Begonias are beautiful short plants that add class to your garden and home. It is a good option if you want to plant flowers that can thrive and bloom during the frost season. However, if you live in an area where deer are common, it is necessary to know if they threaten your garden. So, do deer eat Begonias?
This article answers these questions and other related questions in a simple format. The aim is to give accurate information that would help protect your Begonia garden from deer. At the end of this read, you will have the proper knowledge to do just that.
Read: Do Deer Eat Azaleas
Are Begonias Deer-Resistant?
Begonias are deer-resistant plants with colorful variations suitable for your garden. Begonia is the answer if you want to cultivate a garden that deters deer invasion. The sharp smell and hairy texture of some of these plants make them undesirable for deer. The animal would prefer other plants when feeding.
There are about 2000 species of Begonias with varying characteristics such as flower color, stem structure, and many others. Notably, almost all species of plants have high deer resistance. Which means they are safe to an extent. If you have a garden suffering from deer, starting a new season with arrays of Begonia might be the answer.
Admittedly, all the species do not have the same resistance to deer. Some species have foliage that is pleasing to the animal’s taste buds. Some other have stem types that deer finds attractive. Hence, the goal when planting a Begonia species that is deer resistant is to be selective.
The kind of Begonia in your garden can also determine the outcome of your planting season. However, it is safe to say that deer eat Begonia plants even though certain conditions affect the occurrence level.
Do Deer Eat Begonia Plants?
No deer will not eat a garden of Begonia plants under normal circumstances. However, a deer might look to a Begonia for food under certain conditions. Some of these conditions include the type and texture of the plant and the hunger level of the deer, hungry deer. However, Begonias are not on the list of plants deers love to eat.
Knowing some facts about deer will help you understand this unusual relationship between the animal and this category of lovely garden plants. Deer prefer to eat plants similar to those thriving in their natural habitat. Begonias, on the other hand, are not part of those plants.
Hence, a deer on an afternoon stroll to feel up her belly would feast on plants that are similar and favorites. However, poisonous and toxic leaves are the only category of plants that a deer would not eat under any circumstances.
Unfortunately, the Begonia species do not fall under these species. So, a typical Begonia flower is somewhere in the middle. It is not part of the favorites but part of a group of plants that a deer would eat if hungry and desperate.
Read: Do Deer Eat Acorns
Do Deer Eat Begonia Flowers?
The colorful flowers that bloom from different Begonia plants are also not safe from deer consumption. Deers are not very picky when eating. Hence they bite down every part of the plant. The leaves, stems, and especially the flowers are not safe. So a Begonia plant in bloom with many colorful flowers is also not safe from deer.
Besides the carpet cover that Begonia plants offer your garden, they also provide colorful flowers of different shapes. They are a source of attraction during the frost seasons. The various colors stand out amidst a field of white snow.
Unfortunately, a deer can be interested in the plants for the same reason. When that happens, they consume every visible part of the plant, including the flowers. In some cases, the deer do not eat heavily and hence do not consume all parts. However, the flower is often the uppermost part, so it is rare to find deer eating the leaves without eating the flowers.
It would be unpleasant to find a roaming deer consuming your field of flowering Begonia. The level of care required to nurture the plant to bloom is much. Seeing these efforts ending up in the stomach of a deer would be disheartening. Hence, when your plant is in bloom, it is dangerous to relax in protecting them. That is because deer eat Begonia flowers.
Are Wax Begonias Deer-resistant?
Wax Begonias are hardy plant species and deer resistant to a considerable level. The large-leaf wax Begonias are one of the safest species you can plant. They are hardy in the stem. Hence, a deer would prefer to look elsewhere if all it can find in your garden are Wax Begonias.
Wax Begonia is one of the many options a garden owner can choose if worried about the devouring habits of a deer. It is also popular because of its flowering nature. The excellent news about Wax Begonias is that they bloom for a long time.
