Nasturtiums are beautiful flowery plants that can add beauty and color to your yard. It’s a pleasant plant to grow as it doesn’t require much tendering. Nasturtiums have medicinal properties and are edible to humans and animals alike. Since they grow in areas that host deer, the question “do deer eat nasturtiums” is essential.
This article tells all you need to know about nasturtiums and deer using factual information. It explains the growth of nasturtiums and the eating habits of deer. By the time you read through this, know how to protect your nasturtiums from deer and make the best of the situation.
Read: Do Deer Eat Mandevilla?
Are Nasturtiums Deer Resistant?
Deer can eat nasturtiums even though it’s not a meal they’ll gladly opt for since they are moderately resistant to the plant. Despite disliking the smell and flavor of nasturtiums, deer will often eat it if they are low on food supply. Additionally, they eat this annual blooming plant when it’s young and blooming.
Indeed, deer are partially resistant to nasturtiums because they dislike the plant’s fragrance. Additionally, deer consider nasturtiums a bit unpalatable as their flavor is peppery.
As ruminants with a voracious appetite, deer will eat almost about anything when hungry. So, despite this dislike, deer still eat nasturtiums on certain occasions. A great example of such an occasion is when deer can’t find any other preferable plant to munch on.
Aside from the above, deer love eating young plants that are just developing shoots. Because of this, these shy Cervidae mammals will devour most plants in infancy. So, while your older nasturtiums may be safe from deer attack, the younger plants aren’t.
Due to this, while some individuals report cases of deer eating their nasturtiums, others say the opposite. So, whether or not deer eat nasturtiums boils down to how hungry they are, what edibles they can find, and the state of your nasturtium.
What Makes a Plant Deer Resistant?
The qualities that make deer avoid certain plants are strong, pungent scents, fuzzy unappealing textures, and unfavorable flavors. They also hate plants that contain excess sap and many thorns. Additionally, deer avoid certain plants that are poisonous since consumption of such is harmful.
Plants with strong fragrances are often repulsive to deer; therefore, they avoid them. Another quality that broods resistance between a deer and a plant is the texture of its leaves. As such, deer dislike any plants with hairy, fuzzy, or untender leaves. They consider leaves with this texture bristly and nasty.
Additionally, deer stay far away from plants with overly milky sap, especially when the sap has a strong smell. You can say that this kills their appetite. Also, you may not know this, but all plants have flavors. While some are nice and sweet, others are bitter, peppery, or spicy.
Deer tend to avoid any unappetizing flavor. Woody plants with thorns are also a big turn-off, as it obstructs smooth and easy chewing and regurgitation.
Furthermore, the compounds in certain plants are poisonous to deer. The harm is more severe when deer eat such plants in large quantities, leading to grave danger.
How to Protect Your Nasturtium From Deer?
Planting deer-resistant plants, building a high fence, spraying deer repellent, and installing motion sensors are ways of protecting nasturtiums from deer. You can also place bar soap or hair around your plant to deter deer from invading your garden. Getting a dog to guard your property is another great alternative.
Nasturtiums are only slightly deer resistant, so they still need protection from deer. A great method of keeping deer away from your nasturtium is to plant extremely deer-resistant plants, especially those with pungent fragrances. Poisonous plants can also do the job.
If you choose to opt for fencing, you should note that deers can sprint and jump. Thus, the fence has to be at least 6 feet high and equally sturdy. As for deer repellents, there are numerous brands in the market, some more effective than others. So, you may have to try a few before selecting the best.
Alternatively, you can create a homemade deer repellent with regular home ingredients. These repellents are easy to use as you just have to spray them on your nasturtiums. If you choose to use motion sensors to scare deer away, just one that turns on lights or triggers a water spray and the deer will sprint away.
You can keep a strong-scenting bar soap beneath your nasturtium or scatter human hair across your garden. The smell of both soap and hair irritates deer. Lastly, a watchdog would do you good since it will always be alert to chase the deer away.
Will Nasturtiums Come Back After Deer Eat Them?
Yes, Nasturtiums can grow again even after a deer eats it, so long as they don’t pull out the plant’s root. You just have to trim the shrub and protect it from further damage.
