Do deer eat dahlia plants and flowers? If you have a garden trying to deter deer from eating your prize flowering plants, this is an excellent question to ask when planning your garden layout.
In this post, you will learn some information about the habits of deer and the best ways to keep them from eating your plants and flowers.
Dahlias are a beautiful addition to any garden. They’re gorgeous and colorful and make the perfect addition to flower beds, but they can be hard to grow in areas where deer are prevalent.
Deer are notorious for eating anything they can find when food is scarce, including dahlias.
Do Deer Eat Dahlia Plants and Flowers?
Deer don’t like the taste of dahlias, but they may eat them anyway if they come into your yard looking for food.
Dahlias are one of the plants known to be deer resistant, but that does not guarantee that deer won’t eat them. It just means that they prefer other plants as their first choice.
In truth, there’s nothing stopping deer from eating dahlias—except that they don’t especially like the taste or prefer them as part of their diet.
If their preferred food is unavailable, they will take whatever they can to survive, especially during winter.
Do Deer Like to Eat Dahlias, Or Is It Just That They’re Available?
It’s because it is available, and they can reach it to nibble on it. Deer are opportunistic feeders and will munch on anything they can gain access to when their preferred food source is unavailable.
What Foods Do Deers Prefer?
Deer love nuts. They eat acorns, beechnuts, hickory nuts, and pecans. Acorns are the fruit of oak trees; deer prefer them to fall from white oaks over red ones because they taste sweeter and have more fat.
A deer can eat up to half its weight in acorns in one sitting! The nuts also give the deer a lot of energy, which they need to survive through winter.
They also eat many other types of plant matter. They like tender young leaves, herbs, fruit, and berries in summer. In the fall, they eat grasses and sedges. They also eat fungi, ferns, and mosses.
What To Do if Deer Are Eating Your Dahlias
There are ways to help prevent deer from eating your dahlias! You can either plant them in places where deer aren’t likely to go, or you can create barriers with fencing that will keep the deer out of your yard.
- Use a deterrent spray or powder
- Put up a fence around the plant beds
- Plant sage, marigolds, or other flowers that deer don’t like near your plants
Homemade Or Commercial Deer Repellents
Use a deterrent spray or powder. Deer won’t eat plants that taste or smell bad. You can buy deterrents at garden centers or online, but they’re also easy to make with ingredients such as garlic juice and hot pepper sauce. Spray these liquids on leaves and stems to deter deer from eating them.
The best way to keep deer from eating your dahlias is by making sure they can’t get to them! You should fence your garden, keeping in mind that deer are good climbers.
The fence must be at least 8′ feet high to keep them from jumping over it. It also helps if you have a dog that will chase them away when they come around.
Plant Heavily Scented Plants Around Your Dahlias
Plant sage, marigolds, or other flowers deer don’t like near your plants. Herbs like lavender, chives, and mint also work well to keep deer away. They not only shave a strong scent, but the plants create a visual barrier that helps repel animals from entering your garden.
Deer avoid walking through heavily scented areas as they can pick up the scent in their fur, making them more vulnerable to predators.
Plant In Containers Or Raised Beds
Another way to keep your dahlias safe is to plant them in containers or raised beds. You can quickly surround them with fencing or netting to keep out deer. You can also try planting some lavender or other herbs around the base of your plants to discourage deer from coming near them.
Use Noise To Deter Deer
Another way to deter deer from eating your garden is to use sound. You can use an air horn or even a whistle to repel them from your yard. The sound will scare them away from your property, so they won’t come back for several days or weeks.
You can also set up a tin can alarm to scare them away. Just save all of your empty dog food cans and string them on a piece of yarn or string tied to a tree branch. Windchimes work too.
Fill Your Garden With “Occupants”
Deer are skittish by nature, especially when they see something that looks like a person or animal. A scarecrow will make them think that someone is in your garden, so they’ll stay away. Or make two scarecrows.
You can wear some old clothes, a hat, and boots to make them look like people working in the garden.
Garden gnomes, pink plastic flamingos, or animal statues will keep deer away because they are fearful of anything they perceive as threatening.
They may think they are predators and will avoid your yard if they see it as having other animals present.
Plant Their Preferred Food Away From Your Garden
Perhaps a better solution is to divert their attention elsewhere. If you want to keep deer out of your yard, then planting something they like to eat on the outer edges of your property may keep deer from venturing further into your yard.
If they have something within easy reach, it is less risky than venturing further when food is so close.
Deer don’t necessarily like Dahlias and other brightly-colored plants but will eat them when necessary.
To deter deer and keep your Dahlias safe, try some or all of the suggestions mentioned above. There is no right or wrong answer; just do whatever works for you.