Do Deer Eat Geraniums: How deer resistant are geraniums

A garden full of geraniums is a great sight. A popular choice among gardeners and growers, geraniums are easy to grow indoors and outdoors. Simply plant them from cuttings and ensure they receive plenty of sun. Do not overwater them, and if planting indoors, we recommend using pots or containers with drainage holes.

If you follow these steps, you should reap great rewards. Not only will your garden or home be filled with a lovely scent but the mounds of geranium flowers will enhance your landscape.

Sadly, there is nothing more awful than spending weeks and months tending to your beautiful plants only for deer to eat them. Like the majority of other herbivores, deers love to feast on leaves from trees, shrubs, flowers, grass, and other types of flora they will come across.

The question is do deer eat geraniums?


Do Deer Eat Geraniums?

Do Deer Eat Geraniums

Annual geraniums thrive in warmer climates and are commonly grown in many gardens worldwide. There are over 700 different types of perennial geraniums. This type of geranium is more tender and blooms bright flowers from spring until fall.

Perennial geraniums are resistant and more hardy to most climatic conditions. They originate from the mountainous regions of the tropics and the temperate parts of the world. There are 422 different kinds of perennial geraniums, and they thrive in cooler climates.

Annual and perennial geraniums are extremely pest resistant. In fact, rabbits and other furry pests avoid geranium flowers completely. However, slugs and budworms eat Geranium buds, leaves, and flowers. If you plant your geraniums under too much shade or you overwater them, slugs will be a problem you’ve to deal with.

Related Article: Do Geraniums Attract Butterflies? 

One of the reasons deer will not eat geraniums is due to their taste and smell. Gardeners usually grow geraniums as deer repellent plants that help to ward off deer from their gardens. The pungent scent, bitter taste, and high toxicity levels of deer-resistant plants cause deer to stay away from them.

How deer resistant are geraniums?

Do Deer Eat Geraniums

Sadly, geraniums are not 100% deer resistant. While geranium flowers are not a deer’s first choice, deer will eat them especially if food is scarce. In fact, they will destroy the beautiful flowering plants without warning whether in the garden or hanging baskets.

So, out of desperation, deer will consume geraniums in your gardens to survive. This is common when the season gets colder from October to February.

Also, if the population of deer is high in your area, there may not be enough food. Deer feed on geraniums to survive when the amount of food is low and the season is tough.

When deer consume geraniums, they act as an appetite suppressant. As such, they do not eat too much for the rest of the day. They usually eat a small percentage and then eat other plants to neutralize the geraniums’ toxic effects.

Deer are ruminants and cud chewers. Their stomachs have four chambers that help with digestion. This makes them less susceptible to the toxic effects.

If the toxicity levels are high, deer will have a hard time digesting their food. Due to this, geraniums are typically considered deer-resistant plants. This is why many gardeners plant geraniums to ward off deer.

How Do You Keep Deer From Eating Geraniums?

Do Deer Eat Geraniums

You can protect your geraniums by growing them with other plants. When you introduce deer-resistant plants in your garden, they diminish a deer’s interest in your geraniums. This method is widely preferred over fences.

Unlike plants, fences obstruct spectacular views of the landscape. In fact, they make your landscape eye-catching. Plants toxic to deer that you can plant with geraniums include foxglove, lavender, mint, basil, sage, and daffodil.

You can install wire mesh fencing. Mesh made of polypropylene is nearly invisible. As such, it will not obstruct your view and diminish the aesthetics of your property. Besides wire meshing fences, another popular solution is electric fencing.

Once set up and engaged, the electric fence will deliver a small but surprising electric shock to the deer. With time, deer will learn to avoid your yard. The best solution is a wooden privacy fence or chain link fencing. They come in handy if you want to enclose your yard and are not worried about aesthetics.

If you’ve a dog, train him to scare away the deer. Alternatively, you can collect some of his hair and spread it around the ground close to the geraniums. The scent of dog hair will deter deer. This is because it will make them think that there’s a dog nearby.

You can also place netting over your geraniums. This will prevent deer from eating and even damaging your geraniums. Besides deer, the netting can protect your geraniums and other plants from critters.

Wind chimes are also effective in keeping deer away. This is because deer are so skittish that the slightest sound from your wind chimes will scare them away. Basically, anything unfamiliar to them will either make them too nervous to approach your plants or will completely keep them at bay.

Related Article: Do Deer Eat Ferns?