Do Deer Eat Poppies (15 Surprising Ways To Repel Deer)

Are you looking for answers to the question, Do deer eat poppies? Click here to learn if you need to take measures to protect your poppies from deer.

Poppies top the list of some of the most self-sufficient and effortless plants to grow. These features make these plants popular for novice gardeners or homeowners looking to add color to their outdoor spaces.

However, anyone considering growing poppies in their garden may wonder, ‘Do deer eat poppies‘. In this article, we will discuss whether deer eat poppies and offer tips on protecting your plants from deer.

Why Do Deer Eat Poppies?

Deer is an herbivore, meaning it thrives on a plant-based diet comprising vegetables, fruits, and flowers. These animals practically munch on anything plant-based, from berries and fruits to woody plants, grass, and tree shoots.

However, deer are sensitive to different scents and do not like to eat flowers or plants with strong aromas. Since poppies feature a powerful scent, these plants are not a favorite for deer and are also labeled deer-resistant by many.

Moreover, deer avoid eating bitter plants. Poppy stems contain a milky sap that is bitter to taste. Hence, these plants will not taste appetizing to deer.

Furthermore, several resources suggest that deer steer clear of plants like poppies since they contain toxic alkaloids. However, it is still possible for deer to munch on the poppies in your garden due to extreme hunger.

If these animals cannot find a food source, they will eat any plant in sight. Since poppies are usually planted in sunny spots, they are easier and more comfortable to access for deer, which may attract deer toward the plant.

Sometimes poppies’ bright, colorful flowers also attract deer toward them. Hence, this necessitates poppy plant owners to take precautionary measures to ensure deer do not devour their beloved poppies.

Are All Poppy Species Deer-Resistant?

Although poppies are considered deer-resistant plants, some may be more resistant to deer than others.

Even though more research needs to be conducted on what species of poppies are deer-resistant, evidence shows that California poppies are highly deer-resistant because of alkaloids and an extremely bitter sap.

On the other hand, other poppy species, like the Oriental poppy, are shown to attract deer because of their bright and large flowers and juicy foliage.

Hence, it is important to remember that although some species of poppies may be deer-resistant, other species may be susceptible to damage from deer.

If you have poppies in your garden, it is best to research the types of species you have to determine if the poppy variety in your garden is deer-resistant. Additionally, if you are planning to grow poppies, consult the experts at your local garden center for deer-resistant poppy species.

Planting deer-resistant poppies may help you lower the chances of your plants getting attacked by deer. Below are a few deer-resistant varieties of poppies you can look into purchasing:

  • Papaver Somniferum (Opium Poppy)
  • Chelidonium Majus (Greater Celandine)
  • Eschscholzia Carlifornica (California Poppy)
  • Macleaya Cordata (Plume Poppy)
  • Papaver Nudicaule (Iceland Poppy)
  • Meconopsis Grandis (Himalayan Poppy)
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However, planting these deer-resistant poppy varieties does not guarantee that your plants will be secure from deer attacks. Fortunately, you can take certain measures to keep deer away from your poppies.

How to Protect Poppies from Deer

How to Protect Poppies from Deer

You can protect your precious poppies from deer by taking the following precautions. We recommend doubling these measures to see positive results.

You might have to experiment with several tactics to determine what works best to keep deer away from your poppies.

1. Consider Adding Physical Barriers

Physical barriers are some of the best and most effective methods of keeping animals like deer away from your garden.

Installing metal or wooden fencing can help you ensure no deer can attack your poppies.

When choosing a fence to keep deer away, pick one that is at least 8 feet tall. This is because deer may easily be able to jump fences shorter than 8 feet.

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If you have had experience working with wood before, you can also make DIY wooden fencing with the help of tutorials online.

We recommend going for electric fencing if you have extra cash. Electric fencing will help you ensure no unwanted four-legged intruders can enter your garden.

Moreover, these fences will offer you the peace of mind that your poppies and other plants are protected from animals while you are not home.

If you are looking for cheaper alternatives to physical barriers, netting and wraps may shield the plant against deer.

