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Do Deer Eat Zinnias? (Quick Answers)

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Zinnia plants are beautiful because of their colorful flowers. If you have them in your garden, you will notice that most pests and insects are not there around the zinnia plants.

Since they belong to sunflower plants, they have a strong odor that works like anti-pests.

Moreover, zinnias are year-end flower plants. They will give you one seasonal flower. Therefore, you need to collect the seeds and use them for further plantation. That way, you will make your garden more colorful and beautiful.

However, some gardeners feel insecure if they live near a forest. They ask if deer eat zinnias. It is a common thought if you have deer around your garden or if they visit frequently.

On the other hand, some people also think that zinnias are an anti-deer plant. They keep deer away from the garden and survive in the deep forest.

Do deer eat zinnias?

Deer eat zinnias, but that’s not an ideal plant for them to eat. It has several ingredients that keep deer away from the garden or surroundings. There is one more thing that zinnias are an anti-deer plant. If deer fail to get any other food sources around, they will eat zinnias for a bit of amount.

Zinnia belongs to the sunflower flowers. They look alike and contain mostly similar ingredients that help the garden get rid of pests and insects.

Also, they play a pivotal role to resist deer. At the same time, zinnias will help you decorate the garden in your way.

You can plant them anywhere. But the best place would be around the garden. They will spread an odor that will keep deer and other animals away from your garden. That’s the best part of planting zinnias around the garden.

Moreover, the zinnia plants also refer to the best anti-insects of the garden. There are very few insects and animals that attract this plant and flowers. But deer are utterly different from other animals. Deer will eat zinnias if they fail to get grass or other plants.

Additionally, deer destroy the entire garden and eat along with the plant’s roots when they are hungry.

That’s the ultimate barrier of zinnias. Therefore, you should not depend on the plants only. You should take some precautions and fence around the garden to deter deer.

On the other hand, deer only eat zinnias a little. They don’t like this flower for its smell and strong taste. Therefore, it is no longer favorable for the animals and deer. So, it will become an excellent way to deter deer from the garden.

Do deer like zinnias?

Deer don’t like zinnias. One of the main reasons is its look and strong smells that deer don’t want anymore. It has beckoning blooms and a strong smell. These play the role to deter deer from the surroundings. But the fact is deer’s hungry.

When deer cannot find any palpable grass or tree, they eat pretty much anything they see around them. They will eat zinnias and other anti-deer plants as well. In that case, you can use anti-repellent spray or use any different smells that deer don’t like.

However, deer love to nib on young flowers. So, if you just plant zinnias and they start to bloom, you cannot resist deer from eating them.

They love to nibble on young flowers. So, if you have deer in your locality, you should take other cautions to deter deer from the garden.

Are zinnia deer resistant?

Zinnia has bright and sharp leaves and pungent smells. That’s why zinnias are deer resistant. But they are not 100% deer deter plants. They can help you to get rid of deer. Therefore, you should do some other activities to resist deer.

In that case, you can follow our tips and the best ways to talk about in the below section. But for the time being, you should know that zinnia is not entirely a deer-resistant plant. You cannot rely on it.

Most of the deer love to nibble on the young flowers and will enjoy eating them. On the other hand, they will devour zinnias and other deer-resistant plants when they don’t find their favorite palatable plants.

That means there is no single plant on the earth that can genuinely resist deer. They can have strong or pungent smells, but deer will not care that when they go hungry. That’s the reason you cannot rely on zinnias entirely.

4 reasons why deer do not like zinnia

If you search for why deer don’t like zinnias, you will find many different reasons. We also look for the same and find some excellent reasons that truly repel deer.

Sharp leaves:

First thing first, zinnias leaves are sharp and shaped. That’s not ideal for deer eating. Therefore, deer refuse to eat them for their looks. It is the first appearance reason why deer do not like zinnia.

Pungent smell:

The zinnia flowers contain a pungent smell that seems like a toxin for other animals except for human beings.

Therefore, most insects and other pests remain away from the garden. That’s another reason why deer don’t like zinnia.

Bad taste:

Though the young blooms of the zinnias attract deer, they don’t taste good. These flowers have a strong taste that most animals don’t like. Therefore, deer don’t like the taste of zinnia flowers either.

Human-friendly plants:

Zinnias are human-friendly plants. That’s why they are considered the anti-deer plant around the world.

It doesn’t seem good for the deer and other animals and insects. That’s another reason why deer do not like zinnia.

These are the four most important reasons why zinnia is considered the anti-deer plant and why deer don’t like zinnia either. You may find other reasons as well. But these are the most crucial points. And, they are all legit points that will deter deer from the garden.

What happens if deer eat zinnias?

If deer eat zinnias, they will digest them without having any major health issues. But zinnias are not the ideal leaves for the deer.

They might get sick if they overeat zinnias flowers and leaves on a regular basis. Therefore, you should not let deer eat zinnias frequently.

Deer only eat zinnias when they cannot find their favorite grass or plants. They also go crazy while hungry; in fact, they cannot bear being hungry and starve for days. That’s the main reason why deer eat zinnias though it’s not safe for them.

Overeating of zinnias flowers and leaves will create stomach issues, and deer will create gas on their stomach. As a result, their entire digestive system will be disturbed. That’s another reason why they don’t like zinnias.

On the other hand, if they eat zinnias once a week, they will not face any issues. They might love to eat the young flowers of the zinnias. Mainly, deer love nibbling on young and bright flowers. They have a natural tendency to devour bright-looking flowers.

What is eating my zinnia?

There are some insects and animals that can eat your zinnias. Among them, beetles, deer, and aphids are primarily common.


Most of the aphids love to live on zinnia flowers. One of the main reasons it’s the smell.

Mainly, zinnia doesn’t seem to have any pungent smell to the aphids and other insects. Therefore, aphids love to eat zinnia flowers and leaves.


here is the most dangerous insect that will devour your zinnias. If you don’t spray any repellent on your zinnias, you will notice that beetles are there to take their meal from your zinnias. Beetles are eating your zinnias for sure.


If you live in any deer area or your house is near to the forest, you might find that deer are eating your zinnias. If you fail to protect zinnias from deer, they will eat the entire plants and will ruin your garden too.


Another insect or pest that also loves to eat is earwigs. They have a tendency to eat leaves and flowers.

Therefore, when they find zinnias flowers, they will not search for other food sources. They will start living on zinnias and devour the leaves.


Butterflies love to sit on zinnias and other flower plants. They will help your flower plants to grow quickly and bloom. But their larva is harmful to the plants. Butterfly larvae are known as caterpillars.

These insects will eat pretty much every leaf and create issues on the flower plants. That’s why you will need to spray on them using neem oil or any other anti-insect spray. You can also make the natural spray using different leaves and roots.

Final Thoughts

Mostly, deer don’t like zinnias, but when they are hungry, they become crazy. In that case, if they fail to find any edible plants, deer will start eating zinnias. But zinnias are not deer-friendly plants. They are considered as the anti-deer plants of the garden; therefore, you can plant them.

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