Do Deer Eat Caladiums? (and How to Keep Them OUT of Your Garden)

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I am passionate about knowing everything about deer and as a nature lover, I’ve always wondered, “Do deer eat caladiums?” Here’s a quick answer for you: deer typically do not eat caladiums! However, in case they do, there are ways to keep them out of your garden.

Do Deer Eat Caladiums?

Deer typically do not eat caladiums as they are not a preferred food source. However, in cases where deer may invade caladium plants, it is likely due to a shortage of food or simply not noticing the caladiums while running. To prevent this, natural goods such as deer-resistant plants or repellents can be used to maintain a deer-free garden.

Characteristics of Caladiums

Caladiums are a beautiful addition to any garden, with their stunning mix of red and green leaves. These plants can grow in large numbers, adding color to any landscape. However, despite their beauty, many gardeners may question whether deer are attracted to this plant. Fortunately, it is generally known that deer will not eat caladiums, as it is poisonous to them.


There are many different varieties of caladiums, each with their own unique features and colors. Some popular varieties include “Fannie Munson,” which has light pink leaves with green veins, and “Red Flash,” which has bright red leaves with green margins. With so many beautiful options to choose from, it’s no wonder caladiums are a popular choice for gardeners everywhere.

Plant Features

Caladiums are a relatively low-maintenance plant that can grow well in shaded or partially shaded areas. They prefer well-draining soil and are sensitive to overwatering. These plants grow from tubers, rather than seeds, which means they can be dug up and stored in the winter months for replanting in the spring.

Growing Requirements

When planting caladiums, it’s important to ensure that they are in the appropriate growing conditions. This plant prefers a warm and humid climate, but too much direct sunlight can damage the leaves. Planting caladiums in a well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter is key to ensuring their success. Adding a layer of mulch around the plants can help to conserve moisture and keep the soil temperature consistent.

Deer’s Attraction to Caladiums

Despite their general aversion to caladiums, deer may still be attracted to these plants in certain situations. For example, if there is a food shortage or a large number of deer in the area, they may be more likely to browse on non-preferred plants such as caladiums.

Deer-Resistant Plant Alternatives

If you live in an area with a high concentration of deer, or simply want to ensure that your garden remains intact, there are many alternative plants that are more deer-resistant.

Flowering Plants

Some popular deer-resistant flowers include black-eyed Susan, butterfly bush, coneflower, and bee balm. These plants have vibrant blooms and can provide a beautiful addition to any garden.


If you’re looking for deer-resistant vegetables, consider planting onions, garlic, and hot peppers. These plants all have strong scents and flavors that deer tend to avoid. In addition, they can provide a tasty harvest for your kitchen. With these tips in mind, you can create a stunning and deer-resistant garden that will thrive for years to come. Happy gardening!


When it comes to deer-resistant shrubs, there are plenty of options to choose from that are not only great at repelling deer but also add texture and color to your garden. The best part? These shrubs are not toxic to deer, so they won’t cause any harm if the deer do happen to eat them. One example of a beautiful deer-resistant shrub is the Japanese yew.

It has a dense growth habit with deep green glossy foliage that stays on the shrub year-round. Not only does it add structure to your garden, but its needles also have a slightly toxic quality that deer are averse to. Another great option is the boxwood, which is known for its ability to withstand heavy pruning and grows well in both shade and sun. It has a compact and dense habit that creates a stunning backdrop for other plants.

Tips for Deterring Deer from Your Garden

Deer can wreak havoc on a garden, but there are ways to keep them from eating your beloved caladiums. Here are some effective tips for deterring deer from your garden:

1. Install a Fence

One of the most effective methods to keep deer out of your garden is to install a fence. A fence at least 8 ft high can effectively deter deer. A solid fence is preferred, as opposed to a picket or chain-link fence, and should extend at least 6 inches into the ground to prevent deer from digging underneath. However, be sure to check with your local laws regarding fence height restrictions.

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2. Use Deer-Resistant Plants

Some plants are naturally deer-resistant. Planting these in your garden can help deter deer from munching on your flowers and vegetables. Such plants include daffodils, marigolds, lavender, and sage. Before planting, check with your local nursery or gardening center for advice on which plants are best suited for your area.


