbs which act as natural repellents.
Lavender The strong scent of lavender is unpleasant to deer, making it an excellent choice for deterring them.
Foxgloves These tall and elegant flowers contain toxic compounds that keep deer away.
Yarrow Yarrow produces a pungent aroma that repels deer and other critters.
Mint Deer dislike the strong scent of mint, making it a great option for your garden.

Deterrents and Strategies

While planting deer-resistant plants is a good start, there are additional strategies you can implement to protect your garden. Here are some effective deterrents:

  1. Fencing: Erecting a tall fence around your garden can be an excellent way to keep deer out.
  2. Repellents: Use homemade or store-bought deer repellents that create unpleasant scents to deter them.
  3. Camouflage: Deer are less likely to approach your garden if it is challenging for them to spot it. Use natural elements and structures to blend in your garden with the surroundings.
  4. Sound and Light: Noise-making devices like wind chimes, motion-activated sprinklers, and flashing lights can startle and discourage deer from entering your garden.
  5. Companion Planting: Grow plants that naturally repel deer, such as marigolds, near vulnerable plants to provide additional protection.

Frequently Asked Questions Of What Plants Do Deer Eat? Discover The Forbidden Foliage!

What Plants Do Deer Eat The Most?

Deer are known to have a preference for tender foliage, so they tend to eat plants like hostas, daylilies, and roses.

Why Do Deer Eat Certain Plants And Not Others?

Deer have evolved to eat specific plants based on their nutritional needs and taste preferences developed over time.

Can Deer Be Trained To Avoid Eating Certain Plants?

While it is challenging, deer can be deterred from eating certain plants by using repellents, planting deer-resistant species, or installing physical barriers.

Are There Any Plants That Deer Absolutely Hate?

Deer tend to avoid eating plants with strong scents like lavender, sage, and catmint, making them good choices for a deer-resistant garden.


Knowing what plants deer eat is essential if you want to maintain a beautiful and thriving garden while minimizing deer damage. By incorporating deer-resistant plants and implementing effective deterrents, you can create an environment that is less appealing to these graceful animals. Remember, protecting your garden doesn’t mean harming deer; it simply ensures a peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife.

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