Do Deer Eat Sunflowers?

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Last Updated on March 31, 2022 by Fabiola L.

Deer are officially considered pests and they’re a danger to many plants, which is why some sunflower growers ask do deer eat sunflowers. There aren’t many plants deer won’t eat, and in today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at sunflowers, whether deer will eat them, and what can you do to protect your plants from these animals.

Deer Diet – Do Deer Eat Sunflowers?

Deer will eat virtually anything and sunflowers are perhaps on the top of that list. Deer can actually eat many things that the human stomach could never process. Sunflowers are amongst their favorite food because there are so many things that they can eat.

When eating sunflowers, deer will usually eat both the seeds and the flowers, while they’ll often eat the leaves too. Sunflower is a particularly rich plant when it comes to calorie count and this is why deer love them.

Deer Diet

Aside from sunflowers, deer will eat most plants you can find in your garden. They’ll often eat flowers too, as they don’t mind the taste. This is why most gardeners consider them as dangerous pests – not only are they willing to eat almost anything, there’s also very little you can do to protect your garden from the deer.

There are also plants deer don’t like eating. The primary reason they won’t eat something is because of toxicity – they don’t want to get poisoned. Saying that, keep in mind that deer have a higher threshold than humans do – that’s why they can eat some mushrooms that would poison us.

Deer also won’t enjoy plants that taste bad and the same applies to plants that have a too strong of a scent. Believe it or not, deer don’t like plants with a strong scent, even if the plant smells nice. Additionally, deer won’t eat anything that’s going to hurt them, so eating a cactus or a rose is obviously out of the question.

Some gardeners have found it is best to plant some of these plants around the area with deer-attracting plants to keep the animals out. However, keep in mind that deer are wild animals fighting for their survival every day. Just because something tastes bad to them doesn’t mean that they won’t eat it if they’re desperate enough.

The same applies to keeping deer out of your garden – with all the methods you could use, the deer will be ready to try anything if they’re desperate enough.

Click Here to Know What else Do Deer Eat:

Keeping Deer Out of Your Garden

There are many things you can do to keep deer out of your garden, and your first priority should be installing a very tall fence. What people often forget about deer is that they’re incredible jumpers and your 3-foot fence just isn’t going to cut it. You’re going to have to invest in a 7-foot fence at the bare minimum if you want to keep deer out of your garden.

That fence, however, even if it does a good job of repelling deer, isn’t going to work forever. At some point, something or someone is going to rip a hole through it and deer will get through. This is especially likely to happen if you have an entire field of sunflowers – they have the same effect on deer as light does on moths.

That’s why you should get the highest quality fence when you’re installing it. Additionally, something that will definitely do the trick is getting a guard dog. No deer will be willing to jump over a fence if there’s a dog waiting on the other side. Combining these two methods should be more than enough to take care of any deer trying to eat your sunflowers.

It’s also possible to use deer-repelling scents – you can usually buy them at a hunting and gardening store. These repellants should also send a clear sign to the deer that they aren’t welcome here. Another trick that gardeners often use is motion-activated sprinklers that will start spraying water on the deer if they get near your sunflowers.

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Do Deer Eat Sunflowers?

The fence, however, is the key part of this puzzle – as it’s going to bring down the number of deer in your garden to a minimum. If you have a dog and you let it in the sunflower garden (if you’re not afraid that your dog will harm your plants), your dog’s barking should be more than enough to keep these animals at bay.

To End: Do Deer Eat Sunflowers?

Deer, while being lovely animals, can be a real bother when it comes to gardening. There aren’t many plant species they won’t eat, and sunflowers are, unfortunately, one of their favorite plants. These plants are packed with calories and deer desperately need them to survive. This puts you, the gardener, at odds with the animal and you’re going to have to protect your garden.

The best way to enclose yourself from deer is by building a very tall fence – deer are great jumpers, so your fence should be at least 7 feet tall. Also think about getting a guard dog, as the pup is sure to chase away all possible pest from the garden.


How do I keep deer from eating my sunflowers?

The first thing you have to do is install a very tall fence (deer can jump really high, so the fence can't be low) and you should also think about getting a guard dog for the garden. No deer will try to enter a garden with a guard dog barking from the other side of the fence.

What flowers will deer absolutely not eat?

There are very few plants deer won't eat - cacti are high on that list - deer can't eat them because of the pricks. They also won't eat poppies and daffodils as they're poisonous to deer (they likely can't kill the animal but they'll suffer from severe indigestion if they eat them).

What animals will eat my sunflowers?

Except for deer, your primary concern should be various species of birds - these little pest can be more of a problem than deer! Sunflowers are also a favorite to many rodents, including squirrels.

Are sunflowers resistant to deer?

No, quite the opposite. Deer love sunflowers because they're packed with calories!

Find more information about Sunflowers Deer Resistant: How To Prevent Deer From Eating Your Sunflowers

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