While it is true that deers do eat dahlias, the information you are looking for typically refers to elk. Elk consume large amounts of vegetation, which includes both plants and animals. Dahlia may be an occasional treat, but it is not a major part of their diet. If you live in an area where deer are a common sight, it is important to be aware of the plants they may eat and what can be done to protect them. Dahlia flowers are at risk due to their sweet nectar and intricate designs. Tips for protecting dahlias from deer include fencing off areas around your plants, keeping tall shrubs close to the ground so they cannot reach high enough to snag blooms, and discouraging browsing by providing browseable vegetation elsewhere on your property. To know more, keep on reading!
Factors that Affect Deers’ Diet
Many people believe that dahlias are somewhat deer-resistant, but this is not true. There is nothing preventing deer from consuming them other than they do not particularly enjoy them. So what factors determine whether or not the deer in your area will consume your dahlias?
Food scarcity is one of the most influential factors in deer eating habits. Deer are scavengers and will seek out easy food sources. If food is scarce, they may need to forage in areas such as your garden beds where they normally would not. They will even consume foods they would not normally consume, such as dahlias.
Summer and spring are peak seasons for deer activity. Numerous female deer are pregnant, while others care for their young. This means they will require significantly more food for survival, development, and growth.
At these times of the year, your attractive dahlias are in full bloom and will appear appetizing to any foraging deer in the area.
Dietary Practices and Regional Variations
It is common knowledge that most deer dislike eating dahlias, but regional preferences do vary. In regions with few deer, competition for food and foraging grounds is minimal. This suggests that dahlias may not be at the top of the deer’s priority list.
In areas with many deer, competition for food is fiercer, and your attractive, succulent dahlias may be on the menu.
3 Animal-Friendly Ways to Safeguard Your Dahlias from Deers
If you have a beautiful flower garden and want to protect your dahlias from hungry deer in your area, you can take the following steps:
Make a Record of How Many Deer Are Present
Before planting your first dahlia, it is prudent to determine how many deer are active in your area. Inquire with the neighbors if necessary.
Due to competition for food sources, there is a chance that deer will be interested in your dahlias if there are many deer in the area. If you only see deer occasionally, you may live in an area where there are few deer or abundant alternative food sources.
This increases the likelihood that your dahlias are safe to plant.
Plant Companion Plants that are Deer Resistant
Planting companion plants that are deer resistant can help to deter deer from damaging your plants. Some of the best options include lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis), scarlet runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus), mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens), and whorled aster (Oclemina acuminata). These plants have potent chemicals that repel deer, making them less likely to browse or damage your foliage.
Additionally, adding trees near your garden can also be effective in protecting your plants. Not only do they provide a natural barrier against deer, but their dense branches also make it difficult for critters to climb up high enough to reach flowers or fruits.
Sage is a plant that deer dislike. Sage is a pleasant-smelling herb that can be used in cooking for humans. Its strong odor repels deer, so if you plant it around your dahlia patch, they will be less likely to eat your flowers.
Use a Fence or Barrier
If nothing else is effective, or if you live in an area where deer are prevalent, and food competition is so intense that they will ignore sage plantings, it is time to erect a fence.
Make sure the erect fence is at least six feet tall so deer cannot jump over it to reach your dahlias and other plants.