A deer eating your mature nasturtium doesn’t represent the death of the plant. So long as the damage doesn’t get to the roots, your nasturtium will sprout back again.
Nasturtiums will survive diverse conditions, including damage by deer. Interestingly, they will self-seed, thus growing back without you having to stress or bother. So, you have one more thing to love about nasturtiums because they are fighters.
Can Nasturtium Grow in Pots?
Yes, a nasturtium can grow properly in a pot. Ideally, a 10 or 12-inch pot is perfect for growing this plant. However, you should note that a bush or dwarf nasturtium will grow better than a trailing nasturtium in a pot.
The ground isn’t the only place for a growing nasturtium to thrive, as the plant performs excellently in a pot. Thus, it is an amazing indoor plant that you can use to decorate your home.
You can plant a nasturtium seed or transplant a stem into potting soil. However, do not put too much fertilizer in the soil, as this may cause an excess bloom. You only need good organic soil and minimal watering.
If you overwater the plant, it will produce excess leaves with only a few flowers. So, when planting a potted nasturtium, ensure that the pot contains holes through which water can drain. Also, place the pot in a bowl or container to retain the excess water as it drains.
The soil will eventually soak up all the water, so you don’t have to water the plant daily. A dwarf nasturtium is better for this since it grows compactly. You can place the pot on a windowsill for beautification when it blooms.
Can Nasturtium Grow in Shade?
Nasturtiums can grow in partial shade but not full shade. Three to six hours of daily sunlight is enough to make nasturtiums grow. However, though they can survive partial shade, they won’t bloom as well as they will under full sunlight.
Yes, nasturtiums are sun-loving plants that require six to eight hours of sunlight daily to bloom fully. However, they can survive under partial shade, receiving as little as three hours of daily sunshine. This fact is true for both trailing and dwarf nasturtiums.
The growth process under partial shade won’t be as fast, but it will eventually bud and produce flowers. Since it is an annual plant, it will last for one season.
Thus, you shouldn’t worry about your nasturtium not surviving in your garden because it is shady. This plant will thrive in almost any condition without requiring constant attention. As such, it is an edible, easy-to-grow plant that you will enjoy having.
Can Nasturtiums Grow in Water?
Yes, nasturtiums can grow in water. They are excellent hydroponic plants. Thus, you can propagate their cuttings in water. However, you will need to transplant your nasturtium into the soil when it begins to develop roots.
Water is an excellent medium for propagating nasturtiums, producing healthy fine plants. If you want to witness the beauty of this method, pour the water into a glass cup or bowl and drop the nasturtium cutting in it. By doing so, you’ll be able to watch as its roots develop and confirm when it’s time for transplanting.
To do this, you must select a healthy parent plant and cut off a stem 4 inches beneath a leaf using clean secateurs. Trim the leaves at the lower end of the stem and cut off a portion of the end.
Place the cutting with one-third of its end submerged in water and keep the glass in a warm location. You can transplant it when the roots sprout and grow to two inches.
Do Rabbits Eat Nasturtiums?
Yes, rabbits can eat nasturtiums and enjoy them because they are safe and healthy. However, their fiber content does not meet the daily requirements for rabbits. So, you shouldn’t let your rabbit eat nasturtium as a main meal but as a snack or treat.
Unlike certain plants, nasturtiums are not harmful or poisonous to rabbits, so rabbits can eat all of the plant’s varieties. Rabbits love the plant and will nibble on it at every given opportunity.
Both domestic and wild rabbits can consume every part of this plant: the leaves, seeds, flowers, and stems. However, ensure that hay makes up 80% of your rabbit’s diet for a healthy lifestyle.
Nasturtiums are beautiful flowery plants that can grow outdoors & indoors in pots and water. When in the garden, hungry deer tend to eat this plant even though it is mildly deer resistant.
Rabbits can also eat nasturtiums, but there are several protective measures you can take if you want to safeguard your plant from animal damage. But even if rabbits or deer eat your nasturtiums, you shouldn’t worry because they will grow back in good time.