Are Black Eyed Susans Deer Resistant - Deer Resistant Perennials

Written by Ivy

Jan 03 2023

Are Black Eyed Susans Deer Resistant - Deer Resistant Perennials

Throughout the country, black-eyed susans are among the most well-liked flowers. However, are black-eyed susans resistant to deer when planted in gardens? Yes, black-eyed susans can withstand deer. Due to their typically rough leaves and stems, Rudbeckia are thought of as a deer resistant perennial in the garden as opposed to rabbits who will eat them. Deer and other animals find them unpleasant because of this.

Do Deer Eat Black-Eyed Susans?

The thing about deer is that nothing escapes their attention or, when sufficiently hungry, their mouths. They do not, however, prefer Black Eyed Susans as a snack.

A mature Black Eyed Susan's leaves and stems develop a fair amount of hair, which makes them rough and itchy. As long as there is something else for the deer to nibble on, fortunately for gardeners who grow these pretty little wildflowers, the deer will stay away from them.

Black Eyed Susan flowers are generally regarded by gardeners as being moderately resistant to deer. But before you go and plant out an entire garden of Black Eyed Susans in the belief that they will be safe from your neighborhood deer, you should take into consideration a couple of factors.

First of all, when your plants sprout new shoots in the spring, they are not yet sufficiently hairy to deter deer, so if one happens to come across them, they frequently get quickly chomped. The basal leaves of Black Eyed Susans have also been known to be happily consumed by white-tailed deer in the winter.

Finally, let's assume that the area is devoid of any more alluring plants. The likelihood is that your Black Eyed Susans will change from appearing to be relatively unappealing to appearing to be the most delicious thing a deer has ever seen in that situation.

Deer Resistant Black Eyed Susans

We already know that deer will consume almost anything if they are sufficiently hungry or if the surrounding environment is harsh enough.

Therefore, even though these varieties are typically deer resistant, you might find that they get munched on if the circumstances are right, so when we talk about deer resistant Black Eyed Susans, we need to keep that in mind.

The most popular varieties of deer resistant Black Eyed Susans include:

  • Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy' – Beautiful maroon to red flowers with dark center cones are produced by this variety.
  • Rudbeckia hirta ‘Toto Rustic' – This variety has a height of about 1 foot and has lovely autumnal colors.
  • Rudbeckia hirta ‘Becky' – If you're looking for something smaller, this dwarf variety is ideal.
  • Rudbeckia hirta ‘Prairie Sun' – This cultivar yields gorgeous dark red blooms.
  • Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset' – In shades of orange, yellow, red, mahogany, and bronze, this magnificent variety produces double and semi-double flowers.
  • Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm‘.

Are Black Eyed Susans Safe for Deer?

Imagine that you discover that some of the local deer have nibbled on a few of the Black Eyed Susan plants in your garden, making you wonder if you haven't unintentionally poisoned your guests. There are no reports of Black Eyed Susans being harmful for deer to eat, which is fortunate for you (and them).

The likelihood of your neighborhood deer eating the stems of your Black Eyed Susans is low because they don't like the tiny hairs that grow there. They might experience a tickly throat if they consume some of the stems, but nothing too serious.

If the harvest of other nutrient-rich plants has been sparse, the flowers and new shoots may be able to provide them with some nourishment.

Do Black Eyed Susans Grow Back If a Deer Eats Them?

In most cases, if your Black Eyed Susans have been eaten by the neighborhood deer, you will discover that they probably won't eat the stems all the way down to the ground, which you should take as good news because it means that your plants will probably grow back.

My recommendation in this situation would be to cut your Black Eyed Susan stems all the way to their first node or, if you can, locate the place where multiple stems have emerged from a single one. If everything goes according to plan, you should have fresh flowers in a month because this should enable them to sprout new growth.

