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Do deer eat petunias or are they deer resistant? Petunias are flowering plants that are highly popular in many parts of the United States and abroad. These flowers are known as perennials. When it comes to how they interact with animals, there is often a question about whether or not they are resistant to deer.
Are petunias deer resistant? Do deer eat petunias? In this piece, we will explore these two topics in more detail to try and uncover some hard facts you can fall back on for an answer.
We know deer are hungry animals. They will commonly consume any plant that they come across. Deer can be a bit picky, though, as they will enjoy some plants more than others.
Deer can consume just about any plant. It depends mainly on their hunger level. If they need to eat something and stumble across a plant, petunia or not, they will eat it. How common is this, though? What can you do about the protection of your petunias over time?
In This Guide:
Do Deer Eat Petunias?
Petunias are flowers that grow at a rapid pace. They will start growing in the spring and continue right through to when frost begins to appear.
Petunias are listed as ‘Occasionally Severely Damaged’ by Rutgers, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. This means petunia plants aren’t a deer’s favorite food. However, they will occasionally have a nibble.
Unfortunately, no plant is truly deer resistant. When there are too many deer for the food supply, they will feed on just about anything. Plants with strong smells or funny textures are your best best.
Plant things like chives, mint, and garlic around your precious flowers to steer deer away. Choose plants with spikey or rough textures. These plants are less likely to be devoured!
The University of Georgia also recommends protection for your petunia plants. They list them as a plant that deer occasionally or frequently browse.
Because deer may be interested in eating your petunias, you need to go to extra lengths to ensure their protection.
Do Deer Eat Petunia Flowers?
Deer may eat your petunia flowers.
The flowers of a perennial are what attract a deer. They are sweet flowers with a lot of scent. The scent will attract the deer, and the sweetness is what will keep them coming back.
Are There Deer Resistant Petunia Varieties?
There are four main types of petunia plants. Understanding the different varieties of plants can be beneficial as you put together a garden or search around when on a nature walk. The four main types of petunia plants include the multiflora petunia, spreading or wave petunia, milliflora, as well as grandiflora.
All four types of petunias are available in a series. When you think about petunias, the main thing that separates one type from the others is the colors. They may also differ in size, and the width to which they spread in your garden.
The oldest type of petunia is the Grandiflora petunias, which was developed in the 1950s. These varieties of petunias will grow up to 5 inches across a bouquet shape. Moderate summers are where these types of wooers grow best.
Other types of petunias grow in a similar timeframe. Single and double varieties of petunias are also common, depending on the location. Whether it is rainy weather, humid, etc., petunias do quite well. They are resilient plants.
Unfortunately, when it comes to deer resistance, none of the varieties of petunias is going to be fully resistant to deer. Deer are likely to eat all types.
Will Petunias Come Back After Deer Eat Them?
Petunias have a high level of resistance. Even though the answer to the question of whether petunias are deer resistant is no, that does not mean the petunias cannot hold their own. With petunias, even after they are eaten, the plants can come back.
The key to the regrowth of the petunias is greenery. As long as the greenery remains intact, the petunia will do its thing and grow back to its full size once again. You can help them grow back faster. If you remove the part of the growth that has a lot of damage and fertilize the plant, you will see it sprout up again in no time.
The other thing you could do is use a small cage to help protect the petunia. When you do this, the petunia will be kept protected so that it can regrow fully before having total exposure to the wild and, eventually, deer again.
How to Keep Deer From Eating Your Petunias
Deer are unlikely to miss an opportunity to eat a petunia plant. That being said, there are things that you can do to help prevent the act from taking place. Do deer eat petunias? The answer is yes. Can you help to slow them down or stop them, also yes!
Make the Deer Climb
One of the best ways to help protect petunias from deer is to make them climb. Deer are not the best climbers, so you may want to try to add different levels of beds or terraces to your garden. Pallets and rocks can also help deter the deer from eating the petunia.
Add a Barrier Around the Flowers
Barriers can also help deter deer from petunias. Fences are one of the best ways to add this level of protection. You want to try and keep the deer from being able to see the petunia. A fence with a height of eight feet is usually best. Fences with a lower height but different angles can also help.
Wire and mesh are the two best types of fencing or barriers to keep deer away. You can consider an electric fence but the efficiency of these types of fences is in doubt.
Homemade Deer Repellents
Homemade deer repellents can also make a big difference. You can use scents to help make the deer back away and move on.
Scents that deer do not like include pepper sprays, garlic, rotten egg, ammonia, and more. Various retailers will also sell deer repellants that may or may not work. You may need trial and error to see what works best for you.
Verdict: Are Petunias Deer Resistant?
The short answer here is that petunias are not deer resistant. If you have a deer problem, you can work to try and prevent it, but the petunias themselves are not deer resistant, unfortunately.