Do Deer Eat Begonias?

Do Deer Eat Begonias? It is believed that all kinds of flowers are the first choice of deer on the menu, roses, rhododendrons and violets, but begonias are not. Things are not that simple and you may end up disappointed. You plant your begonia rhizomes and wait with trepidation for them to bloom…

then you wake up one morning to see if they have bloomed, but no, you see the distinctive markings of a herbivore’s big teeth! What went wrong?

It would be wrong to say that all begonias are drought resistant; waxy and leathery begonias are perfect food for these animals. On the other hand, these four-legged vegetable eaters hate the fuzzy leaves you find on some varieties, especially hardy and tuberous begonias.

Because things aren’t simple between deer and begonias, let’s clear up the topic once and for all so you know how to choose the closest begonia varieties to Bambi that won’t end up being tasty dinners for deer.

Begonias and Deer: A Brief History

There are about 2,000 species of begonias around the world, but they come from areas with little or no deer. They are tropical and subtropical plants, while deer prefer temperate or even cold regions.

These flowering plants aren’t even very hardy, so wild horned herbivores are unlikely to like some in forests or meadows. But it was through gardening that Qiu Haitang came into direct contact with De.

This has a bonus: Begonias are not part of the deer’s natural diet, so they will prefer other plants. This is a general rule, not a strict rule. To understand this, we need to look at the subtle tastes of these animals. Next up…

The smell of deer and flowers – how much they like begonias

Deer prefer some flowers and leaves over others, and begonias are not their first choice. They will go crazy for hostas, roses, daylilies, rhododendrons, rhododendrons, pansies and pansies…but not so much when it comes to our subtropical flowers…

so, you might be in luck , but… deer even have personal preferences, and some herds have unusual tastes for certain plants. So you understand, if we want to be professional, we can’t generalize about these animals and what they eat.

What makes some begonias deer-resistant?

Deer don’t like hairy leaves; they can even tolerate soft spines, like the tender stems of roses, but hairy…no! It’s really a matter of texture.

Just like you prefer cookies to everyone else and I can’t stand chewy chocolate bars, our deer friends don’t like the feel of tiny hairs on their tongues and palates. Some begonias do.

That Deer Eat

There are certain types of begonias that deer are very fond of. This is because they have the texture and consistency these animals love. As you know, begonias come in groups, so let’s take a look at them one by one.

Dragonwing Begonias

All Begonias Aren't Deer-Resistant: Here's How To Keep Them From Eating Begonias

Dragonwing begonias are perfect food for deer. Their name comes from the shale of the leaves, which are divided into two opposing parts, or “wings,” and they have clusters of small flowers.

Unfortunately, the leaves on these begonias have a smooth, glossy finish…deer will have no problem eating them.

Wax begonia

 

clue is in the name; wax begonias are so smooth that de will eat them. But they won’t be their favorite options. I told you, they’re picky and looking “too smooth” isn’t great for them…

but if they can’t find a better option, they’ll eat them. To them, your garden is like a table of appetizers or snacks…they get to pick!

Deer will eat some tuberous begonias

 

. Tuberous begonias have large, showy colorful flowers, but it’s the foliage that deer are interested in. Some plants in this group have hairy leaves, which deer avoid, and others have smooth leaves, which become more appetizing to deer.

Some Rex Begonias

 

Rex begonias are a special group because we grow them for their beautiful foliage. Some are smooth and some are blurry. Deer will eat the former and sneer at the latter. The problem is, begonias with their leaves bitten off are a real disaster when it comes to gardening.

Some hardy

begonias have small flowers and dense, abundant foliage, but this is usually fuzzy and deer will ignore it. However, don’t take it as “I’m safe with hardy begonias.”

Not all flowers have hairy leaves, and deer don’t classify these flowers the way we do; they divide them into two categories: “the hairy ones are bad” and the “smooth ones are delicious.” For example, they’ll love the soft, smooth, thin leaves of begonias…

but even if you choose hairy begonias, you’re not completely safe.

When do deer eat hairy begonias?

Even if you grow a hairy begonia variety, you’re never really completely free from deer. Why? The reason is that being deer resistant does not mean that deer are immune.

It just means that the deer avoid them, just like when you have potatoes and brussels sprouts as a side dish, you leave the sprouts on the plate.

