Do Deer Eat Mums? Debunk the Myth!

Have you ever wondered- do deer eat mums? Are mums deer resistant? These are questions you might have if you have a buck as a pet or live in an area where deer forage is present. We have the answers to these queries and others you might have, so let’s keep on reading to find out!

What are mums?

Mums, or chrysanthemums, are floral plants native to the Asteraceae family. They are popular decorative plants because of their vibrant colors. You will often see them in floral arrangements as well. They typically thrive in various climatic conditions but bloom in autumn. This is why you may see them planted in gardens for aesthetic purposes.

Mums are also used for their insect-repellent properties because of the similar pytheric compounds found in both the plant as well as pest control products. Another reason why you might discover chrysanthemums planted outside houses is because of their medicinal properties, acting as an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent.

What do deer eat?

Deer are classified primarily as herbivores. They are selective feeders, meaning that they prefer some plants over others. You may think that grass would be a deer’s primary source of nutrition, but it is not. They are not as nutritious as other plants like forbs. Clovers are dandelions are examples of these. Browse are an example of more woody plants like maple and oak.

Clovers and Dandelions Deer

What does a deer’s consumption depend on? A deer’s foraging behavior is interlinked with the type of food it consumes. As discussed above, deer are browsers. They use their incisors to cut through wood and vegetation.

Their picky feeding habits prevent them from consuming plants that have a bitter taste. Their sense of smell also comes in handy during foraging as they will avoid plants with strong odors. Mums are also consumed by deer but are not their primary source of nutrition.

Are mums deer resistant?

Do deer eat chrysanthemums? Are mums deer resistant? These are questions that frequently come up, and for good reason. There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding this, but to be perfectly clear, Mums are not in any way deer-repellent or resistant. Mums may not be their favorite main course, but it is not something that they will absolutely not have. Deer will typically not forage mums if another variety of plants is available.

However, there may be some truth to the rumor. Deers rely on their sense of smell to distinguish between consumable and non-consumable food. Heavily scented plants make them feel uneasy, and they avoid them. Examples of this include garlic, onion, lavender, and certain species of mums.

Are chrysanthemums deer resistant

So, are chrysanthemums deer resistant? Some of them might be. These specific mums are either bitter to taste or heavily scented, so gardeners recommend avoiding deer foraging on them. Let’s dig a little deeper to learn more about what type of mums these are.

1. Single flowered Mums

Chrysanthemums that only have singular blooms tend to have a heavier scent, which is not at all pleasant to deer, which actively avoid plants like these.

2. Quill Mums

Quill Mums are bitter to taste, which makes them less attractive to deer. They have tube-like petals, which are similar to spider mums.

3. Spider Mums

Spider mums have long, thin petals, which are different and unique to these plants. As the case is with quill mums, their bitter taste may repel deer.

Spider Mums

4. Spoon Mums

As the name suggests, spoon mums are shaped like spoons at the tips. Gardners believe that their aesthetic appearance makes them less attractive to deer.

This is not an exhaustive list, as it is important to remember that deer preferences change across regions, seasons, and food availability.

How to keep deer from eating mums

Chrysanthemums, or mums for short, are one of the most popular flowers in the world to grow, and, like millions of gardeners, you may be currently growing a few of your own. However, you may have run into a common issue and a vital discovery: deer love eating mums, and you’ll need to do everything in your power to make sure that doesn’t happen.

1. Physical barriers

Often, the best and most helpful method of ensuring that you’re keeping deer away from your mums is to physically prevent them from ever entering your property in the first place. If the deer you’re having issues with come in from the wild, you should consider putting a fence around your garden or your entire house. Still, the only problem is you’ll have to make it strong and at least 8 feet tall since deer can jump almost anything if they want to get to the other end badly enough.

2. Repellents

Repellents are an excellent, cost-effective alternative to keeping deer off of your property and away from your mums, especially if you don’t want to install a massive fence and continuously maintain it. You can apply many repellents on your plants and your mums that have a strong odor, and since deer have a great sense of smell, they’ll never approach your property again.

3. Scare tactics

Deers are famous for being easy to startle, and rightly so, since they’re always looking for predators and hunters. You can use this to your advantage by scaring any wild deer that may be interested in eating your mums in a harmless way. You could install motion-activated sprinklers that splash water at animals that approach or alarms that are loud enough to scare away any approaching deer.


Yes, they can. They will not have an adverse reaction to consuming this plant.

It is not their preferred food of choice, but they will have it if there’s nothing else to forage on.

No, they are not. However, if a type of mum has a strong odor, then deer are less likely to consume them.

You can avoid them by fencing your mums to form a barrier between the deer and your flowers. You can use other tactics like placing heavily scented plants nearby to keep deer away.

No, hardy mums are not deer-resistant. Deer may browse on hardy mums if other food sources are scarce.

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