Deer's Secret Affair With Marigolds Revealed

Deer Feed
deer and marigold relationship

In the intricate dance between nature and its inhabitants, certain mysteries persist, captivating the attention of scientists and enthusiasts alike. Among these enigmatic relationships is the surprising affair between deer and marigolds.

While marigolds may not be the first choice for these majestic creatures, they have a hidden allure that has only recently come to light. What secrets lie beneath the surface of this unexpected connection?

Join us as we uncover the truth behind the deer's secret affair with marigolds, exploring the factors that drive their attraction and the strategies that can be employed to protect these beloved flowers. Prepare to be intrigued by the fascinating world of nature's hidden connections and the delicate balance between flora and fauna.

Key Takeaways

  • Deer do eat marigolds, but they are not their favorite flower.
  • Marigolds are not considered deer-resistant.
  • Choosing fragrant varieties of marigolds can reduce the likelihood of deer eating them.
  • Utilizing natural deer-repellents and deterrents can help protect marigolds from deer.

Background on Deer and Marigolds

deer and marigold interactions

Deer and marigolds have an intriguing relationship, as these graceful creatures occasionally indulge in the consumption of these vibrant flowers. While marigolds are not considered deer-resistant, they are not the deer's favorite flower either. The impact of deer on marigold populations can be significant, especially if the deer are having trouble finding their preferred food sources.

However, there are benefits to planting marigolds in your garden. These vibrant flowers add a burst of color and beauty, attracting beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. Additionally, marigolds are known to repel certain pests, such as aphids and nematodes.

Despite the occasional indulgence of deer, marigolds can still thrive in your garden with proper strategies in place to deter these graceful creatures.

Reasons for Deer Eating Marigolds

Marigolds, although not the preferred choice of deer, may still find themselves on the menu when other food sources become scarce. When deer are unable to find their preferred food options, such as fruits and narrow-leaf evergreens, they may turn to marigolds as an alternative. The availability and scarcity of food in their habitats play a significant role in deer's decision to consume marigolds. Lack of preferred food can lead to deer seeking out different plant varieties, including marigolds, to satisfy their hunger.

To prevent deer from eating marigolds, it is essential to choose fragrant varieties that deter deer with their strong smells. Additionally, removing plants that attract deer and replacing them with deer-resistant options, utilizing deer-repellent sprays, and installing tall fences can help protect marigolds from deer damage.

Strategies to Keep Deer Away From Marigolds

deer deterrent for marigolds

Implementing effective strategies is crucial in preventing deer from causing damage to marigolds. By employing these strategies, gardeners can protect their marigolds and enjoy their vibrant blooms without worrying about deer grazing on them. One strategy is to choose deer-resistant plants as alternatives to marigolds. These plants, such as daffodils, lavender, and yarrow, have scents and tastes that are unappealing to deer, making them less likely to be eaten. Another strategy is to provide alternative food sources for deer. Planting deer-attracting plants at a distance from marigolds can divert the attention of deer away from the precious flowers. Additionally, installing tall fences or using deer-repellent sprays can create physical barriers that deter deer from accessing marigolds. By implementing these strategies, gardeners can create a deer-resistant environment and protect their beloved marigolds.

Strategies to Keep Deer Away From Marigolds
Choose deer resistant plants as alternatives to marigolds
Provide alternative food sources for deer
Install tall fences or use deer-repellent sprays

Natural Methods to Repel Deer

Natural deterrents can be effective in warding off deer from marigolds, providing a chemical-free and environmentally friendly solution to protect these vibrant flowers. Here are four natural methods to repel deer:

  1. Motion-Activated Sprinklers: These innovative devices detect the movement of deer and release a sudden burst of water, startling them and deterring them from approaching marigolds. The benefits of using motion-activated sprinklers include their effectiveness in keeping deer away without harming them, as well as their ability to cover a wide area.
  2. Sage: Sage is a natural deer repellent that emits a strong scent that deer find unpleasant. Planting sage near marigolds can help to repel deer and protect the flowers from being eaten.
  3. Bush Cinquefoil: Another natural deer repellent, bush cinquefoil, has a bitter taste that deer dislike. Planting bush cinquefoil around marigolds can discourage deer from approaching and consuming the flowers.
  4. Planting Strong-Scented Plants: Planting fragrant herbs like lavender, mint, and thyme can help to deter deer from marigolds. The strong smells of these plants mask the scent of the marigolds and make them less attractive to deer.

Factors Affecting Deer Resistance in Plants

deer resistance in plants

Factors affecting deer resistance in plants can vary based on texture, taste, look, and smell, ultimately influencing a plant's susceptibility to deer grazing. Deer have a preference for sweet smelling plants, which can attract them to certain flowers and fruits. Additionally, the impact of plant texture on deer resistance is significant. Deer tend to avoid plants with fuzzy leaves, thorns, spikes, and sharp edges, as these features make it difficult for them to graze. To provide a comprehensive understanding of these factors, the following table illustrates examples of plants that deer are attracted to and plants that they tend to avoid.

Plants Attracted to Deer Plants Avoided by Deer
Daylilies Narrow-leaf evergreens
Hostas Arborvitae
English Ivy Fir

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Other Plants That Deer May Eat if Marigolds Are Not Available?

If marigolds are not available, deer may eat a variety of plants such as daylilies, hostas, and English ivy. To protect other plants from deer, consider using natural repellents and planting deer-resistant options.

Are There Any Specific Varieties of Marigolds That Are More Resistant to Deer?

There are certain varieties of marigolds that are more resistant to deer, such as the Tagetes erecta 'Inca II Orange'. These marigolds have a strong fragrance that can deter deer from eating them.

How Effective Are Motion-Activated Sprinklers in Deterring Deer From Marigolds?

Motion-activated sprinklers can be highly effective in deterring deer from marigolds. By providing a sudden burst of water when triggered by motion, these sprinklers startle and discourage deer, offering an alternative method for protecting marigolds from their grazing.

Can the Use of Natural Deer-Repellents Like Sage and Bush Cinquefoil Harm the Marigold Plants?

The use of natural deer-repellents like sage and bush cinquefoil is unlikely to harm marigold plants. However, the effectiveness of DIY deer repellent sprays may vary compared to chemical repellents. Further research is necessary to determine the optimal solution.

Are There Any Plants That Are Both Deer-Resistant and Have a Strong Fragrance to Deter Deer From Marigolds?

Deer-resistant plants with strong fragrances, like lavender and rosemary, can deter deer from marigolds. Additionally, natural deer repellents such as sage and bush cinquefoil can be used to protect marigolds without harming the plants.


In the enchanting world of flora and fauna, the peculiar relationship between deer and marigolds has been unveiled. While marigolds may not be the top choice for deer, they still succumb to their allure.

However, fear not! There are strategies to deter these graceful creatures from feasting on marigolds, such as selecting fragrant varieties and utilizing repellents.

By understanding the factors that influence deer resistance in plants, we can cultivate a garden that remains untouched by their curious appetites.

The mysterious affair between deer and marigolds can now be controlled and protected.

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