Are Petunias Deer Resistant? (read this first)

Surprisingly, most perennial plants in your garden actually attract Deer and other animals. What about the beautiful Petunias? Are Petunias deer resistant?

petunias | Plant Gardener

The answer is NO! Petunias are not deer resistant. In fact, Petunias just like Impatiens attract Deer. Once spotted, Deer may be inclined to eat the sweet scented flowers and even destroy the plants.

When planting your petunias, consider using cedar or other natural repellents to discourage deer from eating your plants.

List of Deer-resistant Perennials:

1. Green Velvet Boxwood10. Astilbe
2. Daylillies11. Pretty Belinda Yarrow
3. Creeping Elfin Thyme12. Peonies
4. Dwarf Gold Thread Cypress13. Coral Bells
5. Dead Nettle14. Burgundy Glow Barberry
6. Snow on the Mountain or Bishop Weed15. Compact Holly
7. Japanese Painted Fern16. Colorado Blue Spruce
8. Dianthus17. Norway Spruce
9. Silver MoundHonorable Mention: Hosta

What is Petunia Deer Resistant?

Family:  Phytolaccaceae (Pokeweed)

Genus: Petunia

Species: X hybrida

The term “petunia deer resistance” refers to how well a given plant can withstand being eaten by animals. Some people think this term basically means “petunias that the deer will not eat.” 

This thought process seems reasonable to some degree because if an animal won’t eat it then it wouldn’t ever be considered deer resistant right? However, there is more to it than just that.

Read Also:- Do Deer Eat Impatiens? (Yes, here’s why)

Deer Shed Their Teeth Regularly

One big factor that people don’t consider when they think about the “deer resistance” of a plant is that deer’s teeth grow continuously. A new set of teeth will be coming in at all times. 

If a deer eats something and its teeth get tired out, it moves on to another food source until new teeth have grown in again. This means that any given type of forage for a deer can only be eaten so much before it’s gone from being completely new growth all the time.

A Plant That Is Deer Resistant Will Still Get Eaten

The term “petunia deer resistance” does not mean that if you plant petunias your petunias won’t get eaten by the local herd of whitetail (or whatever kind of deer might be hanging out nearby). 

What it means is that your petunias will still get eaten, but they won’t get completely devoured like other plants.

The deer may eat the whole plant down to the ground during one feeding session, but it will grow back. This cycle can repeat itself for quite some time before all of the flowers begin to disappear. 

If you purchase any type of “deer-resistant” plant this should be what you expect to experience in your yard (not no damage at all ever). 

It’s important to remember that having something with “deer-resistant” status doesn’t mean that the animals lose their appetite for it like eating cardboard or anything ridiculous like that.”

What is the best time of year to plant petunias?

The best time of year to plant petunias is spring or summer. You can also plant them in the fall if you wish, however, they will not bloom until the next growing season.

What kind of soil does Petunia require?

When planting Petunia you should use soil with good drainage and use fertilizer every three weeks during the growing season. You don’t want your plants to get root rot so ensure that the ground where you place your plants has good drainage. 

If you find that your plants are wilted after watering, don’t water them again because this could cause root rot and kill off your plants. Make sure when planting that you dig holes for each plant large enough so that you can spread out the roots.

Read Also:- Do Deer Eat Zinnia? (No, here’s why)

What is a good way to plant petunias in a container?

One easy way to plant petunias in a container is to use two smaller flowers and place them together, one upside down and the other right side up. Then gently spread out their roots before placing them into your pot. Fill around with commercial soil or potting soil. 

This ensures good drainage for your plants. Petunia also needs fertilizer every three weeks throughout its growing season so make sure that you fertilize it regularly as well as water it regularly to keep the soil moist but not soggy wet. 

Don’t allow standing water around your plant at any time because this could cause root rot and kill off your plants. 

Make sure that when watering your plant you water from below to avoid wetting the leaves which can cause disease. If you see a lot of insects around your petunia, treat it with an insecticide spray.

Petunia is a vine plant that needs lots of sunlight so make sure it gets lots of sunlight during its growing season in order to have beautiful flowers blooming all summer long. 

Once Petunia finishes flowering, cut off all its flower stalks and leave a few inches before cutting them back to allow new buds to sprout so you will have another round of beautiful flowers coming out next growing season.

What is a good way to prune petunias?

To prune petunias, simply remove the dead flowers from the plant and trim off any wilted leaves. You can also cut back or pinch the plants to keep them at the height you prefer.

Read Also:- Do Deer Eat Bee Balm? (Is It Deer-Repellent)?

How do you make a petunia more bushy?

To make a petunia more bushy, pinch out the center of your plant after it has started forming buds in order for it to branch out.

Petunias are deer resistant which makes them great for planting around your home! Make sure to use good soil with fertilizer every 3 weeks throughout its growing season for beautiful blooms all summer long.

If you treat petunia regularly with insecticide spray during its growing season, they will be resistant to pests like aphids.

Petunia Deer Resistant – Gardening with deer in mind

They are thought to be the number one plant destroyer in North America. Many gardeners have found that planting petunias will help protect their prized plants by using them as a deer repellent, while still adding color to the landscape.  

