Do Deer Eat Mums and Pansies? Protecting Your Flowers

Deer eating mums and pansies and trees in a garden.

Do Deer Eat Mums and Pansies?

Deer can be delightful to watch from a distance, but they can wreak havoc on gardens, especially when it comes to your favorite flowers. Many gardeners have experienced the frustration of planting beautiful mums and pansies only to find them nibbled down by deer. So, do deer eat mums and pansies? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Deer are attracted to these flowers for their taste and the nutritional content they provide.

Understanding the Deer Problem

Deer are opportunistic feeders and will munch on a wide variety of plants. According to a report by Cornell University, deer can consume up to ten pounds of plant material in a single day, making them a significant threat to your garden​​. They are especially fond of plants that are well-watered and fertilized, as these tend to be more nutritious and palatable. You can read more about what deer eat here.

Why Deer Eat Mums and Pansies

A male deer, which also eats mums and pansies, is peaking out of some bushes.

Nutritional Needs

Deer are drawn to mums and pansies because they provide essential nutrients. These flowers are rich in water, sugars, proteins, and other nutrients that deer need to thrive. The vibrant blooms and lush foliage are particularly appealing during the early growing season when deer are hungry after a long winter.

Seasonal Preferences

Deer tend to eat whatever is most accessible and nutritious. During the spring and early summer, they are more likely to eat tender new growth, which includes young pansies and mums. In the fall, as natural food sources become scarcer, deer will turn to any remaining flowers in your garden.

How to Protect Your Flowers from Deer

A bright orange mum, deer eat mums and pansies so this needs to be protected from deer!


One of the most effective ways to protect your garden is to install a fence. A fence that is at least 8 feet tall will prevent deer from jumping over it. Ensure the fence is buried at least 12 inches underground to prevent deer from crawling under.

Natural Repellents

Using natural repellents can help deter deer from your garden. Products like Messinas Deer Stopper create a sensory barrier that repels deer through smell and taste. These repellents are safe for use around pets and children and can be applied every 30 days for continuous protection.

  • Application: Spray Deer Stopper around the perimeter of your garden and directly on your plants.
  • Effectiveness: Reapply after heavy rain or watering to maintain the repellent barrier.

Planting Deer-Resistant Flowers

Incorporate deer-resistant plants into your garden to make it less appealing to deer. While no plant is completely deer-proof, some are less attractive to deer due to their taste, texture, or scent. Examples include:

  • Lavender: Known for its strong scent, which deer dislike.
  • Daffodils: Toxic to deer and other animals.
  • Marigolds: Often avoided by deer due to their strong odor.

Other Strategies to Keep Deer Away

A deer is surprised in some tall grass as it eats leaves, mums and pansies.

Using Physical Barriers

In addition to fencing, you can use physical barriers like netting or chicken wire to protect individual plants or small garden areas. These barriers can be particularly useful for young plants that are most vulnerable to deer damage.

Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers can scare deer away by startling them with a burst of water. These devices are effective for deterring deer without harming them and can cover large areas of your garden.

Companion Planting

Planting herbs and flowers that deer find unappealing around your mums and pansies can act as a natural deterrent. For example, planting garlic or onions near your flowers can help keep deer at bay due to their strong scent.

Messinas Products for Deer Control

Messinas offers a range of products designed to protect your garden from deer. Our Deer Stopper products are made with natural ingredients and are safe for use around children and pets.

Deer Stopper II

  • Ingredients: Contains natural ingredients like mint oil, rosemary oil, and garlic oil.
  • Usage: Effective for up to 30 days, even after rain or watering.
  • Application: Easy to apply with a trigger spray bottle or garden sprayer.

For more details, visit our product pages:

Deer-Resistant Plants: More Options

Expanding your garden with a variety of deer-resistant plants can further protect your mums and pansies. Some excellent choices include:

  • Astilbe: Known for its feathery plumes and shade tolerance.
  • Lavender: Its strong scent is highly effective at deterring deer.
  • Sage: Both ornamental and culinary varieties are generally avoided by deer.

For more information on deer-resistant plants, check out our detailed guide on deer-resistant plants.

Do Deer Eat Your Mums and Pansies? We Can Help!

Pansies growing in a garden which may be eaten by deer.

Deer can pose a significant threat to your garden, particularly when it comes to beloved flowers like mums and pansies. Understanding do deer eat mums and pansies and taking proactive steps to protect your garden can save you a lot of frustration. By using a combination of fencing, repellents, and strategic planting, you can create a garden that is both beautiful and deer-resistant. Trust Messinas to provide safe and effective solutions to keep your garden thriving.

For more tips and products, visit Messinas.

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