So, you are not just getting a Begonia species that is deer resistant but also beautiful. There is no need to sacrifice beauty for safety. You can always get both. However, Wax is not immune or safe from the chewing jaw of a typical jaw.
Note that Wax Begonias are not the only species of deer-resistant Begonias. Other species are available if you are worried about deer invasion in your lovely garden. The unifying characteristic of these species is that they have a feature that makes them less desirable for deer.
Read: Do Deer Eat Nasturtiums
The variety of plants means that the yard can have an array of colorful flowering plants and maintain that level of safety.
Some other species that are highly resistant to deer include:
- Dragon-wing Begonias
- Tuberous Begonias
- Rex Begonias
Do Rabbits Eat Begonias?
Rabbits, on rare occasions, do eat Begonia foliage. However, some of the species of this plant are considered toxic to rabbits. Hence, they are typically safe from consumption. Wax Begonias is a typical flowering plant that can deter rabbits from a garden.
Just like deer, rabbits serve as a threat to the growth of Begonias. However, the level of danger is not the same. Rabbits prefer to eat other types of foliage even when hungry because of Begonia’s toxicity to their system. One notable point is that wild rabbits know how to detect toxicity in a plant before eating. These types tend to avoid Begonia species altogether.
However, a free-roaming rabbit in a domestic neighborhood might not be able to detect toxicity. They will feed on the plant if they have the chance. Some garden owners also have rabbits kept as a pet. They are in charge of what this pet eats. If you have a pet rabbit, Begonia should not be a part of its diet.
Will Begonias Grow Back After Deer Eat Them?
Begonia will grow back if there are some parts of it left standing after a deer invasion. Some species of the plant, especially Tuberous Begonia, does well in growing back. Other species depend on the level of consumption.
Begonia species are not a deer’s favorite. This statement is a fact. The point is that it often affects how animals feast on this plant. Sometimes, the deer do not eat the plant to the ground, leaving some parts, including stems and leaves. The plant can grow back with enough time and care in such situations.
However, in cases where you have a hungry deer in the garden, it can eat the plant down to the last stalk. The best thing to do here is to plant another set of flowers and be more careful securing them.
The only exceptions here are the tuberous Begonias. These species derive their nourishment from the part under the soil. In sad cases where a deer consumes large parts of the plants, it can still grow back. So Tuberous Begonia does not die even after deer eat them.
How to Keep Deer From Eating Begonias?
You can keep deer away from your garden of begonias with few simple options. While taking care of the plants, it is also important to provide security. Such collective efforts ensures you have a farm of flowers that grows to maturity.
Here are some options to keep deer away:
Grow Deer Resistant Plants Together
When planting Begonias in the garden, mixing them with other deer-resistant plants is better. If the whole park is full of plants, a deer won’t eat. They tend to go elsewhere. However, if the Begonia is between plants that a deer loves, this will attract the animal. Some plants you should avoid include pansies, daylilies, and roses.
Plant Begonia Close to your House
When Begonia is close to the building, deer tend to keep away. Animals tend to avoid human contact. Also, they will most likely go for plants in safe areas and away from humans. Hence planting very close to your house is a smart option. This option is not failproof, but it works.
Use Deer Repellant
Garlic smell repels deer, and you can use this to protect the bed of Begonias. There are two options here. One choice is to plant garlic between the flowers. Another option is to spray the plant with garlic water every fortnight. These steps will serve as a deer repellant for your animal.
Build a Fence Around the Garden
Building a garden fence is another way to keep deer from eating Begonias. The Garden fence has a small opening that showcases the beauty inside while keeping predators outside. It is an excellent way to protect the flowers fully.
Begonia is deer-resistant but not deer-immune. That means they are safe as long as the deer has an option. However, a hungry deer will eat your field of Begonias if it finds it open and unguarded. It would be sad to lose your dear flowers of Begonias to deer. However, you can learn to plant more resistant species and protect them. Your garden will soon bloom with colorful flowers adding beauty to your home.