But imagine if you only had little green leafy balls to eat…at first you might pass, but when the hunger pangs build…even brussels sprouts would do! The same goes for deer and furry leaves.

They’re not their favorite food, but it’s still food to them.

The only plants that deer will never actually eat are poisonous and poisonous plants, and begonias are not among them.

How To Keep Deer From Eating Begonias

But you love begonias and you want to take the risk of making it hard for deer to eat your begonias, here are some easy steps to keep deer from eating your begonias:

  • Do not plant begonias near deer favorite plants like daylilies, roses , Hosta, Rhododendron And Violets.
  • Plant them where deer are hard to find.
  • Grow garlic among your begonias.
  • Mist the begonias with garlic water every two weeks.
  • Use a deer-resistant barrier, such as a large deer-resistant hedge for deer.
  • Get a big watchdog; they’ll scare the deer away!

Now, let’s take a closer look at which begonias end up as deer food and which don’t.

Begonias are deer repellant, but they’re not deer repellants.

Deer usually ignore hairy leaf begonias, but they’re not afraid. That means they can’t keep these hungry visitors away. Strong smelling and even poisonous plants are really needed…

but this gives us a hint…

Begonias are never completely safe from hungry deer. So, let me tell you a trick… mix strong-smelling plants with begonias, they will keep deer away. Examples:

  • lavender
  • garlic or decorative onions
  • rosemary thyme mint and sage
  • phlox

these will help your begonias go unnoticed because the strong aroma is repulsive even though we love it.

Finally, choose the right breed!

Begonia Varieties That Deer Don’t Like

There are some “pretty safe” begonia varieties that are hairy and deer don’t usually leave them alone, and we’ve selected some of the best varieties for you to sample.

1. Begonia ‘Silver Jewel’ 

 

‘Silver Jewel’ is a stunning evergreen variety that you’ll want for its foliage, and deer don’t like it. These are heart shaped (heart shaped) but round and green with a silver dash inside! beautiful! But with deer there is one major problem…

they are covered in nasty tiny hairs…this is a delicate plant that grows well in pots or even indoors. This hat is so pretty and has won a Garden Merit Award from the Royal Horticultural Society!

  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 10 to 11.
  • Lighting: Partial shade.
  • Flowering season: winter.
  • Measurements: 1′ tall, unfolded (30cm).
  • Soil Requirements: Well-drained, loamy, consistently moist loam with a neutral to slightly acidic pH.

2. Iron Cross Begonia (Begonia masoniana)

Iron Cross Begonia is an impressive variety with a dark brown, almost black cross on its deer-resistant light green leaves. Unfortunately for our horned friends, its evergreen foliage is also covered in fuzzy hairs.

It’s not a hardy begonia at all, though, and should only be grown in hot regions or in containers. This variety has also received a Garden Merit Award from the Royal Horticultural Society, no wonder!

  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 11 to 12.
  • Lighting: Partial shade.
  • Flowering season: winter.
  • Measurements: 1′ tall, unfolded (30cm).
  • Soil Requirements: Well-drained, loamy, consistently moist loam, chalk, or sandy soil with a slightly alkaline to slightly acidic pH.

3. Begonia ‘Fireworks’ (Begonia ‘Fireworks’)

Deer dislike the impressive evergreen heart-shaped leaves of Begonia ‘Fireworks’.

It’s a pity because they have a radiating dark brownish purple center followed by a light lime green area which sometimes tends towards a light silvery blue followed by a light purple and dark pinkish purple rim!

This artwork is blurry, so, better for us! Pink blooms adorn this iridescent foliage, and guess what…it won a Garden Merit Award from the Royal Horticultural Society.

  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 10 to 11.
  • Lighting: Partial shade or full shade.
  • Flowering season: winter.
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall, spread (30 to 60 cm).
  • Soil Requirements: Well-drained, loamy, consistently moist loam, chalk, or sandy soil with a slightly alkaline to slightly acidic pH.

4. Begonia ‘Hanging Basket’

 

 

This deer-resistant perennial tuberous begonia gets its name from the giveaway; it has trailing branches and beautiful double-plumping flowers that last for months. Depending on the breed you choose, these colors can be dark green, salmon, scarlet, yellow or white.

