Do Deer Eat Lilies? (Are Lilies Poisonous to Deer)?

So, are lilies poisonous to deer? Generally, common Lilies are not poisonous to Deer. However, some types of Lilies may be toxic to Deer when consumed in large quantities.


There are several factors that can come into play when it comes to whether deer eat lilies or not. 

For instance, there are over 100 species of liliesLilies and they all grow in different environments and climates across North America. 

Some types of lilies (such as tiger lily) will attract deer like flies on honey, whereas others won’t go anywhere near.

So if you’re curious about deer eating your favorite variety of lily, here is a list of lilies that deer simply cannot get enough of:

1. Tiger Lily 

Deer just can’t seem to tear themselves away from this flower! This large orange beauty of a flower is definitely one of the deer’s favorite kinds of lilies. 

This particular type is just as enchanting and brings deer running. The only difference is that it’s much less appealing to humans with its toxicity for people.

2. Easter Lilies 

This springtime species of lily brings to mind visions of days gone by with its sweet, innocent white color and a petite yellow center. What it lacks in size, however, it makes up for in sweetness.

Deer just love this delicate flower on Easter morning! It also doesn’t have too short or too long of a life span so the deer get to enjoy it more often.

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3. Daylily 

The color scheme of this type of lily is nothing if not striking- bright orange petals surround golden centers while standing out against dark green leaves. 

The contrast between colors gives off an aura that is nothing but warm. This might be why deer love this flower so much because it’s one of the few flowers to survive their cold-weather eating habits.

4. Oriental Lily 

Deer eat these beautiful lilies every chance they get. They are large in size and have an alluring orange color with an elegant white stripe down the middle of each petal. 

The great thing about these lilies is that deer usually don’t hit them too hard because they take a long while to grow, making them less appealing for food due to their time-consuming nature for the deer.

5. Stargazer Lily 

This yellow beauty definitely attracts deer, especially when it’s for the picking early in the morning!

6. Calla Lily 

Perhaps the deer are calling this plant because it just has that effect on them! Deer love Calla Lilies so much that they will eat them right down to their roots if you let them.

This is one flower that’s definitely not left in your garden for long. It’s also always a pleasure to have around for its color-it gives off an air of happiness and fun which brings us to another important point about whether lilies are poisonous or not.

Lily Classification

GenusLilium; L.

How To Prevent Deers From Eating Lilies

What makes them even more appetizing for these animals is their smell. Unfortunately, this means that your beloved trumpet lilies will probably be eaten down to the stalk if you place them in an area where there are Deer around. 

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But don`t worry because there are ways for preventing this from happening. The following will give you some possible solutions.

1. Plant The Lilies In A Large Planter

If you place your trumpet lilies in a big enough planter there is less of a chance that the deer will be able to reach them while jumping over or tunneling under it. 

This doesn`t work for all types of deer though since some are able to jump up onto furniture. 

Also keep in mind that if they are hungry enough, Deers might attempt to eat the flowers off the plant itself which could lead to broken stalks.

2. Placing An Electric Fence Around The Lilies

Just like with any other animal, deer have a strong instinct not to come too close to anything electrical because they know it poses a danger for them. The best way to make use of this is by placing an electric fence around your lilies. 

It can be either battery-powered or plug-in and it will keep out not only the deer but also other animals that would otherwise snack on its flowers as well.

3. Use A Repellent Spray

There are a couple of different types of commercial repellent sprays you can buy at a local garden store that will hopefully prevent the Deers from snacking on your trumpet lilies. 

They contain ingredients such as blood, rotten eggs, or hot sauce which are unpleasant for these animals to eat because they taste bad. 

Just remember that this kind of spray needs to be reapplied after several heavy rainfalls since it washes away quite quickly.

4. Using A Repellent Powder

Another type of deterrent you could potentially use for keeping deer away from your trumpet lilies is a powder that is sprinkled around the plant and its surroundings. 

One example would be blood meal mixed with bone meal and shreds of barbed wire which causes bad cuts when eaten by deer as well as helps to keep the insects away. 

However, this method works best if it`s done before you plant or once flowers are already blooming since it won`t do much good afterward.

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5. Placing Human Hair Around The Lilies

This tip might sound quite odd but one study has shown that placing human hair near plants was extremely effective in keeping Deer away.

It did have one condition though: the hair had to be placed in a way so that it was visible to the animal and not hidden. 

The theory is still unclear why this kind of deterrent works but somehow Deer might find it unpleasant to come near anything that smells like human beings.

6. Using A Homemade Spray Made From Rotten Eggs

All you need for this one are some old rotten eggs which you leave outside near your trumpet lilies until they start smelling really bad. 

Then simply add water and dish soap and mix everything together until it becomes a liquid. 