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  • Pros: Deer-resistant plants can help deter deer naturally and are low maintenance.
  • Cons: There is no guarantee that deer will not eat all plants.

3. Use Deterrent Sprays and Repellents

Deterrent sprays and repellents can be sprayed on plants or around garden areas and emit smells that deer do not like. Some popular deer repellents include mothballs, garlic sprays, and predator urine. However, these sprays and repellents need to be reapplied regularly and may not work in all situations.

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  • Cons: Deterrent sprays and repellents need to be reapplied regularly and may not work in all situations. They may also have a strong odor.

4. Use Noise-Makers and Lights

Deer are highly sensitive to noise and light. Installing motion-activated lights or using noisemakers, such as wind chimes, can help to deter deer from entering your garden. Noise-makers and lights are often used in combination with other deer deterrent methods.

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  • Pros: Noise-makers and lights are a low-cost solution that can be effective in some situations.
  • Cons: Noise-makers and lights may not work in all situations and can be a nuisance to neighbors.

5. Use Netting or Covers

Netting or covers can be used to protect individual plants or an entire garden. Netting can be placed over a garden bed like a tent, or individual plants can be wrapped in mesh. However, be sure to secure the netting or covers to prevent deer from getting underneath.

  • Pros: Netting and covers work well to protect individual plants or an entire garden.
  • Cons: Netting and covers can be difficult to install and may not work in all situations.

6. Eliminate Possible Food Sources

Deer are attracted to your garden because it provides them with food. Removing any possible food sources from your garden, such as bird feeders and fallen fruit, can help deter deer. Also, avoid planting their favorite plants- roses, hostas, and tulips.

  • Pros: Eliminating food sources is a free, easy solution that can help reduce deer in your garden.
  • Cons: It may be difficult or impossible to eliminate all possible food sources, and they may return if there is not enough food elsewhere.

7. Dog House and Bone Meal

Creating a dog house around the perimeter of your garden is a simple way to deter deer from entering. Another trick is to sprinkle bone meal onto the foliage. Deer associate it with predator activity and stay clear of areas where it is found.

  • Pros: Dogs are good at deterring deer. Bone meal is known to work in some instances.
  • Cons: Dogs may cause more damage to the garden than deer. Bowel movements around the garden limit where you can sit in your garden.

8. Plant a Border

Planting a border of tall, thick plants around the perimeter of your garden can help to deter deer. This acts as a barrier, making it harder for the deer to enter your garden. Holly or evergreen bushes are great options for this.

  • Pros: A border garden is a natural and attractive way to deter deer. Holly and evergreen bushes are low maintenance.
  • Cons: The width of the border garden may be too narrow to deter deer effectively.

9. Use Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Oscillating sprinklers installed in your garden can help deter deer. Not only are sprinklers beneficial in keeping your plants hydrated, but they can be an effective deterrent to pesky deer. When triggered, they spritz water randomly, thereby preventing deer from entering your mostly dry garden.

  • Pros: Oscillating sprinklers are natural, effective, and are low maintenance. They keep your plants hydrated while keeping the deer out.
  • Cons: Potential overwatering which may become uncontrollable and difficult to manage.

10. Combine Methods

Combining a few methods like a fence and deer-resistant plants, netting and deterrent sprays or a noise-maker plus lights can increase the chances of effectively deterring deer from your garden. This approach has proven effective as deer grow accustomed to one method and combining a few can keep them guessing and deter them from coming to your garden.

  • Pros: Combining methods is more effective, as different methods target different senses in deer.
  • Cons: Combining methods can be costly.


Will caladiums return annually?

Caladiums are able to thrive year after year if given the appropriate winter care. They are a tropical plant that flourishes in warm weather, making it possible for them to add a recurring array of color and beauty to your garden. With proper care, caladiums can come back and grow every year.


So, do deer eat caladiums? Not generally, but it’s not unheard of. Sometimes these graceful creatures will chomp on anything green during a food shortage or accidently run into your caladiums while frolicking. No worries, though! There are natural solutions to deer-proof your garden.

Try planting deer-resistant species, using odor or taste repellents, or installing fencing to keep them from snacking on your precious plants. And if all else fails, just enjoy the sight of these majestic creatures- even if they do have a nibble here and there!

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