Do Deer Eat Peonies? (And Ways To Protect Peonies)

Peonies are one of the prettiest flowers there is. However, if you live near a forested area or any breeding zone, you might want to know whether your neighborhood deer is as attracted to peonies as you. Can deer really devour your peonies and end up destroying your spectacular yard?

If so, how do you prevent them from doing this deed? Well, we’ve done some homework on your behalf and came up with just the right answers. So, if you want to protect those peonies from all possible attacks, here are some of the things you go to know.

Do Deer Eat Peonies Plants?

Usually, deer do not prefer eating peonies since the flower exudes an intense flavor. However, deer are just like any other animal that will devour the first food they chance upon if they are hungry. So, if a deer encounters your peony yard when they are hungry enough, they might as well eat your peonies.

To understand whether the peonies in your garden are at a threat from deer attacks, ask people around. Consult your neighbors and check if their peonies were ever devoured by deer. In case the deer left their peonies untouched, your flowers too might encounter a similar fate.

Remember, although there is a popular notion that deer do not prefer strongly scented flowers, it does not necessarily mean all your intense scented plants are safe. So, it is always a good idea to deer-proof your property with the right strategies. This will not just keep your peonies safe but will also go a long way in protecting your yard.

Are Peonies Deer Resistant?

Although peonies are typically known to be deer resistant due to their strong scent, it isn’t necessarily the case. As previously mentioned, deer may end up devouring the peonies if they spot it when they are hungry.

With that said, you can always prevent this from happening by planting several rows of peonies in proximity, using deer repellants, setting up a solid fence in your yard or backyard, and picking the right spot to plant the flowers. In the following sections, we have discussed this in detail, shedding more light on the best ways to handle this issue.

7 Clever Ways to Protect Peonies From Deer

You can protect your beloved peonies from deer by following some simple strategies. If you are wondering how to start, here is everything you need to know.

1. Pick the Right Spot

Most deer do not really enjoy the company of humans. So, if you plant your peonies in proximity to your house, there is a possibility of preventing them from infiltrating your flowers.

As you begin to plant the peonies, you also need to ensure that the plants receive all the required nutrients for thriving in that area. Keeping deer away from your plants doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to plant them in bad soil or in an area that does not receive ample light.

If the situation gets extremely dire, you might also want to relocate your flowers. Although these plants are extremely sensitive, you might have to follow the correct precautions and then proceed to move them to a safer spot. Remember, if these plants are closer to your property, the deer are less likely to devour them.

2. Add a Bunch of Deer Repellant Plants

If planting peonies right next to your house doesn’t do the trick, you might want to go the extra mile by adding a couple of deer repellant plants near your peonies. Plants with intense scents usually do the trick here. For instance, you can try planting lavender on your property. This will not just add to the beauty of your garden, but the strong scent of the lavender will also keep deer at bay, thereby keeping your peonies completely safe and unaffected.

3. Get the Right Fence

Another excellent way to deer-proof your garden is by getting the right fence. Remember, deer are known to be some of the best jumpers. So, if you plant a tall enough fence, they won’t manage to jump over. In case you are not confident about the type of fence, you can also consult a professional and take their help in getting the right fence.

You will notice that in several instances, you can get away with deer by just adding the right terrain to your garden’s border. Boulders and similar structures are usually top options here. You can also invest in a quality electric fence around your property. This way you will have complete peace of mind about deer infiltrating your property. Finally, if none of the options seem to work for you, get double fences. This is also an excellent option for everyone who does not want to use electricity around their property.

4. Fence Your Peonies

If you think the deer are specifically targeting your peonies and all other plants are fairly safe, you might want to build a strong fence around your peonies. This is a better way than fencing the entire backyard that seems to meddle with the aesthetics of your garden. You can also use deer nets to keep your peonies safe and deer-proof.

5. Get Deer Repellants

You will find several types of deer repellants in almost all leading online and offline stores. Explore your options and then invest in a quality repellant that will indeed prevent deer infiltration with fewer roadblocks. Common options here are electronic repellants and deep repellant sprays.

While most people find the former option effective, there can be instances where it doesn’t work. In situations like these and in times when you need a quick solution, apply a deer repellant spray or combine it with your existing electronic repellant.

Most of these products don’t merely repel deer, but they also safeguard your garden from rabbits, beavers, and similar other mammals who might want a taste of your shrubs and flowers.

6. Use Odor Deterrents

If you do not want to invest in artificial deer repellants, you can always go the organic route by choosing the right odor deterrents. As evident from the name, these products entirely rely on odor to deter deer from entering your property. The effectiveness of the natural odor deterrent may vary depending on your location, the type of deer, and the peonies species.

Either way, you can keep some common products like mothballs, hair, garlic, and processed sewage in proximity to your yard. The intense smell of these items will ward deer off at once. In case none of these tend to work, consider adding blood meal and fish-heads (decaying) to the list.

Although this might appear unpleasant at the outset, this is a certain way to keep deer off your property if none of the other tricks seem to work. Since these items are also easily available you won’t encounter many difficulties in sourcing or placing them on your property.

7. Use Physical Deterrents

If odor deterrents don’t seem to do the job, consider using a bunch of physical deterrents. While fencing and electric deer repellants are common options, you can also go by the unconventional route by choosing to keep reflective areas and branches around the plants. For reflective areas, you can choose streamers, pie pans, or anything of a similar sort. At the end of the day, both these items will effectively keep deer off your property.

Other options can be floodlights and fishing lines (kept at a hidden spot). Floodlights, for instance, will scare off deer with their intense light. Since deer are shy creatures, they will be quickly intimidated by witnessing the huge influx of light. Fishing lines, on the other hand, do an equally great job by causing the unsuspected deer to trip on them. If the deer is hurt by these fishing lines, they are less likely to visit your property in the long run.

Which Other Animals Eat Peonies?

Deer aren’t the only animals that love munching on your flowers. In fact, there are quite a few animals and insects who prefer peonies. So, if you want to protect your flowers, it is vital to understand what these animals are and how they might affect your property.

Common animals that tend to be a major threat to your peonies include rabbits, beavers, and squirrels. You should also be cautious about insects like red ants and slugs who tend to devour peony buds.

Since either of these animals and insects can be a major threat, consider fencing your peonies or follow our suggested strategies to ward them off. Either way, taking an extra dose of caution will certainly go a long way in protecting your property and peonies.

Remember, deer are just like any other herbivore who will end up consuming any plant if they are hungry enough. So, if you live in proximity to deer or deer breeding zones, it is your responsibility to put the right efforts to keep deer at bay. Since we have shared a comprehensive set of guidelines, we are confident that you will have an easy time tackling these pesky creatures. At the end of the day, you will be left with a beautiful garden with healthy peonies that are completely safe from potential deer attacks.

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About Arindom Ghosh

A professional writer, editor, blogger, copywriter, and a member of the International Association of Professional Writers and Editors, New York. He has been part of many reputed domestic and global online magazines and publications. An avid reader and a nature lover by heart, when he is not working, he is probably exploring the secrets of life.