Do Deer Eat Tomato Leaf?

If you wake up to find that your tomato plant has had all its leaves eaten and you have spotted a few deer around you, you are probably asking yourself “Do deer eat tomato leaves?” The answer to that would be a big, leafy “Yes”

Deer are herbivores animals, so the leaf of your tomato plant is fair game. While there are certain leaves that deer do not eat- these plants are used as deer repellent to protect other plants that deer are attracted to, they certainly eat tomato leaves and if you have deer around you, it will be in your best interest to keep your garden protected.  

Prevent Deer from eating your Tomato Leaf

There are several ways to prevent deer from eating your tomato leaves like building a fence around your garden, spraying the plant with deer repellant, using ultrasonic devices that emit a loud noise that sends them running off. All these are very effective and if done correctly will protect your tomato leaves from getting eaten by deer.

Another very effective way of protecting your plant is to grow other plants. Not just any plant, but plants that deer has no interest in. It is pretty easy; deer eats your leaves, surround it with plants with leaves they can’t eat. This method is particularly friendly to you because you will be killing two birds with one stone- you repel the deer eating your plants and you grow more plants in your garden.

Not just any plant will do, it has to have properties that deer find unpalatable.

The kind of plants you’ll be looking out for include

  1. Plants that have hairy foliage: If you rub the foliage of the plant against your skin and you feel hairs on the leaves, be it soft or bristly hair, then you can add it to your cart. Deer, being the picky herbivores they are don’t like plants that have a hairy texture when they chew it. Examples of such plants include poppies, tuberous begonias, purple top vervain, etc. 
  2. Plants that have fragrances foliage: Deer initiate their sense of smell first before they taste their food, so if the smell is off-putting or a little too strong for them, it confuses their senses and makes them less likely to eat from that plant.  Plants that are highly aromatic like lavender, thyme, sage, mint, oregano, blue mist shrub and Artemisia are a perfect fit for the job.
  3. Plants that have tough leaves: Plants that have leathery or rubbery foliage unlike the succulent leaves of the tomato plant will make a good deer deterrent as they generally avoid eating such. Examples of such plants include; peonies, dragon wing begonia, elephant ears, etc.
  4. Toxic plants: From a tender age, deer learn which plants are toxic to them and will give it a wide berth. You want to plant such around your tomato plants to protect them. Some examples include daffodils, bleeding hearts, ferns, monkshood, etc.

Finally, while you are thinking of ways to keep deer away from eating the leaf of your tomato plants, don’t consider shooting them! The above methods will be enough to act as a deterrent for them.                                                                                        

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