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September 25, 2020 2 min read

Do Deer eat potatoes? When in search of a way to alleviate deer damage, vegetables like this might come to mind. In this blog post, we will discuss about deer and their love-hate relationships with potatoes.

The search for the ultimate deer resistant vegetable to limit deer damage in your gardens is a daunting task for the gardener. While you should always use more than one deterrent method, you may also consider making fences out of deer-resistant vegetables. However, deer eat an awful lot, especially when they are starving. Therefore, it is okay to ask – do deer eat potatoes?

Potatoes as a deer deterrent

The answer to your question is No. Like other root vegetables, deer do not like root vegetables. First, the actual goodies demand a great deal of digging. Secondly, potatoes have many aspects at the top that are not attractive to them. Thirdly, potato leaves contain toxic substances which deer do not like and will almost certainly try to avoid them. However, it is quite surprising that this effect is not the same for all potato species and root vegetables. For instance, deer can quickly mow through beet tops, radish tops, and even sweet potato plants. They will ravage all parts of sweet potato from the vine to the full-grown potatoes. Even more, when hungry and lacking access to other nutrients, Deer will indeed dig for all kinds of potatoes and other types of root vegetables.

No deer-proof potatoes

Besides their love for some potato species, deer will eat the young shoots of almost any plant including potatoes. Therefore, it is virtually impossible using potatoes as deer-resistant plants. In reality, potatoes are also planted as food plots for deer or used as deer attractants. Whether you plan to grow for their tubers or aesthetics, you must protect your potato plants from the deer. Consider using a fence alongside your potatoes to stop deer from ravaging through your gardens.

Other deterrent methods you can use include:

Deer netting

You can use deer netting particularly for young shoots to prevent deer from ruining them. However, this method is not always effective and must be combined with another


Use two to three repellents in rotation to keep deer confused and unfamiliar with your gardens, to discourage them from feeding there. You can combine odor and taste repellents to make the perfect recipe.


If you have a dog, he can earn his keep by protecting your gardens from deer. However, never use this method without watching over him. There have been reports of deer fighting dogs. You can also use other deterrents such as motion sprinklers and lots more.

Final thoughts

Do deer eat potatoes? Yes, they do, especially the sweet potato variety. They will also eat other potatoes, including toxic potato leaves if hungry enough. Potatoes are equally used in certain areas to feed deer, so they are not deer deterrents. Therefore, you should put other measures in place to protect your potatoes from the rampaging deer.