Do Deer Eat Marigolds - An In-depth Look 

Do Deer Eat Marigolds? – An In-depth Look 

Do deer eat marigolds, or do they help keep these destructive animals away from your garden and plants?

You might have been advised by your fellow gardeners to grow marigold because they will help you keep deer and rabbits away.  However, how true is this statement?

Alternatively, maybe you want to grow the marigold plants because they are beautiful, like how they smell and wonder if the deer will destroy them.

All the above concerns are genuine, and every gardener may have gone through them. In addition, it’s good to find out if your Marigold flowers will be eaten by deer so you can learn how to protect them early.

This article will share with you what we know about marigolds and deer hoping it will help you make an informed decision.

Will Deer Eat Marigolds?

Deer do eat marigolds!  But the good news is you can take some precautions to ensure this does not happen to your marigolds.

Deer and rabbis do not like the taste of marigolds.  However, they will eat marigolds if there is nothing else to eat in the area.

Marigold do not prevent rabbits or deer from going into your garden.  If you are growing other tasty foods, will deer step on your marigold as they move on to eat the other plants?  Rabbits also jump over marigolds, but most times, they will walk through them on their way to hunt for tastier plants.

Learn more about: Do Deer Eat Coneflowers?-A Gardener’s Guide

Precautions You Can Take to Protect Your Marigold and Other Plants

Choose The Right Marigolds That Deer Will Not Eat

Marigolds do not have the same scent – some are mild, while others have a strong scent.   Marigold flowers are made up of 50 different species, with new varieties and hybrids being developed all the time.  There are varieties of options to choose from, so if you live in a deer-infested area, plant the ones with the strongest scent.

Deer are excellent scavengers!  They will eat anything when hungry, but the strong scent deters them.  That’s why you will want to choose the strongest scents to increase your chances of keeping these destructive animals away.

Go to a local nursery and smell different types of marigolds before deciding what you want.  The nursery attendants can also be able to advise you accordingly.

Eliminate Other Plants That Deer Love to Eat

Plants that deer love will always attract them to your garden. If you remove them, you will be giving your marigold a chance to grow and thrive.  This is best done in spring when mother deer are searching for food for their growing fawns.  Some of the plants that deer love include:

  • Hostas
  • Daylilies
  • English Ivy
  • Fir
  • Arborvitae
  • Many fruits and vegetables

If it is a must-have for any of these plants in your garden, then keep them closer to your home instead of out in the yard.  Be sure to harvest your fruits and vegetables as soon as they ripen to keep the enticing smell and sight from attracting deer into your garden.

Eliminate Easy Hiding Spot

Landscaping your yard well is another way to deter deer.  Keep your bushes and trees well-trimmed and any densely populated areas.  Deer prefer areas that provide cover in the event a predator or the farm owner discovers them.  Remove all the covers in your yard that they could hide behind.  Clear areas are not comfortable for the deer, so most likely, they will leave and find new grounds.

Use Deer Deterrents

Now that we know the strongly scented marigolds can deter these animals, make sure you plant them around your garden.  However, if you are growing deer attractive plants, use other deterrents like

  1. Pets.  If you have a dog, let it hang around your yard to keep away deer from destroying your garden or spending time there.  A few dogs barks several times will deter deer from entering or staying in your yard.
  2. Physical borders.  Planting hedges around your yard is an effective method to keep deer away for inspecting your garden.  Boxwoods are commonly used for this purpose.  Their density helps create a firm visual obstacle that discourages deer from accessing your garden.  Installing a fence is another helpful option, but it will require being tall enough to keep the deer out.  White-tailed deer can jump up to 8 feet in the air so that the fence should be at least taller than this.
  3. Natural repellants.  Planting strongly scented herbs or shrubs is a standard way to keep deer away.  Some plants have proven successful at repelling deer due to their pungent smell or undesirable texture.  They include
  • Mint
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Lavender
  • French tarragon
  • Chives
  • Rosemary
  • Juniper
  • Japanese Spirea
  • Bush Cinquefoil

Take note that deer have the same varying tastes as people, and they may have some trial to determine which plants they like in your area.

4.  Man-made repellants.  If the natural repellants are not of much help, go ahead and use artificial repellants.  Easy artificial repellants include

Hanging chimes throughout your yard.  The chimes will startle and frighten the deer when it makes consistent noises.  They are more likely to steer clear of your yard and look for food elsewhere.

Motion-activated sprinklers are another great option to deter the deer, along with the ultrasonic repellers.  These produce penetrating ultrasonic sounds that scare away a wide variety of animals.

deer deterrents

Learn more about: Do Deer Eat Begonias?- A General Study

Marigold Deer Resistant Conclusion

To ascertain if deer will eat marigolds, we suggest you plant one marigold in a deer visited area to test their taste buds.  If in a couple of weeks, there are no bites, go ahead and plant more.

Again, know there is no guarantee that the deer will always leave your marigold alone.  If they are, the only one’s available deer will eat them. However, even deer will abandon them and look for food elsewhere if they contain a powerful scent.

The more their scent, the less they are disturbed by the deer and rabbits.  You can still grow marigold in deer-infested areas successfully if you follow the advice we have shared.