Do Deer Eat Nasturtiums? (and How to PROTECT Them)

As a nature lover and avid deer enthusiast, I often wonder: do deer eat nasturtiums? In this post, I’ll explore the truth about nasturtiums and provide tips for protecting them from deer damage.

Nasturtiums are not a preferred food for deer. However, when deer pressure is high and other food sources are scarce, nasturtiums can fall victim to deer damage. To prevent harm to your nasturtiums from deer, you should employ preventive measures such as using deer repellents or building barriers. It is important to note that while deer may not actively seek out nasturtiums, they may still consume them if there are no other options available.

Do Deer Eat Nasturtiums?

Nasturtiums are one of the most common flowering plants in gardens across the globe due to their beautiful, vibrant flowers and lush foliage. However, when planting them in deer-prone areas, the question that often arises is whether deer will eat nasturtiums.

It is important to note that the level of deer damage on nasturtiums can vary from one location to another. It is possible to have your nasturtiums grow untouched even in areas with high deer pressure.

The answer is not straightforward, but generally, deer do not prefer to eat nasturtiums. Even so, deer may still nibble on nasturtiums when food sources are scarce, or populations are high.

Protective Measures to Guard Nasturtiums against Deer

Opaque Fencing

One of the most effective ways to protect your nasturtiums from deer damage is to use opaque fencing. Deer cannot see what is behind opaque fencing, so they will not enter the area that it encloses. If you choose to use opaque fencing to protect your nasturtiums, make sure that the fence is at least six feet high and covers the entire perimeter of your garden. Otherwise, an enterprising deer may attempt to jump over or crawl under the fence.

Mental Wire Deer Fencing

Are your beloved garden plants being chomped on by pesky deer? Fear not, for there is a solution in the form of Mental Wire Deer Fencing. This innovative fencing is made of steel wire that is so thin, it’s practically invisible to the naked eye. This ensures not only protection for your precious nasturtiums but also an aesthetically pleasing solution. The fence can be easily installed and dismantled, making it convenient for any gardener to use. Say goodbye to your deer infestation woes and hello to a thriving garden.


A third method to protect your nasturtiums is to use deer repellents. You can use odor-based repellents, physical barriers, or taste-based repellents, such as a spray made from deer-resistant plants. If you choose to use deer repellents, make sure to rotate them regularly, as deer can become desensitized to the same repellent over time.

Companion Planting

Companion planting is an effective and natural way to protect your nasturtiums from damage caused by pests and disease. Some plants, such as marigolds, chives, and mint, are natural pest repellents and can help keep pests away from your nasturtiums. Additionally, planting nasturtiums alongside other flowering plants that are less attractive to deer, such as dahlias or zinnias, can act as a decoy and help protect your nasturtiums from deer damage. Companion planting is a useful technique that provides many benefits beyond deer protection, such as improving soil health and maximizing garden yields.

Install Motion-Activated Sprinklers or Lights

Since deer are skittish animals, they can be easily scared by sudden noises or movements. You can install motion-activated sprinklers or lights around your garden perimeter to deter them from entering. When the sprinkler senses movement, it releases a burst of water that startles the deer and teaches them to avoid your garden in the future. Similarly, motion-activated lights can scare deer away and make it harder for them to navigate the area at night.

Hang Reflective Objects

Adding sparkly or reflective objects to your garden such as CDs or aluminum foil strips can be an effective way to keep deer away. The reflection of sunlight or moonlight off of these objects can be disorienting and frightening for deer, leading them to stay away from your garden.

Use Sound or Smell Deterrents

Deer have a strong sense of hearing and smell, and certain sounds and smells can be very unpleasant for them. Using devices like windchimes, ultrasonic devices, or human hair placed around the garden can deter deer from coming in. Alternatively, you can use scents like human hair, soap, or rotten egg to make the area unappealing to deer. Be aware that these methods should be rotated periodically, as deer can become accustomed to the smells or sounds and they will no longer be effective.

Clean Up Debris and Fallen Fruit

Leaving debris, fallen fruit or leaves on the ground can attract deer and other pests to your garden. Make sure to keep the garden area free of debris and clean up any fallen fruit promptly. This will help to limit the number of attractive food sources and lower the chances of deer coming into the area.

Utilize Natural Barriers

You can create natural barriers that deer don’t want to cross, such as planting thorny or prickly bushes like holly or barberry around the perimeter of your garden. These will provide a physical barrier that deer will avoid. Another option is to use a natural deer repellent like blood meal or bone meal, both of which are strong smelling and unpleasant for deer.

Rotate Your Methods

Deer are intelligent animals and can become habituated to the same deterrent methods. To keep them guessing, rotate different methods regularly. For example, you could start with physical barriers, switch to predator scent repellents, and then move on to deer-resistant plants. This way, deer won’t become accustomed to any one method and will be more likely to avoid your garden.

Other Potential Threats to Nasturtiums

Pests and Diseases

Apart from deer, nasturtiums can also be prone to pests and diseases, such as aphids, whiteflies, and powdery mildew. If you notice any signs of pests or disease on your nasturtiums, you should take action promptly to prevent an infestation. You can identify pests or disease by inspecting the leaves, stems, and flowers regularly. If you catch a problem early enough, you may be able to eliminate it without the need for pesticides.

Identifying and Removing Affected Plants

If you notice any signs of pests or disease on your nasturtiums, you should identify the affected plants and remove them from your garden. Infected plants can quickly spread the problem to healthy plants, so it is important to quarantine them. You can dispose of the infected plants in a sealed plastic bag to prevent further spreading.


Do deer or rabbits consume nasturtiums?

Inquire of the munching habits of deer and rabbits with regards to nasturtiums. Will these creatures find these aromatic flowers appetizing? A concise answer to this question would be greatly appreciated and helpful for gardeners seeking to protect their plants.

Which creature consumes nasturtiums?

Despite their vibrant colors and beautiful blooms, nasturtiums are generally left alone by deer and other wildlife due to their pungent odor and taste. These flowers are an ideal choice for gardeners who want to attract pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds without worrying about them being eaten by animals.

  • Which animals tend to avoid nasturtiums?

Nasturtiums are typically not a part of the preferred diet of many types of animals, including deer, rabbits, and rodents. This is likely due to the plant’s strong scent and taste, which act as a natural deterrent to potential predators. Instead, nasturtiums are a favorite of bees and hummingbirds, who are drawn to the sweet nectar produced by the flowers.


So, do deer eat nasturtiums? The answer is not a simple yes or no. While nasturtiums are not a preferred food for deer, they may still end up as a snack for these pesky animals when other food sources become scarce. So, if you want to protect your beautiful nasturtiums from deer damage, it’s better to be safe than sorry and employ preventive measures.

Thankfully, protecting your nasturtiums from deer is not rocket science. All it takes is a bit of creativity and some ingenuity. You can use deer repellents, build barriers, or even plant them in a location that is difficult for deer to reach. Whatever method you choose, always remember that prevention is better than cure. So, go ahead and enjoy your nasturtiums with the peace of mind that they are safe from those wily deer!

You may also be interested in reading: