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March 29, 2021 3 min read

Do deer eat zinnias? When creating your garden, deer nutrition should have your attention. This article talks about deer and their love-hate relationship with zinnias.

Creating a gorgeous, fragrant garden is a worthwhile effort. But it can become heartache if you don’t consider deer problems, especially when you live in an area that boasts of them. As a gardener, you need to consider choosing flowers; deer will not usually eat, and protect your garden with deer deterrent strategies to keep them out. Is zinnias part of your potential choices?

Zinnias are annual flowers that bloom in diverse colors. They are also drought-tolerant and do well in the full glare of the sun. Zinnias make an excellent choice. But, then you might ask – do deer eat zinnias?

Zinnias – Deer resistant or not?

Deer do not eat zinnias as their prickly center, and pungent smell is unpleasant to deer. However, the reverse is the case at the tender stage. Deer love tender shoots and buds and eat them regardless of how much they like (or don’t like) the mature version. They are especially attracted to young and richly fertilized plants. So, you need to protect the young shoots. You can use repellents and individual fencing for that purpose. Individual fencing will keep them from nibbling on your young flowers, so they have time to flourish. You should use repellents on the young buds and the grown variety.

Add other deer-resistant varieties

The more flowers and shrubs you have that are deer resistant, the more intense and unattractive your garden will look to deer. You can consider using other annuals such as blue salvia, marigolds, nicotiana, pentas, melapodium, mecardonia, vinca, coleus, euphorbia, etc.

When deer loves your zinnias

Many natives lament about deer eating their zinnias. As said earlier, it usually occurs when they cannot find other palatable sources. In other times, it might happen if the deer in your area have become familiar with the plant and would gladly feed on them. If you find evidence that deer eat zinnias in your areas, then you need to keep them out. Here are some strategies to use:

Wrap new plants

Using plastic tree wraps or garden nets, wrap your young zinnias to keep deer from feasting on them.

Rotate repellents

Repellents are excellent deer deterrent strategies. However, it would help if you did it right. Rotate between two or three repellents every few weeks to keep deer out of your garden. We recommend using a mix of smell and taste repellents in each cycle. However, odor repellents work best if you are on a budget.

Create an invisible barrier

You can also create an invisible barrier around your flower garden to keep deer out. This is highly effective, especially if you have other vulnerable plants in residence. All you need to do is purchase a fishing line; create a make-shift fence with the fine fishing line at about two to three feet from the ground. The effect would resemble that of glass. So when a deer tries to go through, the barrier would stop them. Because they cannot ‘see’ the barrier, they won’t be able to jump over.

Concluding thoughts

Do deer eat zinnias? No, they don’t usually. But when food is scarce, anything in their path becomes food. Deer would also eat your zinnias flowers, especially at the young stages. Therefore, it is diligent to prevent deer damage by using deer deterrent methods. Luckily, repellents and invisible barriers are inexpensive methods you can use to keep deer away. Click here to learn more…

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