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Will Deer Eat Black Eyed Susans?

Growing a garden full of gorgeous plants is a dream for many homeowners, but choosing the right ones can be difficult.

You have to do more than just choose beautiful plants for your garden. It’s also important to consider how the plants you grow may affect your immediate surroundings.

For instance, have you considered how the plants you’re growing may be perceived by the surrounding wildlife? Fail to take that into account and your garden could end up being bare due to all the animals dropping by and grazing on your plants.

Deer, in particular, are known to enjoy plants that are growing out in the open so don’t be surprised if they take an interest in your garden. You may be unwittingly inviting deer to gorge themselves on your garden because of the plants you’ve chosen.

In search of plants that will not whet the appetite of deer in your area, you may have considered potentially caring for flowers known as black eyed Susans.

Will deer eat black eyed Susans growing in your garden or will they leave them alone and look elsewhere for their food? Learn the answer to that question along with more information about other relevant topics by continuing with the rest of this article.

Do Deer Eat Black Eyed Susans?

After finally deciding that you want to grow some black eyed Susans on your property, you may be wondering if any deer in the area will take an interest in them.

Most of the time, wild deer will indeed pass on eating the black eyed Susans they find.

Black eyed Susans possess certain qualities that deer find unappealing in their food so they will just continue their search for sustenance instead. Deer may still eat black eyed Susans, but that is a rare occurrence.

The main reason why deer find black eyed Susans unappealing as food is due to the hairs that grow on them.

Those hairs cannot be easily ignored by the deer because they have a coarse texture and they are also quite spiky on top of that.

Deer will struggle with the coarse and spiky hair covering the black eyed Susans so you can understand why they may pass on them in favor of other plants that are easier to eat.

It is also worth pointing out that deer are not the only herbivores that refrain from eating black eyed Susans due to the aforementioned reasons.

Other animals that eat plants like raccoons and rabbits will also decide against eating black eyed Susans due to how uncomfortable they are to consume.

You can effectively discourage wild animals from dining in your garden by greeting them with those black eyed Susans so feel free to use them.

Are Black Eyed Susans Safe For Deers To Eat?

We now know that deer aren’t exactly fond of black eyed Susans, but you may still have some questions before deciding to grow that plant.

For example, you may be wondering if that particular plant is even safe for deer to consume. The assumption is that black eyed Susans are not safe for deer to eat for two specific reasons.

The first reason has to do with those hairs that we talked about earlier and the second is related to that plant’s toxicity.

Focusing first on the hairs that cover black eyed Susans, they are tough and potentially dangerous to consume for deer because they can easily get stuck in their throat.

A deer eating black eyed Susans may start to suffocate on their meal and they may not be able to spit out the problematic hairs right away. That could be a life-threatening experience for the deer and it could even prove fatal if they get unlucky.

Black eyed Susans are also known for being poisonous and that fact could very well come into play if they are consumed by deer.

The poisonous effects that black eyed Susans can differ from one animal to the next as some have only experienced discomfort while others have suffered from more serious issues.

The exact effect that black eyed Susans can have on deer is not known, but it’s reasonable to assume that they will suffer some ill effects at the very least.

Why Do Some Deer Eat Black Eyed Susans?

Throughout we’ve established that black eyed Susans are not exactly the best plants for deer and other wild herbivores to munch on. Even so, you may have heard about deer eating black eyed Susans in the past from friends or family members.

Given how dangerous black eyed Susans are to them, you may be wondering why deer still continue to bother with those plants. The answer to that question could be something as simple as the deer trying to survive.

Deer subsist mainly on plants so they are likely to take an interest in any flowers they stumble upon and those include black eyed Susans.

Without knowing about the potential dangers that black eyed Susans present, the deer may decide to dine on them in order to satisfy their hunger. It’s only after they’ve already started eating that they may realize just how harmful those black eyed Susans actually were.

Also, deer can become desperate for food if they haven’t consumed all the nutrients they need. They may spot the black eyed Susans and eat them without caring much for the potential risks that accompany such a decision.

In some cases, deer have even been known to eat eggs and chicks because of how desperate they are to get the nutrition they need.


A typical deer’s diet is made up mostly of plants, but that does not necessarily mean they will eat everything they come across during their travels. Black eyed Susans, in particular, are unappealing to deer because they are potentially poisonous and the fact that they feature coarse and spiky hairs that are difficult to digest. If you’ve had issues with deer dropping by your property and eating your plants, you can try to discourage them from doing that again by growing some black eyed Susans.