Do Deer Eat Petunias?

Basit Ali Chaudhary

Petunias are truly unique flowers since they feature trumpet-shaped blooms in a variety of colors. Known for its versatility, this plant thrives in sunny climates to coordinate with the warm season in the United States and Mediterranean countries. Consequently, these plants bring a splash of color to any garden or outdoor space. In fact, petunias are one of the most recognizable flowers thanks to their long-lasting blooms from spring through autumn.

Now coming to the question; Do deer eat petunias? Yes, deer do eat petunias. They are notoriously picky eaters, and they eat any plant they come across, including petunias. In the wild, food can be scarce, so deer have to look for alternative sources of nutrition; petunias may seem odd, but they do eat them occasionally.

Why do Deer Like to Eat Petunias?

Flowers and green plants attract deer. Normally plants like petunias are not a primary diet of deer, but you can consider them as a treat for deer. Deer are more fond of quality nutritious foods like acorns, nuts, pumpkins, apples, etc. But it’s not more likely they will always be able to find their favorite foods, so these plants, like petunias, can be a good option to eat if the food is scarce. 

However, it is not necessary that every flower and plants are deer’s favorite; there are many flowers and green plants that deer won’t eat at any cost whatsoever; some common examples of such flowers are daffodils, yarrow, peony, lavender, etc. 

Are Petunias Deer Resistant?


Unfortunately no, petunias are not deer resistant. In fact, they are a treat for deer, and deer will consume them happily. 

Petunias are a wonderful choice for gardeners who want to add a stunning pop of color to their outdoor space; however, it is important to note that petunias are not deer resistant. These pretty flowers can be on a deer’s menu if they see them. Consider planting complementary flowers such as lavender or perennial geraniums with your petunias if you live in an area where deer are commonly seen, as these flowers naturally repel deer.

Will Petunias Grow Again After Deer Eat Them?

Yes, they may come back. A deer normally do not pull the plant out of its roots but instead eats the bloom, leaves, and even the stem of the petunia plant. You have to do even extra care for half-eaten petunia plants to help them grow back. But if the deer have completely removed the plant from the ground, then it is obvious that it is not going to be able to grow back.

What Other Animals Eat Petunias?

It’s important to know which animals, birds, or insects like to eat petunias so you can take appropriate action accordingly. 

Petunias are great food in the garden for many different kinds of guests. Petunia gardens are like food restaurants for animals, and many will try to get a taste of them. Insects and mammals both eat them – tobacco budworms, variegated cutworms, aphids, whiteflies, slugs, snails, rabbits, chickens, squirrels, mice, and mules are common examples. 

It’s clear they have a good fan following among animals. Petunias are a source of sustenance for most of these animals. Petunia patches are more likely to be depleted if they’re in an area with a lot of wildlife activity.

Are Petunias Good for Deer?

Petunias are non-toxic and are not harmful to deer. But they are not a permanent part of the deer diet. So, their abundant consumption might create digestive problems and stomach upset for deer.

The deer digestive system is not used to adopt sudden food changes and may react negatively. Any food or treat should be slowly introduced to deer so its digestive system can become used to it. 

What are Deer-Resistant Plants?

Normally deer are just able to eat anything they encounter when they are hungry, but they have some natural instinct to stay away from poisonous and toxic plants. Maybe it’s due to their amazing ability to smell anything. 

The plants that deer avoid are normally toxic and can be harmful to any herbivorous. Some common plants that deer avoid eating are daffodils, foxgloves, astilbe, Zagreb, Ageratum, silver mound, cactus, etc.

Other examples of deer resistant plants and herbs are the ones with strong scents, such as sages, lavender, peonies, irises, and ornamental salvias.   

How to Prevent Deer from Eating Petunias?

Deer are always on the hunt for opportunities to eat something. They spent 80 % of their time in search of food. So there is no doubt that they will definitely be going to eat your petunias if they find them. 

There are a number of ways by which you can prevent deer from entering your petunia garden. From homemade repellents to fences and other barriers, there are plenty of things you can do to keep deer out. Let’s discuss some of them below:

1- High Fences 

The first approach many people use to prevent deer and other animals from entering their property or plants garden is to install fences. But the problem is deer can jump as high as 7 feet with a running start. Although they don’t jump that high from a standing position, they still have the ability to jump high. 

One solution you can adopt is to install multi-fence layers with a distance of 3 feet between them; this will make it much harder for deer to enter, even with its high jump.

2- Caged Garden kits

net caged garden

Another useful solution to deter deer entry is to use caged garden kits. These kits are completely locked from all four sides, and there is no way for deer to enter. 

See the picture above for an idea of what these caged garden kits look like.

3- Individual Petunia Netting

You can also add a metal cage of the net around each petunia plant. This will be a time-consuming job to do but it is a useful way to protect your petunias. 

You can also simply apply a layer of netting around petunia plants with the help of some support from wooden blocks. This method is better to use if you do not have a large garden and there are only a few petunias to protect only.

4- DIY / Homemade Deer Repellents

Homemade deer repellents are as effective as commercial market deer repellents. So, you can try making a homemade repellent to prevent deer entry.

Some common examples of deer repellents used commonly are a mixture of beaten egg and oil and a mixture of garlic and egg.

Soap bars are also effective in repelling deer due to their smell. Just cut the soap into small pieces and hang the soap to petunia plants and around your garden.

The process is simple, make a mixture at your home, pour it over in a spray bottle, and spray around the petunias. That’s it. 

5- Use Hanging Baskets for Petunias


Petunias look great when they are hung on a tree or any higher place. This approach not only provides a decorative look but will also prevent deer from eating them.  

So, use baskets to plant petunias and hand them with your walls, trees, or any suitable place around your house. 

6- Motion Activated Sprinkle

Deer are very proactive and very alert animals. Any slight movement can cause them they run away. So, a motion-activated water sprinkler can be a great choice as their movement will prevent deer from coming near your petunia’s flowers. 

You can also add a cam on these sprinkles to watch and see what’s going around the garden. And they can be a good way to record and document your surroundings.

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