Ever wondered do deer eat sunflowers? Deer are beautiful creatures that look majestic and elusive as they wander in the distance, but once they discover your garden, they’re a bit of a nuisance!
Some gardeners have to plan out their garden strategically and take extra precautions to keep these jumping animals off their property.
Sunflowers grow quickly are one of the many flowers on a deer’s menu, and they’re sure to feast on your garden if you don’t try to stop them. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can deter them.
Let’s take a look at what you can do.
Do Deer Eat Sunflowers?
Deer will eat almost any part of the sunflower, but they love the seeds and leaves the most. Sunflowers have fat and protein that deer love, so they’ll probably want to come munch on your colorful buffet.
Seedlings are likely to be gobbled up before mature flowers, so you’ll need to protect them the most. If you’re not sure it’s deer nibbling your flowers, there are a few key signs to look out for:
- Tracks: Deers don’t know how to tiptoe, so you’ll see their tracks in the dirt, especially if the soil is soft and moist.
- Droppings: You’ll see piles of marble-like droppings in the area.
- Inconsistency: Some plants might be partially eaten while others might be gone completely. They’re inconsistent in their eating habits. Usually, they’ll eat from top to bottom, so if they don’t finish entire flowers, you’ll probably notice the top leaves missing or nibbled on.
Other Plants They Love
Deer are more likely to visit your garden if you have more for them to eat. Deers live in most parts of North America, so the list is pretty extensive.
Some of the most popular flowers deers like to eat include pansies and violas, dahlias, clematis, morning glories, hibiscus, hydrangeas, and roses. They may also go after young veggies like peas and beans, beets, broccoli, and lettuce.
How To Keep Deer Away From Sunflowers
A little extra effort will keep the deer out of your garden. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but the more thorough you are, the better results you’ll have.
One thing to note is that deer can become used to your tricks, so you should change your methods or product brands now and then if they seem to be comfortable with your yard again.
A tall fence is by far the best way to keep deer out of your garden. Deer can jump up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) high, so you’ll need a fence that’s at least that tall.
It will need to be even taller if the fence is placed on a slope or if you have giant sunflowers planted right next to the fence.
Fences can be a pricey way to deter deer, but it’s almost guaranteed that you won’t have problems if you have a proper fence.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on a wooden fence; a chain link fence will work wonders if you don’t mind the look of it. If you don’t want to commit to that, consider fencing off the area that has sunflowers rather than the entire yard.
You can buy products that will deter deer from your garden just like you can do for other pests. The most popular kinds are sprays and granules that you can apply directly to the plants or on the ground surrounding the area.
Many products have scents that deer hate but won’t bother humans, and there are organic and completely natural versions that won’t cause any harm to animals or the environment.
Bobbex B550170 Ready to Use Deer Repellent with E-Z Pump Sprayer, 48-Ounce
There are plenty of sprays and options, but we recommend trying this easy-to-use solution.
- Ready to use deer repellent with e-z pump sprayer
- Made from all natural and recycled ingredients
- It is applied directly on the surface of foliage to repel deer
- It is environmentally compatible and harmless to humans, pets, birds and aquatic life, contains no petro-chemicals
- It is a year-round product for all types of plantings, will not wash off during rain, irrigation or normal watering; 48 ounce
If you aren’t able to buy a product, there are a few things you can do at home. They won’t last as long as store-bought products, but they’ll at least provide some temporary relief.
An oddly specific option is Irish Spring soap! Maybe it’s the hint of herbs in the scent, but deer don’t usually like the smell of it. You can hang it in a soap bag near your sunflowers or cut it into pieces and sprinkle it on the ground.
You can make a DIY spray with raw eggs, garlic (minced or powder is fine), and hot sauce. Use three tablespoons of garlic and hot sauce and three eggs, mix and add it to a one-gallon sprayer, and fill the rest up with water.
Use a hot sauce that only uses natural ingredients, and it will be entirely safe for use in your garden and even on edible plants. Just know that it might be a little hard to wash off the dried egg.
Plants That Deer Hate
There are some plants that deer don’t like the smell of that would be good to plant near your sunflowers. French marigolds, foxgloves, fountain grass, zinnia, and many herbs like rosemary or mint aren’t usually eaten by deer.
Herbs seem to repel them the most, so consider putting your herb garden next to your sunflowers.