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Do Deer Eat Black Eyed Susans? (Quick Answers)

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Black-eyed Susans make a valuable source of food for many plant-eater animals, and when it comes to plant-eater animals, deer are always first in the queue as there are barely any plants that deer don’t eat.

Thereby, if deer have access to your black-eyed Susan flowering plants, you might wonder whether deer will eat them or not. Let’s look into the findings ahead to learn the answers. 

Do Deer Eat Black-Eyed Susans?

Most times deer avoid eating flowering plants with rough textures and fuzzy leaves. Hence, black-eyed Susan stems are covered up with coarse hairs and the leaves are fuzzy which is giving them a rough texture, deer don’t like eating them unless there’s an adverse environment and a scarcity of food.

It’s a natural characteristic of deer that oftentimes they tend to stay away from rough-textured flowering plants with fuzzy-textured leaves.

Since it’s known that the stems of black-eyed Susans are covered up fully with coarse hairs, as well as, the leaves are fuzzy and covered up with tiny stiff hairs, they make pretty much rough and fuzzy flowering plants.

As a result, deer naturally seem to avoid eating black-eyed Susans due to their dislike of such rough, fuzzy textured plants.

However, even though often deer don’t eat black-eyed Susans as much as they eat their other preferred flowering plants, this absolutely doesn’t mean that black-eyed Susans are completely deer-resistant flowering plants.

When deer are going through any adverse environmental situation, deer certainly will eat black-eyed Susans as soon as they come across them. 

To be specific, even if deer find black-eyed Susans unpalatable for their taste buds, if the living area of deer has a prolonged winter, deer are going to eat black-eyed Susans by raiding gardens or in the wild.

Also, when deer are encountering a scarcity of food sources around their residing area, they will eat black-eyed Susan right away after spotting them to fulfill their hunger. 

Thus, expect that environmental changes and the shortage of food sources can make these herbivores deer eat black-eyed Susans despite their disliking. 

Is Black-Eyed Susan Deer-Resistant?

Black-eyed Susans aren’t completely deer-resistant because black-eyed Susans are seen to be gobbled up by deer whenever deer got access to the plants.

Thus, you may wonder whether deer only eat the vines or flowers, or the black-eyed Susan plant itself when they are hungry, so below it has been explained.

Black-Eyed Susan Flowers:

Deer eat black-eyed Susan flowers. Many garden owners reported during research that their black-eyed Susans flowers have been eaten by deer but not so frequently as other plants as they aren’t a deer’s first choice of food. 

Research stated that young deer due to their curiosity munch on these black-eyed Susans.

Adult deer eat black-eyed Susans when there’s an unavailability of their regular flower heads, as at that time they are hungry enough to find any flowers enticing, thus, they just gobble up. 

Black-Eyed Susan Plants:

Even though black-eyed Susan plants don’t really make a part of the deer diet, they eat these plants. 

When the deer population is beyond the mark where all the regular and preferred plants of deer are being overgrazed, deer possibly will include these less palatable black-eyed Susans to their diet list and eat them to gain their necessary nutrition.

Black-Eyed Susan Vines:

Black-eyed vines are filled with all fuzzy-textured leaves with stiff and tiny hairs on them, and such types of vines are the least palatable to deer.

However, the weather is unpredictable and deer certainly can’t control them. Thereby, if the areas where deer reside have a very cold and long winter, deer will surely munch on black-eyed Susan vines due to a shortage of food sources. 

Due to an unpredictable drought, if the plant production is less than regular, deer will eat black-eyed Susan vines then too if they can reach them. 

How Do You Keep Deer From Eating Black-Eyed Susans?

In certain cases deer can munch on your beloved black-eyed Susans. Therefore, some effective tips to keep deer away from eating black-eyed Susans are listed below to curtail the damage created by deer. 

Install Fence: 

The most effective method of keeping deer away from eating your black-eyed Susans is installing a fence all around your garden. The height of the fence must be at least 8 feet tall so that deer can’t jump over them and enter your garden.

The fence must be clearly visible as well so that deer can see the fence and don’t attempt to pass through it.

You can use chicken mesh wire to build up the fence or can install a wooden fence too, but in the case of wooden fence, the gap between two wood planks should be 6” at least. 

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Apply Deer Repellents: 

There are hundreds of commercial deer repellents in the market containing foul odors such as predator (wolves, coyote, dog) urine smell, you can buy those and spray around your black-eyed Susans.

These repellents will make them feel that predators are nearby and will scare them away. 

DIY deer repellents such as a mixture of mint oil and crushed hot pepper/cloves/red chili powder will deter away by irritating the noses of deer with their strong spicy smell. Hanging bar soap or human hair also helps in deter deer away. 

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Plant Plants That Deer Dislike: 

Deer-resistant flowering plants include- Russian sage, marigolds, catnip, yellow alyssum, foxglove, lavender, oriental poppy, lily of the valley, crape myrtle, peony, African lily, yucca, brunnera, daffodil, and many more. 

Deer-resistant herb plants include- Rosemary, thyme, chives, dill, oregano, and mint. 

You can plant any of these flowering and herb plants that will deter deer by their pungent smell that deer find offensive to their nose. 

Scare Deer Away: 

Deer are naturally timid and get scared easily, so you can scare them and keep them away from your black-eyed Susans. 

Hanging wind chimes in your garden would scare them away by making sounds. Or else, you can keep a radio tuned on in the garden to keep making noise and scare them away.  

You can install a motion detector water sprinkler in the garden too that will sprinkle water on deer upon detecting movement in the garden. Installing motion-sensitive floodlights will effectively scare deer too as deer don’t prefer bright light. 

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Keep The Black-Eyed Susans Near Your Home:

You can keep the black-eyed Susan flower pots or plant the plants near your home so that you can keep a constant eye on your beloved flowers and shoo deer away. Or if you have a dog, keep him on guard near your house to protect the flowers from deer.

What Is Eating My Black-Eyed Susans?

To many birds, insects, and animals except for deer, black-eyed Susans are a good source of foods. Below a list of those black-eyed Susan eaters has been added to let you know probably who are feasting on your black-eyed Susans. 



You may gave read that black-eyed Susans are rabbit-resistant, well it’s not fully right. Rabbits do eat black-eyed Susans when they are run out of food sources, there’s a long winter/drought season, or young rabbits are tasting out new plants. 


Same as the rabbits, black-eyed Susans don’t make a palatable food source for chipmunks, but they fully don’t detect chipmunks. If chipmunks are in an adverse condition, they will eat black-eyed Susans if they can reach them. 


American Goldfinches: 

American goldfinches simply love eating black-eyed Susan seeds, thus, they will perch over the flower stalk to pick small seeds out for eating.

Other birds such as the cardinals, sparrows, chickadees, and white-breasted Nuthatches eat black-eyed Susans too. 



The eggs of the Silvery Checkerspot butterfly leave a good source of food for caterpillars, to eat those eggs after hatching, caterpillars tend to feed on the black-eyed Susans. 

Goldenglow Sawfly: 

Golden glow sawflies are another serious eater of black-eyed Susans, as their striped gray larvae entirely can shred the black-eyed Susan leaves. 


Aphids are assumed as one of the main eaters of black-eyed Susans, they not only eat but also heavily damage the plant.

Final Thoughts 

Deer don’t prefer to eat Black-eyed Susans because they are one of those flowering plants that have coarse hair on their stems and fuzzy-textured leaves with stiff tiny hairs, which deer dislikes. But in an emergency like a shortage of food, drought, or cold weather, deer will eat black-eyed Susans.

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