Yes, it’s great for hanging baskets or hanging in pots and rock gardens, on steps and anywhere you need greenery and bright flowers, even if a stag, doe or fawn visits, its furry foliage will stop them from having Weird stuff bites.

  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 through 11.
  • Lighting: Partial shade.
  • Blooming Season: From Late Spring to Frost!
  • Dimensions: 1 foot tall (30 cm) and 2 feet (60 cm),
  • Soil Requirements: Well-drained, loamy, consistently moist loam or sandy loam with a neutral to slightly acidic pH.

5. Begonia ‘Picotee Lace’ series 

 

The leaves of the late blooming ‘Picotee Lace’ begonia series are relatively hairy, which deer do not like. On the other hand, it has an impressive range of colors…”Flamenco” is white with deep red, “Calypso” is white with orange rim, and “Sunburst” is yellow with red rim.

Some have half-ruffled petals, others fringe. The flowers are huge, measuring up to 6 inches, or 15 centimeters! So, ‘Picotee Lace’ has lots of color and flowers, but very few deer around!

  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 10 to 11.
  • Lighting: Partial shade.
  • Blooming season: summer solstice frost.
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall, spread (30 to 60 cm).
  • Soil Requirements: Well-drained, frequently moist and fertile loam, clay, or sandy soil with a neutral to acidic pH.

6. Zhuanyang Begonia (Begonia soli-mutata)

Fortunately, deer do not eat Zhuanyang Begonia, it is a masterpiece! The hairy leaves are heart-shaped and dark green with lime green stripes and purple undersides, just beautiful! They also have small bumps on them.

Oddly, the leaves seem to change color with the light! And clusters of tiny white flowers… well, it has a medal, the prestigious Garden Award from the Royal Horticultural Society!

  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 10 to 11.
  • Lighting: Partial shade.
  • Flowering season: winter.
  • Measurements: 1′ tall (30cm) and 2′ spread (60cm).
  • Soil Requirements: Well-drained, loamy, consistently moist loam, clay, or sandy soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH.

7. Begonia ‘Ruffled’

‘ begonias have large flowers, up to 9 inches (22 cm), and deer don’t like them because the leaves are, you guessed it, slightly fuzzy .

The leaves are dark green with beautiful veins, while the flowers are also very profuse, fully double with frilly edges and come in white, yellow, apricot, salmon, pink or red.

  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 through 11.
  • Lighting: Partial shade.
  • Blooming season: Midsummer to frost.
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall, spread (30 to 60 cm).
  • Soil Requirements: Well-drained, loamy, consistently moist loam, clay, or sandy soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH.

8. Begonia ‘Roseform’ series (Begonia ‘Roseform’)

‘Roseform’ is an unusual series of erect begonias with hairy leaves so they can’t be harmed by deer, but…but the flowers are special because The petals unfold in a spiral from the center, as they do in some roses.

That’s where the name comes from. The flowers appear in clusters and bloom in the last months of the year. They can be yellow, white, pink, red, rose, apricot and orange – the variety is endless!

  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 through 11.
  • Lighting: Partial shade.
  • Blooming season: Midsummer to frost.
  • Measurements: 2′ tall (60cm) and 1′ spread (30cm).
  • Soil Requirements: Well-drained, loamy, consistently moist loam or sandy loam with a neutral to slightly acidic pH.

Begonias Without Deer

Now you know the truth. The information can be confusing, but now you know it’s the texture of the leaves that is holding some begonias back, not all.

But now you also have some tips, and even a “safety list” of varieties you can grow…

Yes, you can grow some begonias and sleep sound sleep…

Read more:

Do Deer Eat Azaleas?

Do Deer Eat Sunflowers?

Do Deer Eat Petunias?

Do Deer Eat Carrots?

 

 

Randolph Snider
Randolph Snider

I'm Randolph Snider, the founder and CEO of 10Hunting.com. I started the company in order to provide honest, unbiased reviews of hunting equipment and to help people make informed decisions when they're ready to buy gear.

Being a lifelong hunter, I know what it's like to be on the hunt for the best products available. I also understand the importance of getting good value for your money. That's why my goal is always to provide thorough, accurate information that will help you make the smartest choices possible when it comes time to buy hunting gear.

Articles: 148