Do deer eat petunias? Gardeners love these beautiful and popular spring flowers for filling beds, borders, planters, and hanging baskets. The delicate flowers on petunias are available in so many different colors and variegations, it's no wonder we love to put them everywhere. But if you have a large deer population, is it worth it?
Deer will eat petunias when they can find them. Some gardeners even refer to petunia as "deer candy"! It can be so hard to keep the pesky herbivores away from your garden. Fortunately, we have some solutions for having your petunias, and not letting your deer eat them, too.
There are various deer repellants on the market as well as ways to strategically plant to minimize the risk of your petunias being destroyed by deer. Keep reading to find out all you need to know.
How to deter deer from eating your Petunias
Petunias seem to be delicious for deer.
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If you want to keep deer out of your yard, then you'd probably be best served by not planting petunias in your borders and beds. Instead, save them for containers and baskets that are not as easily accessible to the deer. If you have to have them out in the beds, then considering using a deer repellant.
Of the various deer repellants we've tried, this IMustGarden product works well. Available in mint scent and the favored spice scent, it's not nearly as noxious and foul as many of the deer repellants on the market today. It contains some natural sticking agents (similar to wax) that won't harm your plants but keeps the essential oils and deer repellant ingredients on the plants through the rain. It will need to be reapplied about every 3-4 weeks to continue working. You can buy it in the squirt bottles or a more cost-effective concentrate than can be used with a pump sprayer.
If you're not crazy about spraying things on your petunias, no matter how safe it may be, then you might like these ultrasonic repellers. They are solar-powered, so no need to worry about plugging it in or switching out batteries. It works through motion sensing, and as an animal approaches, it will emit an ultrasonic sound and flash LED strobes to scare off the animal. You can even set the frequency to work for smaller or larger animals. The one con might be if a persistent animal got used to this and ignored it, so it might be worthwhile to change its location every few weeks.
Do Rabbits Eat Petunias?
We wish we could tell you that your petunias are safe from rabbits, but they're not. Petunias are bunny magnets, drawing those cute furry friends in like bears to a bird feeder. The best way to protect your petunias against bunnies is to elevate them, either in raised beds, containers, or hanging baskets.
Can Deer Reach Petunias In Hanging Baskets?
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Don't let these innocent faces fool you. Deer can reach your hanging baskets if they're too close to the ground. Deer graze higher than head level, sometimes using support to balance on hind legs to reach tempting petunia morsels. The general rule-of-thumb is that they will graze anywhere from up to 4' to up to 8' depending on the size of the deer. If your hanging basket is from an upper story balcony, or a raised porch that the deer can't access, then your petunias will probably be safe.
If you love to place hanging baskets in your lawn or along a walk, you may need to resort to some sort of deer-proof hanging basket if you want to keep the beautiful flowers on your petunias. This clever gardener crafted wireframes to protect their hanging petunias from pesky deer.
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Some Of Our Favorite Petunias
So now that you know that, yes, deer will eat petunias, but you also know that you have some strategies to fight them off, let's look at some beautiful varieties.
Petunia Wave, Purple Hybrid
This variety of petunia has become super popular. It produces big blooms and spreads rapidly, growing up to several inches per day. It begins blooming only 9-11 weeks after its initial sowing and trails beautifully from hanging baskets.
Petunia Tickled Pink
Here's another lovely solid colored petunia in a vibrant purplish-pink magenta color. This petunia has a fragrant odor and is the perfect choice to trail from hanging baskets or grow on trellises. The blooms are 2 inches in diameter and will prolifically bloom all summer long.
Here's a gorgeous ruffled petunia bloom in shades of white and purple with a creamy yellow ivory center. This hybrid variety grows unusually large flowers that span 4-6" in diameter and will add a real spot of loveliness to your petunia collection. It will make protecting it from the deer exceptionally worthwhile as the blooms are stunning.
Deer Are No Joke In Your Petunia Garden
Keeping deer out of your favorite petunia patch is indeed no laughing matter. But with a little diligence, smart planting, and the right deer repellant, you can have these gorgeous flowers to enjoy all summer long. Do your homework (like reading this post), get prepared, and get to planting. The view of your perfect petunias will make it worth the effort.
If you'd like to read some other posts on deer and your garden, please click through to our other GardenTabs.com posts below, and thanks for visiting.