About Black-Eyed Susans

Rudbeckia is the genus that includes black-eyed susans. Most often the common name of "black-eyed susan" refers to the flower species The term "black-eyed susan" is sometimes used to refer to other species within the genus Rudbeckia as well. Rudbeckia flowers, also known as ray flowers, typically have single or double rows of petals in hues of yellow, orange, mahogany, and other colors, with prominent brown or black center disks. (Read More: Black-eyed Susan Grow & Care Guide)

R.'s stems and leaves hirta are typically pubescent, meaning they're covered in small hairs. If you brush up against the plant in the garden, it would feel very rough to the touch because of this. So you can understand why a deer might find it unappealing to munch on.

The best conditions for black-eyed susans are full sun and well-drained soil. They gain from early sowing. This means that you can plant them in the ground up to two weeks (or more) before the anticipated last frost date. I put the black-eyed-susan seeds I use to start them indoors in the freezer for at least two weeks before I plant them in a cell tray. Because the seeds are tiny, only sow them on the surface or no deeper than ¼ inch. When directly sowing seeds into the ground in a garden, dig a shallow furrow or lightly rake the seeds that were broadcast into the ground. In order to prevent the seeds from being lost to the wind or surface water when broadcasting, rake the seeds into the soil.

Due to their tolerance for heat and drought, these plants are hardy once they have taken root. They are a mainstay in many native plant gardens across the country. In addition to being lovely in the landscape, the flowers also make excellent cut flowers.

Are Black Eyed Susans Deer Resistant

Factors That Affect Deer Feeding

Numerous factors influence the feeding habits of deer. Many techniques are used by most commercial and backyard growers to stop deer from feeding. Due to a deer's propensity for jumping tall fences or the changing eating habits that occur throughout the season, this can be particularly difficult. Deer have extraordinary vertical leaping ability. This means that if you want to keep them out of your garden, a regular fence simply won't do.

Seasonal Plant Availability

Consider the four distinct seasons that exist in regions with moderate weather. Any animal that is starving will instinctively consume a plant that is not normally part of their diet. This is usually due to the scarcity of plants they typically feed on, especially in the Winter time.

In the winter, black-eyed susans usually amount to little more than decomposing plant matter. However, it's still possible that a group of hungry deer may try to feed on them in the late Fall or early Spring when a lot of other plant material is scarce.

Furthermore, in the spring when fresh, succulent new plant growth starts to emerge, less desirable plants might have a greater chance of being eaten. The high sugar and low fiber content of this new growth makes it frequently particularly alluring.

Palatability of the Plant

A deer's natural diet does not typically include black-eyed susans, as was previously mentioned. This is as a result of the plant's stems and leaves having a rough texture. In the garden, plants with rough textures, spines, and aromatic scents are frequently suggested as deer resistant options. Deer don't typically find these plants as "tasty".

Aromatic compounds are only produced by aromatic plants. Imagine all the different herbs that can be found in gardens, such as mint, sage, and lavender. Simply walking by a bed of one of these herbs allows a person to smell the aromatic compounds these plants produce. Even though we may find these smells to be pleasant, an animal may not find them to be as alluring.

Weather Patterns

Unpredictable weather is a possibility. Gardeners may anticipate that a late or early snow will shock growing plants and cause dieback when Winter is long or cold. But it's also important to pay attention if a drought strikes and has an impact on plant growth. Any of these weather conditions could alter deer feeding patterns and cause them to behave differently than usual.

How to Repel Deer from the Garden

While black-eyed susans may not be a deer favorite, gardeners may still encounter deer problems in areas with high deer populations or reduced plant availability due to weather or overgrazing. Here's some tips on repelling deer from the garden to reduce the chances of loss due to feeding by deer.

Placement and Selection of Plants

Close to your home, plant susceptible plant species. In this way, they can be watched or kept in places that are harder to access, like inside a fence. Also, choose species that are less palatable to deer and plant them around susceptible plants in order to reduce temptation.

Deer Repellants

Deer repellants can be contact or area repellants. The plant is treated with contact repellents directly. In the general vicinity of the vulnerable plants, repellents are placed. Repellents can be purchased from garden centers or plant nurseries (such as predator urine) or home remedies can be used as well.

