Knowing whether deer eat begonias is crucial before planting them in your garden. Continue reading to learn more about these animals, how to protect your flowers from them, and how to prevent deer from eating them.
The begonia is renowned for its distinctive appearance and variegated foliage, and it will look absolutely stunning in any setting. You should exercise some caution if you live in a region where deer will have access to the plant, though.
Deer may consume begonias when it is convenient or if they are sufficiently hungry, despite the fact that they are not their preferred food. Discover how to defend your begonias not only from one foe but also from other creatures.
Do Deer Eat Begonias?
Deer do not typically prefer to eat begonias. However, since they are the only readily available plants, they continue to eat them if they are sufficiently hungry. A hungry deer will eat anything it can get its hands on.
They will still eat begonias if necessary, despite the fact that they are not their preferred food source. It is impossible to label any flower as deer-proof because this occurs in all plants.
Utilizing a variety of plant-protection techniques is the best way to defend begonias from these animals.
What Makes Some Begonias Deer Resistant?
Deer do not enjoy fuzzy leaves; however, they will tolerate soft thorns, such as those on young rose stems. Indeed, the texture is the key factor.
Like you prefer one cookie over another and I can’t stand chewy chocolate bars, our cervine friends dislike the sensation of tiny hairs on their tongue and palate. And some begonias have them.
Begonia Types That Deer Will Eat
Deer will readily consume certain varieties of begonias. This is because they have the consistency and texture that these animals prefer. Begonias are categorized into groups as you are aware, so let’s look at each group individually.
Dragon Wing Begonias
Deer enjoy eating dragon wing begonias. They take their name from the shale of their leaves, which are divided into two opposite parts, or “wings”, and they have small flowers in clusters.
Regrettably, the foliage on these begonias has a smooth, glossy surface, and deer will have no trouble devouring it.
The name gives the game away; wax begonias are slick and delicious to deer. They won’t be their first choice, though. I told you that they are picky, and it looks like even “too smooth” is not too good for them…
If they can’t find a better option, they will nevertheless eat them. Your garden is to them like a buffet of appetizers or tapas that they can choose from!
Deer Will Eat Some Tuberous Begonias
Deer prefer the foliage of tuberous begonias over their large, showy, and colorful flowers. Deer will avoid some of the plants in this group because of their hairy foliage, while they will prefer those with smooth leaves.
Some Rex Begonias
Because we grow Rex begonias for their lovely leaves, they are a unique species. And some are fuzzy and some are smooth. Deer will reject the latter and eat the former. The issue is that a rex begonia with a few of its leaves nibbled off is actually a gardening disaster.
A Few Hardy Begonias
Although the foliage of hardy begonias is frequently fuzzy and has small, rich flowers, deer will ignore it. However, don’t take it as “I am safe with hardy begonias”.
Not all have hairy leaves, and deer do not categorize these flowers as we do; they divide them into two: “hairy is yucky,” and “smooth is yummy”. But even if you pick fuzzy begonias, you still might not be completely secure.
5 Ways to Prevent Deer Damage from Eating Begonias
Given that we now know that these animals will still consume begonias if they are the only ones in sight, let’s look at ways to protect them.
Add Other Deer-resistant Annuals
When creating your deer-resistant patch, you can pick from a variety of begonia varieties, including wax, tuberose, dragon wing, rex, and hardy.
You may want to think about other deer-resistant options in addition to your begonias to increase deterrence. You can pick between annuals that prefer the sun (ageratum, annual black-eyed Susan, sulfur cosmos) and annuals that prefer the shade (Persian shield, wishbone flowers, caladiums).
In order to keep deer out, you can also put up a fence, but it costs money to build a wall. You must think about your options if you have several acres to work with. An eight-foot-tall fence, for example, works best when used to deter deer.
But if you have several acres, you might think about building a parallel fence that is 4 to 5 feet high. Deer cannot jump over or crawl under a 45-degree slanted fence, making it a great option.
Invisible Deer Netting
To keep them out, you can also use black mesh deer netting that is fastened to garden posts or 4 X 4s. Nevertheless, make sure that this deer netting is around eight feet tall. To prevent deer from accidentally breaching the fence when startled, you can also attach colorful springs or streamers to it.
Use Deer Repellents
To keep deer away from your begonias, you can also use deer repellents. There are many different deer repellents available for you. But in order to prevent deer from becoming accustomed to your repellent sprays, you must switch them up.
Applying them religiously is also necessary, especially after it rains or snows. To cover new growth, the application is essential on a regular basis.
Plant Close to Home
Last but not least, place your begonias close to your home. This will allow you to see any potential deer activity and give you the opportunity to scare them away. You might be able to protect your begonias with the aid of your dog. The family dog will probably scare away any deer it sees outside by barking.
The likelihood of success will increase if more than one of these steps is used. Regularly switching up your tactics will also be helpful. Deer will become more aggressive with age, so keeping them on the defensive is another way to safeguard your begonias.
What Other Animals Eat Begonias? [And How to Prevent This]
We need to know what else might consume begonias now that we are aware that deer and rabbits will consume them (though they are not their preferred choice). It’s interesting to note that small animals, primarily insects, pose the greatest threat to begonias rather than big ones. They too are extremely vulnerable to the damage that these tiny creatures can cause.
One of the main pests that attack begonias is the aphid. The stems and leaves of the flowers will be eaten by these insects, causing serious issues for the begonias, including death. The good news is that aphids can be managed with regular watering. You can also apply insecticidal soap if there are numerous them feeding on your plants.
Begonias are also consumed by slugs and snails. Most often, they eat at night. The plant’s leaves will show evidence of their damage. Slug and snail bait can be used to get rid of these pests.
Begonias are also eaten by some other insects and pests. Among them are earwigs, caterpillars, mealybugs, whiteflies, and mealybugs. The same kind of insecticidal soap that is used against aphids can be used to control the majority of insects. Caterpillars can easily be taken out by hand and put away from your flowers. The bait you use to repel snails and slugs should also be used to repel earwigs.
Do Rabbits Eat Begonias?
Begonias are yet another annual that some rabbits avoid, while others seem to enjoy snacking on them. Avoid planting an entire row or bed of them if you want to test something in an area where rabbits are a problem. Instead, mix them in with other plants and observe the results.
Do Deer Eat Coleus?
Generally speaking, no, if you’ve ever wondered if deer like Coleus. Coleus has low toxicity for most animals, so deer or other animals rarely eat it. Although deer and other wild animals will eat nearly any plant if the right circumstances exist.
What is Eating My Begonia Leaves?
Whiteflies, spider mites, thrips, fungus gnats, shore flies and mealybugs all bother begonias, says Clemson Extension Cooperative. Using insecticidal soap, you can get rid of these pests.
Conclusion: Keep Deer Away from Begonias
No, deer won’t eat begonias unless it’s their last option. Although it takes some work, protecting your begonias from deer and other animals is unquestionably worthwhile. This article was written to assist you in understanding and putting into practice the steps required to protect them.
We hope that now you have more self-assurance and are able to easily keep your begonias safe from both animals and insects. Defend your begonias by acting like a hero!
For more information about plants that deer like to eat and how to protect those plants from them, check out these posts:
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