Deer certainly seem to enjoy eating geraniums, but there is some debate as to why they choose to snack on these plants. Some experts believe that deer are simply drawn to the vibrant colors and sweet taste of geranium leaves, while others think there may be more to it than that. Whatever the reason, it's clear that deer see geraniums as a nutritious food source, and gardeners should take this into consideration when growing these plants. If you're looking to attract deer to your garden, planting some geraniums is a great way to do so.
If you're looking to keep deer away from your garden, you need to know that most geraniums attract deer. There are, however, some varieties of geranium that deer do not like. See the section on What type of geraniums do deer like to eat below.
Why do deer eat geraniums?
There are many reasons why deer might eat geraniums. Here are just a few:
- They're tasty! Deer have been known to eat all sorts of plants, and geraniums are no exception.
- Geraniums are easy to access. Unlike some other plants that grow high up or in hard-to-reach places, geraniums tend to be low to the ground – making them prime targets for curious deer who want to see what they taste like.
- Deer may mistake them for other plants that they normally eat. This is especially true if the leaves of the geranium plant resemble those of another plant that's part of their normal diet (such as clover). In these cases, the deer will take a bite out of curiosity.
- They're Sweet Tooth Animals - Deer have a natural affinity for sweets, and what could be sweeter than plump, juicy geraniums? Their sense of smell is also incredibly keen, so they can easily find these tasty treats. If you want to keep them away from your garden, try planting something with a stronger scent (like garlic or onions) nearby.
- Geraniums Are Nutritious - While we might not think of them as being particularly nutritious, geraniums actually contain high levels of protein and potassium – two things that deer need in their diet. They also tend to grow in areas with lots of sunlight, which means they absorb more nutrients from the soil than other plants do. So if there's a shortage of food elsewhere, eating geraniums may help deer survive through lean times.
Nutritional benefits of geraniums for deer
While most people think of geraniums as a decorative flower, these beautiful blooms can also provide many nutritional benefits for deer. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider planting some geraniums in your garden:
- Geraniums are rich in vitamins and minerals. Deer love to munch on the leaves of these plants, which are packed with nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. All of these nutrients are essential for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and organs in deer.
- Geraniums can help improve digestion in deer. The high levels of fiber found in geranium leaves can help stimulate bowel movements and keep things moving along smoothly through the digestive tract. This is especially important during winter when food options may be more limited for deer.
- Geraniums can boost immunity in deer. The antioxidants present in geranium leaves can help protect against infections and diseases by boosting the immune system. This is particularly beneficial during times when sicknesses seem to be going around.
What type of geraniums do deer like to eat
Deer eat several types of geraniums. These include Pelargonium sp., Clarke's geranium (Geranium clarkei), bloody geranium (Geranium sanguineum), Cranesbill (Geranium x cantabrigiense), and Endres cranesbill (Geranium endressii). All of these varieties are popular among deer for their tasty leaves and nutritional value.
If you're looking to add some beautiful blooms to your garden that will also provide a good meal for deer, consider planting one of these types of geraniums.
Deer don't usually eat bigroot geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum).
The best way to feed geraniums to deer
A lot of people ask how best to feed geraniums to deer. The answer is quite simple: deer will eat geraniums right off of the bush. You may want to provide the deer in your area with food. With a little bit of knowledge and care, you can provide these beautiful creatures with the nutrients they need to stay healthy and thrive. Here are some tips on how best to do so:
- Choose the right type of food – Deer are herbivores, so you'll need to choose a plant-based diet for them. There are many commercially available feeds that are specifically designed for deer, or you could create your own mix using things like hay, grasses, leaves, fruits, and vegetables. Just make sure that whatever you choose is fresh and free from pesticides or other harmful chemicals.
- Feed them regularly – Like all animals, deer need a regular supply of food in order to stay healthy and active. A good rule of thumb is to offer them around 2% of their body weight per day.
How do deer eat geraniums?
Deer love to eat geraniums. They will often chomp down on the entire plant, including the roots. This can be a problem for gardeners who are trying to grow these beautiful flowers.
When do deer eat geraniums?
It's a question that many gardeners have asked, and unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Deer are notoriously difficult to predict and their eating habits can change from season to season or even day to day. With that said, you can expect deer to eat geraniums sometime between spring and fall. This is when geraniums bloom and when deer find them most enticing.
Are geraniums dangerous for deer to eat?
No, geraniums are not dangerous for deer to eat. Geraniums do, however, contain a compound called geraniol, which gives them their characteristic fragrance. This same compound is also found in roses and citronella plants. While it's not harmful to deer, it can be an irritant if they consume too much of it.
How to prevent deer from eating geraniums?
It's that time of year again when the deer are on the prowl for something to munch on in your garden. If you're like most gardeners, you've probably had your fair share of deer damage to your geraniums- and it's not pretty. But don't despair, there are a few things you can do to prevent these pesky critters from eating your beloved geraniums. Here are a few tips:
- Use repellents: There are many commercial products available that will deter deer from nibbling on your plants. Be sure to follow the directions carefully and reapply as needed (usually after rain or heavy watering). You can also make your own homemade repellent using ingredients like hot pepper flakes, garlic cloves, or even human hair clippings. Deer have sensitive noses so anything that smells strong or irritates their noses should help keep them at bay.
- Plant "deer resistant" varieties: Some plants simply taste bad to deer and they'll avoid them altogether. Research which types of plants fall into this category and include them in your landscape design. Bigroot geraniums happen to be one type of plant that deer typically steer clear of.
- Fence them out: This is probably the most effective way to keep deer away from your precious flowers and shrubs but it may not be practical or possible depending on the size of your property.
- Plant your geraniums in an area that is not frequented by deer. If you live in an area where deer are prevalent, consider fencing off your garden or planting your flowers in pots that can be placed on a deck or patio away from wandering wildlife.
Can deer digest geraniums?
Yes, deer cannot digest geraniums. The plant's cell walls are made of a tough material called cellulose, which is hard for many animals to break down and absorb, but not deer.
How many geraniums can deer eat?
A single deer can consume up to 5% to 6% of its body weight in plants every day. That means an adult buck could theoretically munch on around 7 or 8 lbs of greenery per day – though they usually don’t consume that much. Geraniums tend to be quite high in fiber. They will also avoid eating too many geraniums if they have access to tastier options like fruits or nuts.
Do deer eat geraniums summary
There's no denying it, deer love to eat geraniums. But why do they like them so much? Is it the taste? The texture? The smell?
Deer are attracted to the sweet smell of geraniums. This is because geraniums contain nectar, which is a sugary substance that deer find irresistible. Geraniums have a high water content, which makes them perfect for quenching thirst on hot summer days. Geranium leaves are rich in nutrients like calcium and magnesium, which deer need for their health and well-being.