Do deer eat pansies?

We get asked all sorts of questions about deer and rabbit and groundhog eating habits, but this one we get asked quite frequently.

Do deer eat pansies?

Pansies have become a popular plant to grow because of how easy they are to grow and maintain.

If you’re not super familiar with pansies, they can come in many beautiful colors and are quite fragrant. They also possess edible blooms. Pansies produce a flower that are round in shape and have five petals.

The flowers come in one of three basic color patterns.

  1. Blooms can be a single, solid color, such as a blue or yellow.
  2. They can be a single color with thin black lines radiating from the flower’s center.
  3. The last type of pansy flower is probably one of the most familiar. A flower with a dark center called a “face”.
    Some pansies have a delicate perfume-like aroma. The yellow or blue pansy flowers seem to have the strongest scent.

Pansies are grown in the South and in the Southwest during the winter months and, up in the Northern states, they are grown during the Summer.

While they may be pretty and have an attractive scent, humans are not the only fans of pansies. Deer love them too.

So yes, deer absolutely eat pansies.

The blooms attract the deer’s attention and their protein-rich benefits keep the deer coming back for more.

Pansies Attract Deer

Pansies’ high water content and soft texture make them a tasty snack for a hungry deer. Pansies are particularly vulnerable in spring when tender new buds begin to form on the plants. Pansies grow as perennials in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 10 and you can treat them as annuals in most other areas.

To prevent deer from decimating your pansies and other plants, you’ll need to be proactive and take appropriate action to prevent them from getting into your garden

How to Protect Your Pansies from Deer

Whether or not your pansies are eaten by deer doesn’t have to be determined by luck. There are a few options you can use to keep your plants healthy and safe. Some are expensive and laborious and others are fast and easy. We’ll cover the common tactics.


A foolproof way to keep deer away from pansies and any other plants are to surround the plants in a high and sturdy fence. A fence should completely surround your plants, and we recommend them being at least 11 feet high. Deer have an incredible ability to jump and a fence this high will keep them from coming over the fence and into your garden.

Fencing does work well. But it is expensive, difficult to erect and doesn’t look attractive in your yard. It’s not a realistic option for most homeowners but it is effective, and we want to provide the best information we can for protection of your pansies.

Deer-Resistant Pansy Plants

There are no deer resistant pansies. Anything labeled that is just marketing and, if left alone, deer will eat them.

But many homeowners will purchase plants that are “deer resistant” and plant or place them around their pansies. Popular plants to be used as a protective barrier would be plants that have sharp thorns or hairy leaves or herbs that produce a strong odor. These are less desirable for deer to eat…but a hungry deer is going to eat vegetation. Purchasing a deer resistant plant will not save your pansies.

Deer Repellent for Protecting Pansies

There is a third and much easier option to keep your pansies and all your garden plants safe from deer.

Use Deer Defeat.

Deer Defeat is an all natural deer repellent, but it also works to keep rabbits and groundhogs from eating your pansies too. Other great benefits of this repellent is that it DOES NOT need to be reapplied after the rain!

It also can be applied in the winter to keep your plants protected all year round. Because its all natural, it not only is safe for humans and pets, it actually nourishes plants while it protects them.


So the answer to the question, “Do deer eat pansies” is an overwhelming YES. But it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy these fragrant and beautiful flowers.

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