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Do Deer Eat Columbine? (Answered)

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Columbian flowers originated from Asia and reached America about 1000 to 4000 years ago. It has become a famous ornamental flower among gardeners’ society for its beautiful flowers and hardiness.

But do you need to worry about deers and rabbits if you are planting columbine plants? Keep reading to learn an in-depth guide about keeping columbine plants safe from deers.

Do deer eat columbine?

Deers do not eat columbine plants as they are deer-resistant and toxic to deers, cats, dogs, horses, humans, and other animals. The plant leaves have cyanide compounds that can be fatal if any animal eats many of them. That’s why it’s essential to keep the plant out of the reach of kids and pets.

Deers, rabbits and other plant eaters do not eat the columbine plants. The plant is deer-resistant. How do you know when some plant is deer resistant? Some plants that deers never eat in any conditions are generally deer-resistant plants.

Columbian plants are also toxic to the deers and other plant-eaters. That’s a big reason why the plant got resistant characteristics.

Nature is too cruel for wild animals, and there is very little chance of recovering from weakness or sickness. Such animals like deers and rabbits must identify toxic plants in the first bite to avoid being sick.

Columbine plants taste like toxic plants, and deers can quickly identify that the plant is poisonous. So they stop eating the plant and start looking for another plant. However, some plants are not toxic but taste like poisonous plants. Deers don’t eat them either.

But if you have a garden, there must be other plants that deers can eat. So, you will have to protect your garden from the deers. We will discuss ways to repel the deers in the following section.

Columbine plants can live about 2-4 years. They are pretty hardy and don’t have many problems like disease and pests. Sometimes they can get infested with pests like leaf miners, which can be easily removable with essential oil sprays.

As you can see, the columbine plants have almost no disease and no severe pests that can damage them. Deers, rabbits and other animals are also not harmful to them. So they can thrive in your garden if you just make sure it’s basic requirements.

They are great for heat torrent plants, but partial shade is better if the environment is too hot. Warm and a bit humid conditions are better for them. They need slightly high and well-drained soil.

Watering once a week is enough for columbine plants but water twice if the temperature is high. Mountain weathers are pretty suitable for those plants, and that’s why those plants are often cultivated in the mountain areas of America.

As Columbine plants are almost safe from the deers and other animals, mountains and similar places are suitable for growing them.

However, also keep in mind that deers are sometimes unpredictable. A hungry deer can eat deer-resistant or even toxic plants when there is less food in the wild. However, that’s quite rare, and you can simply ignore the deers if you have only columbines in your garden. 

Columbine flowers:

Columbine flowers bloom in the spring when nature wakes up from deep cold sleep. In spring, there is a lot of vegetation readily available for the deers, and they will rarely eat any other unusual plants and flowers.

Columbian flowers are deer resistant and toxic. The flowers are a great way to attract the pollinators, but not the deers.

Columbine leaves:

Columbian leaves taste worst to the deers. The leaves are full of tannin, which means the leaves are bitter. Moreover, the leaves have highly toxic cyanide components.

They are usually quite picky, and most of the time, they know what they are eating. Columbine leaves are not on their food list.

Columbine plants:

Columbine flowers are not on the food menu of deers. They don’t like eating any part of the plant.

Will deer eat wild columbine?

Deers will not eat wild or cultivated columbines. There are about 65 species of columbines, and all of them are deer resistant. Deers don’t like the taste of the plant. Deers are curious animals; they will sometime take a bite from columbine plants.

But as we mentioned earlier, columbine plants are toxic, and deers know what a poisonous plant tastes like. Deers can take a bite from the plant, but they will soon spit it out.

Columbines are easy to breed, and they easily make offspring with another plant of the same family. So, the plant can have many different traits, but deer resistance is always a constant trait of columbine plants. Similarly, wild columbines are also very poisonous.

Are columbine deer resistant?

Columbines are deer-resistant. Every part of the pant has a natural defense against the deers. Even if any deer or rabbit eats the columbine plant, he will get sick and weak. That means columbine plants are deer resistant and harmful to them.

The plant has a moderate level of cyanide compound, which is highly poisonous to mammals like deers, humans, dogs, cats, etc. So, before planting a columbine plant, you should ensure that your pet does not get access to the plants.

If someone ingests the columbine plant, they may experience weakness, headache, breathing problems even a coma. If any animal eats the columbine plant, contact the nearby vet as soon as possible.

Do deer like to eat columbine?

Deers do not like eating columbine plants, so you will not have to worry about saving them from deers. The columbine plants can protect themselves from plant-eaters. So, what should you focus on when you are planting columbine?

First, make sure your cat doesn’t chew on the leaves. Water the plants once a week. Water more if the weather is hot. Use mulch to cover the soil of columbine plants in the winter. The mulch will help the plant retain moisture and insular the ground.

Use liquid water-soluble fertilizer once a month. That will be enough to get a healthy plant and lots of flowers in the spring.

How to keep deer from eating columbine plants?

You will not have to lift a finger to keep deer from eating columbine plants. Deers dislike those plants in every situation. But what about other plants in your garden? How do you stop the deers from keeping the deers away from your garden?

Check out some easy tips and tricks to keep your garden safe from the deers.

Egg spray:

Deers dislike the smell of rotten eggs. The scent is similar to their predator’s body. So you can use the trick to save your garden from the deers.

First, take 1-gallon water and add a raw egg to the water. Mix the water evenly. It will be best to blend the egg with some water first. Take the water in a sprey bottle and leave the water for one day. After one day, you can use the sprey over your plants.

Essential oils:

You can use mint, rosemary, garlic or lavender oil to keep the deers away from your garden. Just add 5-7 drops of oil to a liter of water and spray the mix over your garden plants.

Chilli spray:

Deers don’t like anything spicy. You can keep your plants safe from the deers using chili powder. Add chili powder with water in a bottle. Add vinegar and liquid soap for more effectiveness. Let the mix sit for one night, and then it’s ready to spray over your plants.

Hair clippings and bones:

Hair clippings and animal bones can save your garden from the deers and rabbits. When those animals see hair and bone in some place, they think they are close to a wolf den or something like that. So they leave quickly and do not come back.


It’s a common way to keep a garden protected, but it can be costly. However, fencing is a long-term solution to keep garden plants safe.

Final thoughts

Deers do not eat columbine plants as its toxic, bitter and dangerous for health. They avoid the plant in all situations. Make sure your kids and pets are safe from the Columbine plants. Ensure the soil has enough nutrition and moisture, and Columbines are ready to thrive all seasons.

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