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Do Deer Eat Impatiens?

Will Deer Eat Impatiens or Are Impatiens Deer Resistant?

To successfully grow impatiens, you will make some effort since these plants need to be well watered and fertilized.

After taking the time to plant and care for your flowers you will want to be able to enjoy them for as long as possible. And it is only natural to want to know if deer eat impatiens.

So, do deer eat impatiens? The short answer is YES!

Keep reading for more details and tips on how to keep deer away from your impatiens.

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About Impatiens

Impatiens are a plant that comes in more than 1000 varieties and are perfect for growing in containers, window boxes, hanging baskets and as ground cover around trees.

These fast growing annual flowers can be grown in a variety of colors including: red, white, violet, coral, pink, purple or yellow. These plants vary in sizes from 6 inches to 30 inches and bloom from spring throughout the fall.

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Do Deer Eat Impatiens?

The simple answer is yes, deer do eat impatiens. Impatiens are well watered and fertilized and loaded with nutrients and most importantly they taste good to deer. This fact, plus impatiens scent and the fact that the leaves are easy to digest make impatiens a food that deer like to eat.

Deer eat several pounds of plants each day and it is likely you’re your impatiens will attract a hungry deer who will enjoy including these flowers as part of a varied diet.

So not only do deer eat impatiens, but living in an urban area is no guarantee that your plants will be safe from these 4 legged visitors.

Urban sprawl has encroached on deer’s natural feeding grounds, leaving them little choice, but to find food sources outside of rural areas, which means that your flower garden may well become even more attractive to a hungry deer.

Are Impatiens Deer Resistant or Do Deer Like Impatiens?

No, impatiens are not deer resistant, in fact, deer like impatiens because, not only do impatiens taste good to deer, but they are also easy to digest.

How to Protect Your Impatiens from Deer

While you may not be able or even want to prevent deer from visiting your yard or property, there are things you can do to protect your impatiens from becoming food for deer.

Here are some methods of protection you can use either individually or in combination.


If done correctly, putting up permanent deer fencing can be a highly effective way to keep your flowers safe from hungry deer.

Your fence needs to be at 8 feet high and bent in at the top. You also need to have some of additional fencing running underground. The gaps in the fence need to be too small for a deer to get their head through (no more than 6 inches by 6 inches).

However, keep in mind that if you plant impatiens in various places around your property you will need to fence in your entire property to keep the deer away from your plants.

Choose Where You Plant Your Impatiens

Something as simple as choosing where you plant you impatiens can help to prevent your flowers from becoming deer feed. Deer are creatures of habit and tend to return to the same areas again and again.

They use these areas to graze because they have found food they like there in the past. If deer have munched on your impatiens before they will return to the area where they found them. So choosing a different area to plant your impatiens will decrease the risk of your plants being eaten by deer.

If this is the first time you are planting impatiens, take note of where any deer visiting your property tend to graze and avoid planting your flowers in those areas.

Leave Your Scent Behind

Deer have a very refined sense of smell and they have learned to avoid any place where there is a human scent. Therefore, leaving your scent with your impatiens could well be enough to frighten deer away from your flowers.

Some experts suggest leaving your hair behind since hair holds your scent for a fairly long period of time.

You can also plant your impatiens near to your home either in containers you hang from your deck or in window boxes.

With members of your family constantly going in and out, spending time lounging on your deck or patio, and spending time near open windows, your scents will be carried on the breeze and work as a determent to any deer targeting your impatiens for their next meal.

Plant Your Impatiens with Deer Resistant Plants

There are some plants that deer won’t eat unless they are starving. In fact, these plants are called deer resistant because the very smell of these plants are so offensive to deer that they won’t touch any plants that are planted near them.

You can reduce the risk of your impatiens being eaten by deer by planting a deer resistant plant near your impatiens. Some deer resistant plants include: mint, marigold, daffodils, chives and garlic.

Hang Wind Chimes

Deer are normally shy creatures and are easily spooked by any unfamiliar sound or movement.

Therefore, if you are planting your impatiens under or around a tree, hanging wind chimes from the trees lower branches may be enough to frighten deer away from your flowers.

The combination of movement and sound can startle a deer and send them running. When choosing what wind chimes to use look for chimes that have bright shiny parts, move easily with even the lightest breeze and emit a loud sound.

Motion Activated Sprinklers

Even when browsing deer are very wary creatures always on the look out for predators. In addition, deer have poor eyesight, which serves to increase their wariness. Any sudden movement or noise may be enough to send a deer running for cover.

Motion activated sprinklers have the ability to frighten deer, causing them to run from the area.

Placing these sprinklers around your impatiens can protect your plants quite effectively due to the fact that these sprinklers have sensors that pick up the movement of an approaching object including deer.

When the deer approaches the sensor recognizes movements and the sprinklers send out a burst of water, which sprays on and around the deer. This sudden unexpected “attack” terrifies the deer and causes them to run away.

After a few attempts to reach your flowers end in a sudden soaking, the deer learn to avoid the area, seeing the area as a place that is dangerous.

Do Deer Eat Impatiens? Conclusion

For those of us who enjoy seeing deer wandering on our property and enjoying our colorful impatiens, using one or more of these ways to protect your impatiens from becoming deer feed will allow you to enjoy both.

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