If you have a garden and there are deer in the area, you’ve got to know how to protect your flowers. After all, deer are herbivores, and they enjoy eating a wide variety of plants and flowers. But maybe you’re wondering if deer even eat mums (chrysanthemums) at all. So, let’s find out: do deer eat mums?
This is vital information if you take fall decor and curb appeal seriously. Mums are a staple of fall decorating – some may say as much as pumpkins.
If deer eat mums and you want them to feature on your property, you’ve got to take proactive protective steps.
Do Deer Eat Mums? (Answered)
Yes! Deer will certainly eat mums (chrysanthemums) whenever they get the chance. Even if you’ve heard otherwise, mums are not poisonous to deer.
If you live in an area with deer and you have mums in your garden, you’ll have to take proactive steps to protect them from those pesky cervids.
What Are Mums?
Chrysanthemums, also known as mums, are flowering plants. They are photoperiodic, meaning that they bloom when the days become shorter.
In addition to enhancing the appearance of your garden, they also help control air pollution and help repel insects.
Are Deer Attracted to Mums?
Yes! If you have chrysanthemums in your garden and deer are nearby, they’ll want to eat your mums. When cervids raid chrysanthemums, they tend to leave only splintered leaves, ugly stubs, and rough stalks.
What Animals Eat Mums?
Deer aren’t the only animal that eats mums. Some other animals that eat these flowers are listed below:
However, tiny insects tend to cause the most damage to your mums. These are:
- Leaf miners
What is Eating My Mums?
If you find mums in your garden destroyed and can’t figure out what animal is to blame, look out for these signs.
Are There Deer in Your Area?
If you reside in an area with deer, they’re probably the primary culprit. When deer eat mums, they generally leave plants with the leaves torn or ripped off, leaving jagged edges.
Have You Put Acorns or Bird Food in Your Yard?
Squirrels love acorns, so if you’ve put any of those nuts in your yard (or have an oak tree on your property), these animals may have inadvertently caused damage to your mums.
Bird food attracts squirrels, and deer, so think carefully about where you place your feeders.
Do You See Aphids and/or Fungus?
Chrysanthemum aphids (Macrosiphoniella Sanborni) are a common pest affecting mums.
These aphids are found on mums and feed on the flower buds, fresh shoots, and undersides of leaves. They’ll even feed on the fresh shoots. and even fresh shoots.
They’re usually black or brown. The telling sign of aphids attacking your mums is that they leave behind honeydew as they pierce mums and drink the sap, which causes sooty mold fungus.
Are there Signs of Leaf Miner Insects?
Another insect that attacks mums is the leaf miner (Phytomyza syngenesiae); they lay eggs on the undersides of leaves. The larvae burrow into the leaves after hatching and then live within them.
They feed on the leaves, leaving brown or pale trails behind them until they turn into dark flies about 1/8 inches long.
Are There Yellow Pin-Prick Marks on the Leaves?
The two-spotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) aren’t picky about the plants they attack, leaving chrysanthemums vulnerable. Instead, they consume sap from plants that cause leaves to show yellow pin-prick marks.
These pin-pricks are difficult to spot. But if you use a magnifying glass, you’ll likely observe a stippling effect and streaks on the foliage.
Also, look out for withering leaves, discolored flowers, and delicate webbing that shows where the mites have moved from leaves to stems to flowers.
Are There Signs of Other Insect Infestations?
There are also other insects that can attack chrysanthemums, degrading the foliage and killing mums in the course of infestations. They include spittlebugs, beetles, thrips, caterpillars, four-lined plants, stem borers, and tarnished plant bugs.
How to Stop Deer and Other Animals from Eating Your Mums?
Here are some tips to help you repel deer that are pests and insist on eating and destroying your mums.
You can use a variety of products and methods for deterring deer. We’ll go over them below.
Use Deer Repellents Scents
You can find several deer repellent sprays on the market.
Follow the instructions that come on the packaging for how and when to spray to keep away deer. These products are effective because cervids dislike their smell.
If you want something natural, there are certainly recipes out there that you can try. Some homeowners like adding a heavy sprinkling of cayenne pepper around their mums.
Fence In Your Property
Of all the options we’ve listed here, this is the most expensive and time-consuming. And you’ve got to make sure the fence is at least eight feet tall. Deer are high jumpers.
Plant Deer-Resistant Plants
It’s a great idea to surround your mums with deer-resistant plants. Look for deer-resistant flowers that deer strongly dislike, so they’re less likely to approach your mums.
Plant Your Mums Close to the House
Planting your mums close to your house where there is generally a lot of human activity should make deer less likely to eat them.
What Do Deer Like and Dislike?
Deer like to eat plants, including sedges, leaves, grasses, shoots, and woody plants that are available. They also like hickory nuts, acorns, beechnut acorns, pecans, blackberries, blueberries, persimmons, and apples.
Deer may even nibble on tree bark when food sources are scarce.
Deer dislike several heavily fragrant flowers. Examples include:
- purple coneflowers
- lily of the valley
- butterfly bush
- pot marigold
- bleeding heart
- bearded iris
- lamb’s ear
They also stay away from toxic and poisonous plants.
Yes, Deer Do Eat Mums
If you want to include mums (chrysanthemums) in your garden, be cautious about deer in your area. These are definitely among the flowers that deer love to eat.
Let’s review the strategies for saving your mums that we’ve revealed here:
- Use deer-repellent sprays
- Fence in your property
- Surround your mums with deer-resistant plants
- Plant your mums close to the house