Do Deer Eat Dahlias? Will My Beautiful Flowering Dahlias Be Eaten?

pink and yellow dahlias

If you’re trying to grow flowers to add color to your garden, it’s important to know if you need to be wary about animals eating your plants! Dahlias are especially beautiful, coming in a variety of colors, and you don’t want them eaten! So a good question to ask is do deer eat dahlias?

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Dahlias can be a bit tricky to grow, so you really don’t want them to bloom just for them to be eaten by a deer!

You may also be interested in: Dahlia colors, do deer eat hydrangeas? do deer eat mums?

deer in the woods

So do deer eat dahlias?

No, deer don’t typically eat dahlias. This is the same with many other plants, where they will eat the dahlias if there’s not much other food around.

Dahlias are not a preferred plant to eat like sunflowers are of deer, but that doesn’t mean that all deer will completely ignore your dahlia patch. So if you adamantly don’t want your flowers being eaten, there are a few things you can do!

Otherwise, you can leave it to chance and hope the deer have other plants they can forage instead of relying on the dahlias you’ve been growing, since these are one of the more deer resistant flowers.

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When will deer eat dahlias?

While deer tend to avoid eating dahlias since they aren’t very nutrient dense, this doesn’t mean the occasional deer won’t find it’s way into your flowers. Especially if there are hungry deer around, and not much else in the way for them to eat.

This can depend on the weather, if it’s before or after most of their food sources have grown, or it can also depend on the deer population. If you’ve got flowers blooming in early spring, they might be eating your flowers since there won’t be much else around.

The more deer in the area, the more likely one will eat your flowers. This could be because of limited resources, or with a bigger population you’re just more likely to have a deer eat your plants from them having more competition going for the plants that are more nutrient dense.

Deer will usually avoid dahlia tubers, so other pests are more likely to be your problem when it comes to freshly planted dahlias.


How to deter the deer

If you’re really concerned about deer getting into your dahlias, you can always create barriers from the deer coming near your plants. There are a few ways for keeping deer away from your flower beds.

You can do this by fencing in your dahlias in a visible to the deer netting, or have deer repellant nearby, grow herbaceous plants like sage to deter the deer away with scent, or have dogs that chase the deer away. Having a tall fence around your garden or property is another way for keeping deer from eating your flowers!

If you want to keep the flowers beautiful without any of this, take flower cuttings regularly have cut flowers inside your home! That way, if a deer is eating in your dahlia bed, you can still have some of the beautiful flowers to look at.

So to answer the question: do deer eat dahlias? The answer is not very often. You should be fairly safe in planting dahlias in an area with a bunch of deer, but just keep in mind that they might eat them if there’s not much other food around!

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Looking for information specific to Colorado? Check out Naturalist Perspective!

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