2. Try Out Deer-Repellents

Some homeowners may avoid installing physical barriers since these can take away from the appeal of a garden. Thankfully, there are alternatives like deer repellents.

You will find a variety of deer repellents on the market. Some come in the form of sprays, whereas others resemble granules. When placed in a garden, these deer repellents produce powerful scents that deter deer from the area.

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Some deer repellents are made of natural materials like garlic and chili, whereas others may contain synthetic chemicals.

If you cannot find deer repellents in your locality, you can easily make your own by crushing garlic and sprinkling it on your poppies.

However, you may have to keep topping up these deer repellents since they may only be effective for a set period by time.

3. Turn to Noise Deterrents

Noise deterrents work quite well at startling deer that may have their eyes on your poppies. Deer are always on high alert. Hence, even the slightest noise or movement can be enough to scare them away.

You will find a variety of noise deterrents online or in your local stores that make predator noises to scare deer away.

If you don’t like the thought of predator noise playing in your garden 24/7, you can opt for wind chimes.

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  • Many people hang windchimes in their gardens to scare deer and other animals, like crows, away.
  • Some homeowners have also found reflective objects, like old CDs hung from tree branches, effective in scaring deer away.

handheld air horn

  • Moreover, a handheld air horn is another highly effective method of using noise to scare deer.
  • If you occasionally see a deer near your garden, blowing the air horn and making a loud noise will be enough to ensure your deer does not get close to your garden again.
  • However, remember that noise horns can be incredibly loud, and using them multiple times a day may cause them to be quite bothersome for other wildlife and your neighbors.
  • So make sure to use them sparingly to avoid noise complaints.

4. Cultivate Deer-Repellent Plants

Growing deer-repellent plants near your poppies is a clever way of keeping deer away from your poppies.

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By incorporating a variety of deer-repellent plants in your garden, you can easily create a garden that does not appeal to deer.

You can consult the experts at your local nursery about recommendations on deer-repellent vegetation or plant some of the following species:

  • Crape Myrtle
  • Lavender
  • Fox-glove
  • French Marigold
  • Mint
  • African Lily
  • Rosemary
  • Heather
  • Yucca
  • Sea Holly
  • Asparagus
  • Verbena
  • Bee balm
  • Catmint

5. Deer netting

Deer netting is an alternative to fence that is lightweight and may be stretched over plants to prevent them from being eaten by deer.

6. Scents

Scents that are unpleasant to deer can be used as repellents. Garlic, eggs, and spicy peppers are some of the ingredients that might discourage them.

It might discourage deer from browsing by hanging aromatic bars of soap from trees or fence posts.

7. Human Hairs

Distribute hair, either human or canine, all across the garden. Deer might be scared away by the scent of potential predators.

8. Motion-activated sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers have the ability to surprise and scare off deer when they get close to the area.

Devices that create noise, such as motion-activated alarms, can be effective in driving deer away.

9. Objects That Reflect Light

You may hang reflective objects in your yard such as aluminum foil, old compact discs, or metallic balloons to prevent deer from entering your garden.

10. Spread coyote or fox pee

Spread coyote or fox pee about the garden by sprinkling it or spraying it with predator urine. It creates the idea that there is a dangerous animal around.

11. Row covers

Row covers are normally intended to protect plants from frost, but they can also discourage deer from browsing in your garden.

12. Blood Meal

Deer are sensitive to the smell of blood meal, thus using it to protect your garden from deer is a good idea.

13. Electric fencing

Electric fencing can scare deer away by receiving a little jolt from just a few strands.

14. Plant Dense Hedges

A dense planting of tall shrubs or trees can serve as both a physical and visual barrier if they are placed around the perimeter of the garden.

Also, read below interesting articles.

Deer resistant perennials that bloom all summer

Finding perennials that are resistant to deer and bloom throughout the summer will help you maintain a consistent color palette in your garden while reducing the amount of damage caused by animals.

Even though there is no plant that can be regarded as 100% deer-proof, the following perennials are less likely to be favored by deer and can produce flowers throughout the summer.

