Do Deer Eat Hollyhocks? (and 5 Ways to PROTECT Your Garden)

I have always been fascinated by deer, but my love for hollyhocks led me to wonder: do deer eat hollyhocks? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. In this post, I will share some tips on how to protect your garden from deer, so you can still enjoy the beauty of hollyhocks without sacrificing them as a food source for these graceful animals.

Do Deer Eat Hollyhocks?

Hollyhocks are quite deer resistant, however this will not stop an hungry deer. While deer dislike their scent and bitter taste, these tall flowering plants offer a convenient source of vitamin D and calcium, which are essential nutrients for the deer’s growth and overall health. Hollyhocks can occasionally be targeted by deer if they don’t have other food available. The leaves, stems, and flowers of hollyhocks can all consumed by these herbivores, making it important for gardeners to protect their hollyhock plants from deer damage.

To protect your garden hollyhocks, it is crucial to take measures against deer that can cause severe harm by eating the leaves, stem, and blossoms.

Are Hollyhocks Deer Resistant?

Hollyhocks are considered to be deer resistant, in fact deer will usually not eat them because of their scent and bad taste. However, it’s important to note that no hollyhock is entirely deer-resistant. Even if deer are not initially attracted to your hollyhocks, they may still turn to them as a food source if other options become scarce.

That’s why it is very important to still protect your flowers using additional methods and not rely just on their deer resistance.

How to protect Hollyhocks and your garden from deer

Now that we know how deer behave and what attracts them, let’s talk about how to protect your plants from these hungry critters.

1. Fencing

The most effective way to keep deer out of your garden is to put up a fence. A 7-8 foot high fence is usually enough to keep them out. The fence should be sturdy and made of materials that deer can’t easily jump over or push through, such as metal or plastic mesh.

It is also very important that your fence doesn’t allow deer to see what’s on the other side. In this way, deer will not attempt to jump because they don’t know where they are going to land.

2. Plant Selection

If you’re planning a new garden, consider planting deer-resistant plants, flowers and shrubs. These are plants that deer don’t like to eat, such as:

  • Lavender
  • Marigolds
  • Bee balm
  • Daffodils
  • Salvia
  • Yarrow
  • Boxwood shrubs

By adding these plants to your garden, you’ll be deterring deer from wanting to munch on your flowers.

3. Deer Repellents

Another option is to use deer repellents. There are many different types of repellents available, such as sprays, powders, and granules. Some common repellents include:

  • Hot pepper spray
  • Eggs and garlic spray
  • Deer-resistant plant sprays
  • Human hair or soap bars hung near plants

Just be sure to do some research on the effectiveness of the repellents before trying them out.

4. Motion Sensor Sprinklers

If you’re looking for a more high-tech solution, motion sensor sprinklers can be an effective way to keep deer away. These devices spray water when motion is detected, which can startle deer and prevent them from coming back to the area.

5. Scare Tactics

Sometimes, all it takes to keep deer out of your garden is a little bit of fear. Scare tactics like wind chimes, shiny objects, and even a fake predator such as a fake coyote statue or owl decoy can work wonders in keeping deer away.

Ultrasonic devices are a very effective deterrent agains deer. However, it is important for those to be motion-activated, otherwise deer will get used to it and just ignore them.

Are Hollyhocks Dangerous For Deer To Eat?

Hollyhocks can be consumed by deer, and they are not known to be toxic to these animals. In fact, hollyhocks are a nutritious food source that can help keep baby deer healthy. High in vitamins and minerals, hollyhocks are easy to digest for deer.

Can Baby Deer Eat Hollyhocks?

Yes, baby deer can eat hollyhocks. Hollyhocks are a nutritious food source for deer, high in vitamins and minerals that can help them grow and stay healthy.


What is consuming my hollyhocks?

If you have noticed irregular holes in your hollyhock leaves, an insect pest is likely the culprit. Some common culprits include weevils and beetles. However, hollyhocks are also beneficial for attracting birds and butterflies, while being resistant to damage from deer and rabbits. Consider planting companion perennials like spiny bear’s breeches or monkshood that are also rabbit-resistant to help protect your hollyhocks.

Do hollyhock leaves form part of a rabbit’s diet?

Hollyhocks are known for their tall, majestic stems that produce beautiful blossoms in the summer. These hardy perennials are a favourite among gardeners as they attract butterflies and birds. However, gardeners have long been concerned about the potential damage that rabbits and deer can do to hollyhocks. While rabbits generally prefer the leaves of other plants, they may occasionally nibble on hollyhock leaves if there are no other options available. It’s best to plant hollyhocks with other rabbit-resistant perennials, such as spiny bear’s breeches and monkshood, to discourage rabbits from indulging in their leaves.


So, do deer eat hollyhocks? Deer will usually avoid hollyhocks due to their strong scent and bitter taste, however, if hungry, deer can still eat them.

In this blog post I shared the most effective ways to deer-proof your yard and protect hollyhocks from deer damage.

From deer repellent sprays to physical barriers like fences and netting, there are a variety of methods you can use to keep deer at bay. By taking a proactive approach to deer control in your garden, you can enjoy the beauty of hollyhocks without worrying about them becoming a deer buffet. So go ahead and plant those hollyhocks with confidence, knowing that you have the tools you need to protect them from even the hungriest of herbivores.

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