Do Deer Like To Eat Mums? (Chrysanthemums)

Deer are known for their tendency to forage and eat leafy greens. However, when it comes to chrysanthemums, do deer eat mums? The answer is yes, deer do like to eat mums. While mums may not be their first choice of food, deer will devour these beautiful plants if there is a scarcity of other food sources.

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons behind deer's appetite for mums and discuss strategies to protect your chrysanthemums from becoming a delightful meal for these creatures. So, if you're a gardener looking to safeguard your vibrant mums, keep reading to learn more.

Do Deer Eat Mums?

If you're a gardener or plant lover, you may have wondered, "Do deer eat mums?" Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Deer are known to find mums, also known as chrysanthemums, quite attractive and tasty. Mums have tender leaves and blooms, making them a tempting treat for deer, especially when other food sources are scarce. 

Whitetail deer love to eat plants and flowers like chrysanthemums in the fall.  Pumpkins are another plant that deer like to eat in the Fall.  

To prevent deer from devouring your beloved mums, there are several effective strategies you can employ. One approach is to use natural deterrents and repellents. These can include products with scents or tastes that are unappealing to deer, such as garlic or hot pepper sprays. Another option is to utilize fences and netting to create physical barriers around your plants. This can be particularly effective if the barriers are tall and sturdy enough to prevent deer from reaching the mums.

Ways To Protect Your Mums From Deer

Natural Repellents and Deterrents

Use natural repellents or deterrents to make the plants less attractive to deer.
Consider installing fences or netting to create a physical barrier around your mums.
Choose plants that are less appealing to deer as companion plants or alternatives to mums.
Rotate different deterrent methods to keep deer from becoming accustomed to any one method.
Regularly inspect and maintain your barriers to ensure they remain effective.
By implementing these strategies, you can hopefully keep your mums safe from the hungry mouths of deer and enjoy their vibrant beauty for longer.

Why Are Mums So Attractive To Deer?

Deer are attracted to mums for several reasons. Firstly, mums have a high nutritional value, making them a desirable food source for deer. Mums contain a variety of nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, and minerals, which are essential for deer's growth and survival. Additionally, mums have a strong aroma, which can attract deer from a distance. The fragrance of mums is appealing to deer, and they can easily detect it using their keen sense of smell. Lastly, mums are typically planted in open areas, which provide easy access for deer to graze on them.  Mums are 

Deer Are Attracted To Mums As Food Because:

  • Nutritional value: Mums are rich in nutrients that are beneficial for deer's diet.
    Aromatic scent: The strong fragrance of mums lures deer and attracts them to the plants.
  • Easy accessibility: Mums are often planted in open areas, making them easily accessible for grazing deer.

How To Prevent Deer From Damaging Your Mums

If you're wondering how to protect your mums from deer, there are several effective strategies you can employ. Here are some options to consider:

  • Natural deterrents and repellents: Some plants, like garlic and mint, have strong odors that deer find repulsive. Planting these around your mums can help deter deer from approaching them.
  • Fences And Netting: Installing fencing or netting around your mums can create a physical barrier that prevents deer from accessing them. Make sure the fence is at least 8 feet tall to effectively deter deer

Natural deterrents and repellents

When it comes to protecting your mums from deer, natural deterrents and repellents can be effective solutions. Here are some options to consider:

Strong Scents

Deer have a keen sense of smell, so using strong-smelling substances can deter them. Some natural options include hanging bags of mothballs or bars of soap near the mums, scattering human hair around the plants, or spraying a mixture of garlic and water on the foliage.

Spicy Sprays

Certain spices like cayenne pepper can irritate a deer's sense of taste and smell. Mixing hot pepper sauce or chili powder with water and spraying it on the mums can create a strong deterrent.


Deer dislike the strong scent of mint, so planting mint varieties near the mums can help keep them away. Additionally, spraying a peppermint oil solution on the plants can act as a repellent.

Repellent plants

Some plants naturally repel deer due to their taste or scent. Consider planting deer-resistant flowers such as marigolds, lavender, or yarrow near your mums to create a barrier.

Ultrasonic Devices

Ultrasonic devices emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant to deer but are generally undetectable to humans. These devices can be placed near the mums to discourage deer from approaching.

It's important to note that while these natural deterrents and repellents can be effective, they may need to be reapplied regularly, especially after rainfall. Combining multiple strategies and rotating them periodically can also increase their efficacy.

Physical Barriers Like Fences

Using fences and netting is an effective strategy for keeping deer away from mums. Fences should be at least 8 feet tall to prevent deer from jumping over them. They should also be sturdy and securely anchored to the ground to prevent deer from pushing them over. Netting can be used to cover individual plants or entire flower beds. It should be securely fastened and placed high enough to prevent deer from reaching the foliage. Here are some tips for using fences and netting to protect mums from deer:

  • Install fences or netting before mums start to bloom to prevent deer from developing a taste for them.
  • Make sure the fencing or netting is tight and doesn't have any gaps where deer can squeeze through.
  • Consider using deer repellents in conjunction with fencing or netting for added protection.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain the fences or netting to ensure they remain intact and effective.
  • If using netting, be mindful of its visibility to birds or other wildlife that may become trapped in it.

  • Choose the right type of barrier:
    • There are various types of barriers that can be used to keep deer away from your mums, including fences, netting, and cages. Consider the size of your garden and the level of deer activity in your area to determine the most suitable option.
  • Install the barrier properly:
    • Ensure that the barrier is securely installed to prevent deer from accessing your mums. This may involve burying the bottom of the fence or netting to prevent deer from squeezing underneath.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain the barrier:
    • Check the barrier regularly for any damage or areas of weakness. Repair or replace any damaged sections to ensure that the barrier remains effective.

  • Consider adding additional deterrents:
    • While barriers can be highly effective, combining them with natural deterrents or repellents can provide an extra layer of protection. Consider using deer-resistant plants, applying repellent sprays, or using motion-activated devices.

Remember, no method is 100% foolproof, but by implementing these tips, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of deer damaging your mums.

This article was updated on August 16, 2023