Do Deer Eat Sunflowers? How to Prevent Them from Being Eaten

Sharing is caring!

Last Updated on March 16, 2023 by Tony Manhart

In this article, we will talk about increasing sunflowers’ deer resistance. Deer are herbivores and will eat many different plants – sunflowers of some or other sort are native to much of North America, and for many species of sunflower, there is a natural relationship between the plants and deer. We can do several things to stop our sunflowers from being eaten by deer.

Do Deer Like Sunflowers?

Yes. They will eat them. Deers may not prefer sunflowers as their favorite food, yet they still consume them due to the high levels of protein, fats, minerals, and phosphorous. The seeds, flowers, leaves, blooms, and ripening flower heads are attractive as food. These nutrients are incredibly appealing to deer, and they will happily feast on these plants, making them an excellent source of nutrition.

Why Do Deer Eat Sunflowers?

Deer eat many plants, and a sunflower is one of the native plant species that they have adapted to be able to eat in North America. The sunflower itself is not a first choice food for most deer, but the flowers and ripening flower heads are both attractive as food. The flowers are rich in pollen which contains nutrients, and the seeds naturally have a high protein and mineral density making them a pleasant snack for the deer.

Learn more about What Do Brown Spots On Sunflower Leaves Mean?

How To Stop Deer From Eating Your Sunflowers?

The first thing to do if you want to deter deer from eating your sunflowers is to keep them away from them. There is no better way to make Sunflowers Deer Resistant than to actually just keep the deer away from the sunflowers. An 8-foot fence will normally suffice, however, if they can get a bit of a run-up on a slope you may have to go a foot or two higher.

Are Sunflowers Deer Resistant?

No – sunflowers are not a deer’s favorite food, but the fact that you are here is proof that they do eat sunflowers! You would not be asking these questions if your sunflowers were not being eaten.

Best Deer resistant flowers

Read more about White Sunflowers Seeds For The Garden

Should I Use Sprays And Other Deterrents To Keep Deer Away From Sunflowers?

One of the easiest ways to deter deer from eating your sunflower plants is to use a deer-repellent spray. There are several options to choose from. Some are available in liquid form, and some are available in aerosol cans. While all of these products are designed to be used on vegetation, they may work equally as well on your home lawn. However, if you choose to spray your plants, you should follow the instructions carefully and use only recommended products. Make sure you’re using them on your plants instead of in your own home.

I have had some contact with Bitrex – this is a common ingredient in deer repellents. This chemical is absolutely horrible. If you touch any of these bags, without gloves on and you will find anything you touch for the rest of the day will be bitter.

Hence it may also be important to consider that if you do spray your sunflowers to make them “repellant” to deer you will probably not be able to eat the seeds!

Final Words On Sunflowers Deer Resistant!

In conclusion, there are several techniques you can use to prevent deer from eating your sunflowers. The most effective is probably fencing – this will save your other plants too. If you cannot use fencing, then a deer repellant may reduce the damage. It may also make your sunflowers taste funny in case you decide to eat them.

Find more information about How To Harvest Sunflower Seeds? -An Amazing Guide! 


How do I keep deer from eating my sunflowers?

Sunflowers, just like deer, can get into trouble when their habitat is altered. A garden fence is usually good enough, but if you want to deter deer from eating your sunflowers, it may be necessary to install a deer fence that is at least 8 feet high.

What flowers will deer not eat?

Toxic plants that are poisonous to deer tend not to be eaten. This makes sense. Poppies contain opiates that are bitter. Daffodils contain a poison called lycorine that deer do not like. Foxgloves are beautiful flowers that contain toxins that affect the heart.

What is eating my sunflower leaves?

Normally the leaves get eaten by certain types of beetles in my experience. Visit the plants at night and have a look. Most of these beetles come out at night.

Can deer eat sunflower seeds?

According to a study from the University of Toronto deer can actually eat them as a major part of their regular diet. Researchers at the school discovered that deer in a controlled environment ate up to four pounds of the seeds in a single day. Sunflower seeds are high in protein and contain essential fats and amino acids that deer need to stay healthy.

Read more about How to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden? Best Natural Deer Repellents

Sharing is caring!