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Do Deer Eat Impatiens? How to Guard Your Garden Favorites

Gardening often comes with its set of challenges and questions, one of the most common being, “Do deer eat impatiens?” As colorful blooms beckon wildlife, understanding deer behavior becomes pivotal for every passionate gardener.

What Are Impatiens?


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Impatiens, often termed the ‘jewels of the shade,’ have long been favored for their ability to brighten up shaded areas in gardens across the globe.

Native to parts of Africa and South Asia, these vibrant flowering plants come in a delightful array of colors, from the softest pastels to the most vivid hues. The variety doesn’t stop at color alone; their blooms can be single, semi-double, or even double, each presenting a distinct visual appeal.

In many gardens, they serve as the dependable backdrop, ensuring a consistent splash of color from late spring until the first frost. They thrive in moist, well-draining soil, preferring locations that are shielded from the harsh afternoon sun.

But it’s not just their beauty and resilience that make them popular; impatiens have an ease of care that appeals to both beginner gardeners and seasoned experts alike. Beyond the garden, in some of their native regions, impatiens have historically found a place in traditional medicine, hinting at their multifaceted significance.

This combination of aesthetic allure, adaptability, and cultural value ensures impatiens hold a special place in the heart of horticulture enthusiasts worldwide.

Do Deer Eat Impatiens? Why?


The question, “Do deer eat impatiens?”, unfortunately for many gardeners, is met with an affirming nod. But what draws these gentle herbivores to these specific plants? Take a look at the following reasons:

Deer’s Dietary Habits: Deer have expansive and often opportunistic dietary habits, and impatiens are among their favored plants.

Tender and Nutritious: Impatiens have tender stems and leaves, making them an easy and appealing snack for deer, especially young ones or those with dental challenges.

Moisture Content: The water-rich nature of impatiens can be a source of both hydration and nutrition, especially in regions or seasons with limited water availability.

Sensory Attraction: The colors and mild scent of impatiens can attract deer. While these features primarily serve to attract pollinators, they inadvertently draw deer attention as well.

Variability in Deer Preference: Individual deer preferences, regional plant availability, and seasonal changes can influence whether impatiens are consumed. In some scenarios, they might be a primary target, while in others, they may remain untouched.

How to Stop Deer from Eating Your Impatiens?


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Gardeners who’ve faced the plight of deer munching on their treasured impatiens know how crucial it is to implement preventive measures. Deer, though elegant and often enchanting, can become quite the garden menace. If you’re looking to protect your impatiens from these graceful foragers, here are some effective strategies to consider:

1. Fencing

Perhaps the most effective deterrent, a fence around your garden can keep deer out. Ideally, it should be tall, around 7-8 feet, as deer are skilled jumpers. A double fence, even if shorter, can also be effective because deer are wary of jumping into confined spaces.

2. Deer Repellents

There are a host of commercial repellents available that can deter deer. These products often emit smells that deer find repugnant, discouraging them from approaching your plants. Remember to reapply after rain or at regular intervals for consistent protection.

3. Natural Remedies

Many gardeners swear by homemade mixtures to keep deer at bay. Solutions made with garlic, hot pepper, or even soap can deter deer. Egg-based sprays, owing to their sulfurous smell, can also be effective.

4. Plant Choices

Introducing plants that deer find unappetizing can serve as a protective buffer for your impatiens. Consider surrounding your impatiens with plants like lavender, sage, or rosemary, which deer generally avoid.

5. Noise and Movement

Deer are skittish creatures. Devices that emit sudden noises, motion-activated sprinklers, or even garden wind chimes can startle and deter them.

6. Garden Layout

Keeping impatiens closer to your home or in areas frequented by humans can deter deer, as they typically avoid areas with high human activity.

By integrating a combination of these strategies, you can create a more deer-resistant garden environment, allowing your impatiens to thrive undisturbed. Remember, consistency in deploying these deterrents is key to ensuring your garden remains a no-grazing zone for deer.

Will Impatiens Grow Back After Deer Eat Them?

Grow Back

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Impatiens, with their vivid blooms and lush greenery, undoubtedly hold a special place in many gardens. So, when deer feast on them, it’s natural to worry about the fate of these beloved plants. The good news is that impatiens, like many plants, are resilient and possess an inherent ability to rebound under the right conditions.

When deer browse on impatiens, they typically consume the tender top portions of the plant, leaving behind the main stem and roots. This leaves the plant’s foundational systems intact, allowing for potential regrowth. Here’s what you can expect and how to aid in their recovery:

Regrowth Potential: Impatiens, in most cases, can produce new shoots from nodes present on the remaining stem. While the plant might appear stunted initially, given time and proper care, it can recover and even flourish.

Optimal Care: To bolster their recovery, ensure that the impatiens are provided with ideal conditions. This means consistent watering, especially if there’s a lack of rainfall, and balanced fertilization to replenish nutrients and boost growth.

Protection: Once you’ve noticed deer damage, it’s essential to implement protective measures immediately. This could involve applying repellents or setting up barriers, ensuring that deer don’t return for a second helping.

Patience is Key: Recovery won’t be overnight. Depending on the extent of the damage, it can take several weeks for impatiens to regain their former glory. It’s crucial to remain patient and continue providing the necessary care.

Limitations: While many impatiens will bounce back after deer grazing, there are cases where the damage might be too extensive, particularly if deer have repeatedly browsed the same plants over a short period. In such situations, the plant might not have enough energy reserves left for recovery.

In conclusion, while a deer’s meal can be a setback for your impatiens, it doesn’t spell the end for these resilient plants. With a mix of proper care, protection, and a dash of patience, many gardeners will see their impatiens spring back to life, reminding us of nature’s incredible ability to rejuvenate and renew.

Are Any Impatiens Deer Resistant?

Deer Resistant

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While the notion of “deer-resistant” impatiens is attractive, the actual scenario is more layered. Generally, impatiens are appetizing to deer due to their soft texture and vibrant blooms.

While most varieties of impatiens are vulnerable to deer, some anecdotal accounts suggest certain types might be less tempting. This attractiveness is relative; for instance, if impatiens are surrounded by other plants deer favor, they might escape attention. However, in a setting where impatiens are the tastiest option, deer will likely target them.

Several factors, such as alternative food sources and seasonal changes, influence deer preferences. To reduce deer’s interest, consider planting impatiens alongside known deer-resistant plants, potentially minimizing their appeal.

In essence, while no impatiens are entirely deer-proof, strategic planting and observation can help manage and mitigate deer damage.


The dilemma of “Do deer eat impatiens?” has been a concern for gardeners for ages. While these graceful creatures can sometimes wreak havoc in our gardens, understanding their behavior and employing preventive measures can help ensure that your impatiens continue to flourish in all their colorful glory.

AboutCorinne Switzer

Corinne is an avid reader and takes a keen interest in conspiracy theories. When not busy with her day job, she likes to indulge the writer in her and pens columns on a wide range of topics that cover everything from entertainment, healthy living to healthcare and more.