Do Deer Eat Hibiscus Plants: [And How To Stop Them]

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Deer can eat all types of things out in nature. However, they have a particular diet and tend to eat the same things regularly.

The hibiscus plant is one of the main staples of a deer’s diet. People who have hibiscus plants around their gardens will likely encounter deer as they come to feed on the plant.

Deer will eat hibiscus plants. Deer are attracted to Hibiscus Plants because it has large, gorgeous leaves. If you want to keep deer away from your property, it is a good idea to avoid growing hibiscus plants on your property. 

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Do Deer Eat Hibiscus Plants

Beautiful & Attractive

One thing to remember is that hibiscus plants are gorgeous. They’re big, beautiful, and difficult to ignore. When a deer is hungry, it will try to find the nearest food source.

Hibiscus plants are great for this purpose because they’re easy to identify. A deer should be able to see them from a distance thanks to their bright, vivid colors.

If other food sources are not available, the deer around your property will approach to eat your beautiful hibiscus plants. It will provide them with enough nutrients to survive and thrive.

Regardless, deer prefer eating these plants because they’re bright and easy to spot.

These plants are popular among deer for the same reasons they’re popular among people. Their bright colors make them a good choice for growers and deer.

[Related Article: Do Deer Eat Creeping Phlox]


You’re likely curious to learn more about hibiscus plants. Remember that certain plants are toxic. They contain toxins to ensure that they’re not going to be eaten by wild animals.

Deer have smart enough sense to avoid plants that contain toxins. Suffice to say, they prefer eating hibiscus plants because they know they’re safe. They do not contain any toxic materials.

There are numerous toxic plants that must be avoided. For instance, deer need to stay away from tobacco, rosary pea, white snakeroot, deadly nightshade, and water hemlock plants.

As for hibiscus plants, they’re not toxic. Deer can eat them without experiencing any issues whatsoever.

How To Stop Deer From Eating Hibiscus

Do Deer Eat Hibiscus Plants

Some plants are resistant to deer. They have certain characteristics that make it easy for them to keep deer away. Unfortunately, hibiscus plants aren’t deer resistant.

If a deer finds these plants, you can guarantee that they’re going to eat them. However, people can take steps to protect their hibiscus plants from deer.

For instance, you should begin planting deer-resistant plants near your hibiscus plants. Doing so will make it harder for deer to eat these plants. Furthermore, it’ll encourage them to look elsewhere for food.

For the best results, Russian olive, blueberry elder, and boxwood plants should be used to protect your hibiscus plants.

These plants are resistant to deer. Therefore, they’ll help keep deer away from your plants.

How Often Do Deer Eat Hibiscus Plants

Although deer will regularly eat hibiscus plants, this isn’t their primary dietary source. Instead, the flowers are sometimes consumed by deer. Numerous factors help determine how often deer will consume these plants.

For instance, it primarily depends on the amount of food nearby. If there are more food sources, there is a good chance that the deer will prefer to eat something else.

Other factors include the weather, the number of deer in the area, and where your garden is located.

You’ll also find that deer in certain areas are different. In some areas, they’re more willing to eat hibiscus plants. However, this is usually not the case when there are plenty of other foods to consume.

Suburban Deer And Hibiscus Gardens

As more and more deer are moving into suburban areas, the growing concern among gardeners for the welfare of their Hibiscus plants is soaring. Suburban deer are notorious for targeting Hibiscus gardens.

Not only are deer a growing concern for Hibiscus gardeners but also local medical communities. Deer are oftentimes infested with ticks that spread to humans.

In severe deer tick infestations, the ticks will spread to tall grasses, bushes, brushes, and flowers like the Hibiscus plant.

Deer ticks are responsible for Lyme disease, ranging from mild to severe cases. When left untreated, Lyme disease can spread to the joints, resulting in arthritis.

What Plants Won’t The Deer Eat

Do Deer Eat Hibiscus Plants

The commonality between these plants is that they all contain toxins that deer avoid. Daffodils, for example, are poisonous to deer and can cause gastrointestinal problems if eaten.

Foxgloves and poppies also contain toxic alkaloids that deer will steer clear of. In addition to being poisonous, these plants also have strong scents that deer don’t like.

Herbs such as sage, ornamental salvias, and lavender emit strong smells that deer find unpleasant. Flowers like peonies and bearded irises also produce powerful scents that keep deer away.

Favorite Deer Food

Hibiscus plants are deer’s favorite food. There are approximately 200 Hibiscus plant species, about 35 of which are found in the United States.

Each species has a unique coloration, size, and shape, which is why people are drawn to them as well. Hibiscus plants derive from tropical climates, with temperatures ranging between 55 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 to 27.7 degrees Celsius).

When the temperature drops below 50, the Hibiscus will begin to show signs of dying out. Their most vulnerable tissues, such as new shoots and leaves are the first to experience damage.

The tissue in the buds and stems is more resistant to low-temperature damage.


Deer are majestic creatures that are fun to watch. However, it is best to keep them away from your garden because they will destroy many of your plants.

If you have hibiscus plants, you must take steps to protect them from deer. Otherwise, they may eat them. Plant a few deer-resistant plants nearby to keep them away.

However, deer prefer other types of food first. They’ll generally only result in eating hibiscus plants when they’ve run out of other options.

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