  • This plant, which belongs to the genus Nepeta, is recognized for its ability to withstand dry conditions and bear lavender-blue blooms.
  • Perovskia atriplicifolia, sometimes known as Russian Sage, is characterized by tall spikes of lavender-blue blooms.
  • Coneflowers, which belong to the genus Echinacea, come in a number of different colors and are known to draw in pollinators such as butterflies.
  • Yarrow, or Achillea millefolium, is a plant that produces clusters of flowers with flat tops and modest sizes. These blooms come in a variety of colors.
  • Agastache, also known as Hyssop, is a plant that comes in a variety of colors and is prized for the fragrant leaves and spikey flowers that it bears. These colors include pink, purple, and orange.
  • Salvia (Salvia spp. ): There are many different types of salvia, and its blooms come in a wide range of colours, from pink and red to blue and purple.
  • Coreopsis are flowers that are resistant to dryness and can continue to bloom throughout the summer. Coreopsis blossoms can be brilliant yellow or pink.
  • Lavender, which belongs to the genus Lavandula, is prized not only for the exquisite purple flowers it produces but also for its fragrant oil, which acts as a deer repellent.
  • Bee Balm, also known as Monarda didyma, is a plant that, as its name implies, is great for luring in pollinators. It comes in a variety of colours, including red, pink, and purple.
  • The bright orange blossoms of the Butterfly Weed plant (Asclepias tuberosa) are a magnet for butterflies, particularly the monarch.
  • Goldenrod (Solidago spp.): Goldenrod is a brilliant addition to late summer gardens, despite the fact that it has a sometimes unfair reputation for triggering allergies (it’s sometimes incorrectly blamed for the pollen from ragweed).
  • Penstemon is a lovely plant that is resistant to being eaten by deer. It has tubular blooms in a variety of colours.
  • Tickseed, also known as Coreopsis verticillata, is a plant that produces vivid yellow blooms on stalks that are rather fragile.
  • Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina) is a plant that produces spikes of pink or purple flowers, despite the fact that it is most commonly cultivated for its velvety silver leaves.
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Q: Do Deer Like Poppy Seeds?

Some experts suggest that, since deer are the larger species of animals, they prefer eating larger, more filling seeds.

Poppy seeds are tiny, which may not be enough to satisfy the hunger of a deer.

Q: Can I Grow Poppies if I Live in A Location with Deer?

Poppies make great plants for areas with abundant deer since these plants are natural deer deterrents.

You can implement several protective measures like fences and noise deterrents to ensure no deer devour your poppies.

Q: What Do Deers Like to Eat?

Deers enjoy eating stems, leaves, and, in some cases, the woody parts of a plant. They particularly enjoy feasting on plants with broad leaves and strongly like apples, acorns, azaleas, and hostas.

Q: Are Poppies Toxic for Deer?

No poppies are not toxic for deer. However, certain pesticides used on plants like poppies may have toxic chemicals that harm deer or other wildlife.

It is best to avoid using such pesticides and instead stick to natural pesticides like neem oil.

Will My Poppies Grow Back After a Deer Attack?

Although poppies are not the go-to meal for deer, these animals might eat them if they cannot find another meal. Plant owners faced with such situations may worry if their poppies will grow back.

In most cases, poppies will grow back after being eaten by deer. The amount of damage dictates whether a poppy plant eaten by deer will grow back or not.

Since deers despise these plants’ taste and scent, they might only take a few nibbles and leave. Hence, the damage may be minimal.

If a deer has managed to eat some of your poppy flowers, a little extra care is all you need to do to nurse the plant back to health. Proper watering, fertilization, and optimal lighting are key to growing vibrant poppies.

Final Verdict — Do Deer Eat Poppies

Keeping deer away from your poppies may seem like a challenging task, but the deer-repellent qualities of the plant, combined with a few strategies, are enough to keep deer from feasting on your poppies.

By cultivating deer-resistant vegetation, using noise repellents, adding physical barriers, and using deer repellents, you can easily keep these four-legged beauties from becoming a nuisance in your garden.