Petunias come in so many colors and types that there is no reason not to find something suitable within any budget for all areas of your yard or garden.

So if you want to try these easy-to-grow flowers to keep away hungry deer here’s how:

1). Choose varieties with large and coarsely textured flower heads – Choose varieties with large, coarsely textured flower heads such as “Double Wave” and “Wave Series.” You’ll know they’re working when you see the deer avoiding areas where petunias are grown.

2). Plant them where you want to protect your plants and landscape – Plant them in an area where you want to protect your plants and landscape not only from deer but also rabbits and woodchucks. They can even be used to keep these animals away from vegetable gardens and fruit trees. 

Remember that deer tend to avoid new growth of any kind, so planting new seedlings or young plants will work best. You’ll get quicker results if there is a food source close by for them such as your perennials, shrubs, or trees. 

In high-traffic areas around your home such as walkways, garden beds or near entryways add protection with fencing. Besides being a very effective barrier against hungry wildlife, it’s visually pleasing too.

So if you want to enjoy the colorful beauty of your flowers and protect them at the same time I suggest you give petunias a try.

Read Also:- Are Spider Plants Poisonous To Cats? (No, here’s why)

And remember, deer aren’t the only hungry animals in our yards. They also seem to love perennials and trees as well as shrubs, vegetables, and fruit so consider using them around those too.

Benefits of Planting Petunias Deer resistant

Not everyone wants to spend their time weeding. A sure-fire way to avoid the problem is by planting deer-resistant plants. 

While you can always hire someone to install a fence around your yard, it’s probably cheaper and easier to plant deer-resistant perennials in large containers near entryways and walkways.  

Deer will be less attracted to your space if they are not feasting on the flowers along the way. Petunias are a great choice for an annual or perennial flower as they require minimal care once planted. 

In fact, petunias tolerate drought conditions, survive light freezes, and even do well in shade.  According to Purdue University, petunias are deer-resistant perennials.

Petunia X hybrida is the most common species of Petunia grown today. These hardy annuals grow to about 30-60 cm tall and form mats with creeping main stems. 

The leaves are often ovate or heart-shaped and alternate up the stem. From early summer until autumn, petunias produce large flowers with colors ranging from red, white, pink, purple, blue, yellow, or bi-colored blossoms. In fact, some varieties boast as many as four different colors on a single flower.

This deer-resistant perennial is native to Brazil and Paraguay where it can be found growing wild along stream banks. Being a tropical wildflower, petunias prefer sun and heat. In the northern states where winters are long and summers short, this perennial does best as an annual.

Petunia X hybrida prefers well-drained soil with a neutral pH of 6.6-7.5. The deer-resistant perennial can be planted in full or partial sunlight where it should receive six hours or more of direct sunlight per day to flower properly. 

This deer-resistant perennial is drought tolerant once established but will produce more flowers if watered regularly during hot periods when first planted from seed or young plants being transferred from pots.

In general deer resistant perennials grow larger than their unprotected counterparts so they need to be spaced accordingly to allow for plenty of room for the roots. 

Keep in mind that deer-resistant perennials may need protection from slugs and snails which can quickly destroy a plant left unprotected by pesticides.

Read Also: Succulent Plants: Growing and Caring for Succulent Plants for Beginners

In “The Deer Resistant Perennial Garden” author Lora Irish lists several cultivars of Petunia X hybrida that are especially attractive to deer according to gardeners who have reported their sightings:

  • ‘Butterfly Deep Purple’
  • ‘Cascadia Mix’ (blooms all summer)
  • ‘Pearly White SHADES ‘ (white blooms with pearly purple centers)

Petunias make great companion plants and look stunning when paired with other deer-resistant perennials such as Asiatic lilies, daylilies, echinacea, and hellebores. 


Discover the secret to a deer-resistant garden with our guide on planting petunias. Uncover the beauty of petunias while safeguarding your blooms from deer intrusion. Our expert tips and insights provide a comprehensive understanding of petunias’ deer-resistant qualities. Elevate your gardening experience and enjoy a vibrant, protected garden oasis. Explore the world of petunias and ensure your garden remains a haven of beauty, untouched by deer. Dive into the article for essential knowledge on cultivating a deer-resistant landscape with the allure of petunias. 🌸🦌


Deer tend to stay away from petunias like the plague because of their acidic smell (you know how dogs get skunked? Same deal), but if you notice that your plants are getting eaten, it’s probably because there isn’t anything else to eat.

Practice good garden hygiene by removing dead plants and fruit, and make sure your soil is free of debris. 

You can also try planting petunias along fence lines or in other areas where deer don’t typically go–they tend to avoid tight spaces.

Another option is planting something gross around your petunias. Deer hate garlic and onions just as much as we do, so why not plant some alliums nearby?

If you’re tired of weeding and watering the same old things every summer, go ahead and try something new. Petunias add a splash of color to any garden, and they’ll keep your local deer population running for the hills.

Read Also: 20 Best Privacy Shrubs for Your Garden retreat today


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