Are Pansies Deer Resistant or Will Deer Eat Pansies?
Many people love growing pansies on their property due to the fact that these colorful flowers are grown in containers, as borders and as ground covers in both the spring and fall.
These plants are considered to be cool weather flowers, so they tend to be grown as annuals.
If you are planning on planting pansies on your property and live in a rural or urban area where deer tend to roam, then you need to know if pansies are deer resistant or in other words, do deer eat pansies?
In a nutshell, pansies are not considered to be a deer resistant flower, deer like pansies and do eat them.
Keep reading for more details, plus tips on how to protect your pansies from deer.
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Pansies are easy flowers to recognize, standing only 6 to 9 inches tall with heart shaped overlapping petals and faces in the middle of each bloom. These flowers grow best in US hardiness zones 2 through 9.
Pansies come in a wide variety of colors including: Blue, purple, yellow, pink, orange, red, white and multi-colored. Best of all for, those who enjoy exotic cooking, the flowers of this plant are edible.
What Does Deer Resistant Mean?
A deer resistant plant is any plant that a deer will avoid eating if there is other food sources available and will actually avoid coming in contact with under normal conditions.
It does not mean that deer won’t eat the plant, it simply means that the animal has to be near starving to eat it.
Do Deer Eat Pansies?
Like human beings, deer eat a wide variety of foods and pansies are one of their favorites.
Deer are attracted to pansies as a food source because these lush plants tend to be well watered and fertilized. These plants contains carbohydrates, protein, and other nutrients that healthy deer need.
Deer will eat every part of the pansy including the shoots, leaves and flowers. And since deer can eat over 10 pounds of plants per day a single deer can wreak havoc on your pansies, destroying all your effort and hard work.
However, there are ways you can protect your pansies from any deer that will visit your property.
How to Protect Your Pansies from Deer
If you want to enjoy both your pansies and the deer who visit your yard, you will need to find a way to protect your pansies from becoming dinner for deer. Here are some ways to protect your pansies from deer.
Study the Habits of Deer
Deer are like people and tend to be creatures of habit. If you study the deer that visit your property regularly, you should note that they tend to visit specific areas of your property.
The reason they return time and time again to the same area is because these areas have a food source they enjoy.
By planting your pansies well away from the areas deer frequent, you can greatly reduce the chances that the visiting deer will eat your pansies.
Plant Your Pansies in Containers or Borders Around Your Home
Deer have a keen sense of smell and when it comes to the scent of human their sense of smell is superior to that of a bloodhound.
Deer tend to stay well clear of anywhere they can scent humans, so planting your pansies close to your home will deter deer for many different reasons.
The main reason being that since you and your family come in and go out of your home several times a day or lounge on your deck or patio your scent will be fairly strong close to your house.
Other reasons include: the constant movement of people going in and out and the sounds that come from your house.
Spray Deer Repellent on and Around Your Flowers
Deer tend to avoid eating plants that have odors they find offensive. This is why those deer repellents tend to be quite effective in keeping deer away from your pansies.
The most natural deer repellent tend to be planting other plants that deer avoid near your pansies.
You can also make a homemade repellent using eggs, milk, garlic, cloves, cayenne pepper, and water all blended together and allowed to sit for 24 hours. This repellent should be applied to and around your pansies after rain or heavy dew.
Deer netting is like fences and quite effective in keeping deer away from your favorite plants.
However, unlike fences, deer netting tends to work best in protecting individual plants or a small group of flowers. But, it won’t work as well if you are using your pansies for ground cover.
Motion Activated Ultrasonic Noisemakers
Deer are quite shy creatures and spook quite easily. Any sudden noise or movement can make them flee. Motion activated ultrasonic noisemakers can be effective at chasing deer away from your flowering plants.
Movement sets off these noisemakers, so when the deer approaches your plants it causes the noisemaker to emit a sound that humans can’t hear, but deer can. The sudden noise will startle the deer and will send them running away from the sound.
Motion Activated Sprinklers
Motion activated sprinklers work along the same lines as motion activated ultrasonic noisemakers. But, instead of emitting a sound, the sprinkles shoot out a burst of water when activated by the motion of a deer approaching. (Or any other movement).
These sprinklers have a sensor that detects motions and turns the water on. The sudden hit of water frightens the deer and causes them to flee each time they approach the plants you want to protect.
After the deer gets sprayed a few times they assume that the area is dangerous and normally will avoid the area permanently.
Do Deer Eat Pansies? Final Thoughts
While deer are attracted to pansies and see your pansies as a tasty food choice, there are ways that you can protect your plants from becoming a deer’s dinner.
While no mode of plant protection is 100% effective, some of the above mentioned protection methods will work better than others. To get the best results you may want to combine 2 or 3 methods of protection to increase your chances of keeping your pansies safe.