Using bar soap strung from trees, putting human hair in tiny mesh bags, or directly spraying eggs and water on plants are a few examples of repellents. Mint oils can be used in and around the garden to discourage deer from feeding, especially when combined with other herbs and spices (such as garlic, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and citrus).

Netting Or Fencing for Physical Barriers

You can purchase UV-resistant netting to place over the top of small plants or fence in your garden. Fences around deer must be at least eight feet tall. Usually, woven wire is used to construct the fence. Electrified fencing may be used in some situations. But it's important to make the fence visible so deer see it and do not run right through it. Deer may not cross an electric fence if it is constructed with varying heights and depths.

Plant Highly Aromatic Plants

Typically, perennial or culinary herbs are the most commonly used aromatic plants. Aromatic plants are those that produce compounds that are heavily-scented or that produce offensive scents to deer. Artemisia, tansy, yarrow, mint, thyme, tarragon, dill, oregano, and chives are a few examples of fragrant plants that can be planted around or throughout the garden to deter deer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Deer Eat Coneflowers?

According to Rutgers University, coneflowers are rated as a "B" on their rating scale from Extremely Rarely to Frequently Damaged. That means they are "Seldom Severely Damaged" by deer.

Do Deer Eat Purple Coneflowers

Deer steer clear of many plants used in conventional herbal medicine, such as purple coneflower. Deer avoid many plants, including purple coneflower, which is a plant commonly used in traditional herbal medicine.

What Animal Eats Black-eyed Susans

Birds that frequently consume the seeds include goldfinches, sparrows, cardinals, nuthatches, and chickadees. only plant that can support the Silvery Checkerspot butterfly.

What Does Deer Resistant Mean?

When a plant is not desirable for deer to consume, it is considered to be deer resistant and is therefore typically unaffected by deer. The causes of deer resistance can be attributed to a variety of factors.

The rough texture of a plant with many hairs or spines, or the plant's production of pungent or overpowering aromatic compounds, are the most frequent reasons deer would find a plant undesirable.

Do Rabbits Eat Black Eyed Susans

Yes, black-eyed susans, also known as Rudbeckia species, are plants that can sustain moderate to severe damage from rabbit feeding, according to sources like the Missouri Botanical Garden and University of Nebraska Extension.

What Are Some Examples of Deer Resistant Plants?

The majority of aromatic plants, including dill, tansy, yarrow, mint, and thyme, are thought to be resistant to deer. The lists of deer-resistant perennial herbaceous plants, woody plants, and other annual herbaceous plants have been compiled, though.

Common boxwood, dahlias, marigolds, purple coneflower, black-eyed susans, butterfly bush, lavender, Shasta daisies, and poppies are a few of the most popular deer-resistant plants for gardens and landscapes.

What is the Best Deer Repellent?

An investigation by W.F. Andelt et al. tested various repellents on captive mule deer and ranked them according to their repellent efficacy. The following repellents were listed as having "high" repellent capabilities for mule deer:

  • 6.2% Hot Sauce.
  • 20/80% mixture of eggs and water.
  • Deer Away.
  • Big Game Repellent.
  • 100% coyote urine.

It should be noted that one of the most effective ways of "repelling" deer is installing deer fencing around your garden using woven wire at a height of at least 8 feet tall.

Final Thoughts

Black Eyed Susans are moderately deer resistant. They are scratchy and rough due to their hairy stems, which is not very appealing to passing deer. However, there's a good chance a deer wouldn't be able to resist stopping for a quick snack if they happened to pass a Black Eyed Susan in bloom or notice some new growth.

Although wildlife can be a welcome sight in the backyard for some people, there are times when a garden may not be able to exist due to excessive feeding by wildlife like deer. If this is the situation where you live, you might want to think about planting deer-resistant plants first, like black-eyed susans!

Even though these pests aren't always safe from resistant plants, you'll find that if you choose the right plants, your garden will sustain less damage. Additionally, you should use fencing and experiment with various deer repellents.