Afterward, use a garden hose or watering can and pour the mixture around your flowers and on top of their foliage since it will make them less appetizing to deer if they get wet with this stuff.

7. Using Some White Vinegar

Another ingredient that might be familiar to you and probably already in your kitchen is white vinegar. This one works similarly to the rotten egg spray because it will keep Deer away from your trumpet lilies if they come near and smell it on them. 

Just mix water and plain vinegar (the cheap kind) together and then pour or spray it onto their leaves and blooms – this should do the trick.

8. Using A Motion-Activated Sprinkler

This type of motion-activated sprinkler can be quite useful for keeping deer away from any plant you care about since they don`t like the sound of moving water which startles them or spooks them off. 

The device uses batteries that need to be replaced now and then but it works for most people.

9. Using A Motion-Activated Light

This is another type of deterrent that uses different ingredients to scare deer but it operates on the same principle as the first one – using sudden noises, lights, or movements to keep them away from your trumpet lilies. 

The good thing about this device is that you can actually buy ready-to-use solar ones which are powered by batteries and need no extra input whatsoever. All you have to do is place it somewhere near where your flowers are growing so that it`s facing towards them at all times.

10. Keeping An Organic Dog Around Might Be Worth Trying

It`s not impossible that keeping an organic dog around your garden will help because deer usually don`t like to meet dogs at all. As long as your furry friend is chained up somewhere near your trumpet lilies, it will most likely scare away the deer rather than letting them sniff around for food.

Why Deers Love Eating Lilies

Deer are herbivorous creatures who love eating plants. However, there are some plants that they do not eat. Let us look at the top five reasons why deer love eating lilies.

Read Also:- 10 Deer Resistant Plants for Shade (Easy to Grow)

1). Lilies Are Poisonous To Other Animals

The specific type of lily that deer eat is referred to as Tiger Lilies or Day Lilies, both of which contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids that are poisonous to other animal species. This makes deer one of the few animals that can safely ingest these types of plants. 

It is believed that this adaptation developed in response to their diet requiring large quantities of vegetation for them to survive on a daily basis. 

Because other predators will avoid these particular lily varieties due to their toxicity, deer have been able to utilize a food source that would otherwise be unavailable. 

This becomes a serious advantage in times where food is scarce, and can even aid them in raising their young during the lean winter months.

2). The Nutritional Value Of Lilies Provides For All Their Dietary Needs

The tiger lily contains decent quantities of Vitamin A, C, and D. In addition to these vitamins which are essential for good health, they also contain other beneficial minerals such as magnesium, potassium, manganese, and iron. 

These nutrients provide the necessary building blocks for strong bones and muscles along with energy production via glucose breakdown from carbohydrates found in lilies.

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3). Deer Can Obtain All Required Amino Acids From This One Source Alone

Just like humans, deer are required to ingest a variety of different types of food in order to get all the amino acids that their bodies need. 

Luckily, lilies contain a complete source of protein with all nine essential amino acids which deer’s bodies cannot produce on their own. 

This is why it is not uncommon for people to see deer eating from dry pet food sources near homes and businesses during winter time when natural vegetation is scarce.

4). Deer Can Feed On Them For Months On End

Tiger Lilies or Day Lilies will continue producing new leaves throughout most of the summer. As they do so, new flowers also open up at the top of each stalk while older ones fade away at the bottom. 

By late September however, these plants go into a resting period which forces the deer to begin their search for other food sources. 

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Since most vegetation is also beginning to wilt by this time, most deer will migrate down from the mountainous regions where they spent summer. 

This is in order to find better conditions with more abundant resources where they can wait out winter until lilies once again become available.

5). The High Protein Content Makes Them Particularly Tasty

Protein provides the body with a source of energy that later gets converted into carbohydrates via a long metabolic process within cells throughout the body. As a result, protein-rich foods tend to taste sweeter than those comprising primarily of fat or carbs alone. 

This may be one reason why specific types of lilies are preferred by deer as opposed to those growing around them. 

In addition to the nutritional value, deer often eat them right from the source since they are available in large quantities which can provide enough nourishment to last for months during wintertime. 

This is also one of the reasons why lilies and other types of poisonous plants that deer will eat have become a major concern for many homeowners and business owners who reside near wooded regions where these animals live.


In this informative blog, discover strategies to protect your lilies from deer damage. Learn about the types of lilies deer prefer and effective deterrent methods. Gain insights into natural and commercial solutions, empowering you to safeguard your lilies and preserve their beauty.


With this knowledge, we hope you understand why deers love eating lilies now.

So next time you see a sign warning you about such or if you own a garden with such flowers, be sure to take extra caution when doing any activity around it so as not to get hurt.

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


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