Do Deer Eat Succulents: 4 Interesting Facts to Know

While growing plants is a great way to stay healthy, taking care of your plants is not easy. If you love growing succulents and live in a rural area with plenty of deer around, you might be wondering, “Do deer eat succulents?”.

do deer eat succulents

Deer are herbivores which means they love devouring plants. They have a big appetite and can munch on any plants that come their way. However, they aren’t fond of succulents and would pass on them.

Although hunger may force a deer to eat anything, even a succulent. A hungry deer would eat anything to soothe its appetite without thinking much. If you grow succulent plants and live by a wildlife park, a forest or any such wild area, you may need to look after your succulents.

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Why Do Deer Eat Succulents

deer eating plant

Deer typically enter gardens in search of food. In the presence of other plants, a deer may spare your succulent. But if it is starving, it may try to take a bite out of them too.

Some deer also enter gardens when they are thirsty. While they usually prefer ponds, sometimes they also drink water from smaller pools and birdbaths. They may be timid, but hunger and thirst can drive them to destroy your gardens.

Types of Deer-Resistant Succulents

Some succulents are more deer resistant than others. It is safe to keep these plants outdoors. These are:

  • Aloe
  • Agave
  • Sempervivum
  • Hens and chicks
  • Cactus
  • Sotol

Saving Your Succulents

Hiding Your Succulent Among Other Plants

One of the best ways of saving your succulents from hungry deer is to hide your succulent among other plants. This process is commonly known as companion planting.

There are many plants that a deer would never eat, no matter how hungry it is. It is a good idea to use these plants to save your beloved succulents. Some of these plants are:

Maximilian Sunflower

maximilian sunflower
Maximilian sunflowers

Maximilian sunflowers are great for outdoor gardens. Just like succulents, they don’t need too much water making them a great option for hiding your succulents. They can protect the succulents from deer while at the same time, they can also provide them shade from the harsh rays of the sun.

It is a tall plant and can grow up to ten feet. Because of its size, you can spread these sunflowers in your garden far apart and they can protect many succulents at the same time.

These sunflowers can withstand harsh environments making them low maintenance just like succulents.


Lavender plants are another great option to keep the deer away. These plants have natural oils that the deer tend to avoid. These flowers have an anxiety-reducing fragrance and can add beauty to your outdoor garden.

Be careful to not water these plants too much as they are also drought resistant like succulents. They can grow up to 48 inches depending on the sun.


rosemary plants
Rosemary plant

Apart from being an important ingredient in many recipes, rosemary can keep those pesky deer away. The aroma of rosemary drives the deer away. Growing this plant will not only protect your succulent, but you can also use it in your cooking.

Russian Sage

You should consider Russian sage if you live in colder climates. It can grow in any type of soil. These plants can irritate the skin of the deer which is how it keeps them away. However, care must be taken around this plant as it can be injurious to humans for the same reason.


Hyssop has many medical properties and has long been used to treat cuts, bruises, respiratory sicknesses and more. While it has many benefits for humans, animals like rabbits and deer stay away from this plant due to its fragrance.


Building a fence around your succulent plants is a great way to keep the deer away. If you don’t have access to the above-mentioned plants, this can be another good option. However, this method has some drawbacks.

fence out deers
  • You may need professional help to build a fence.
  • It can block the sunlight.
  • It requires more money and time.

When building a fence, make sure you don’t build it too high. It should keep the deer away but shouldn’t block much sunlight. Remember that some deer can jump high and come into your yard. You can use other materials such as protective wires and nets for an added layer of protection.

Deer Repellents

If your plants are young, this is a great way to get rid of the deer. You must buy a deer repellant that doesn’t let the deer come near the succulents but at the same time, it shouldn’t harm the plant. The only drawback is that it can be difficult finding an affordable repellant.

You will have to spray the deer repellents regularly for protection.

Motion Sensors

Installing motion sensors is another strategy to protect your succulents. There are different kinds of motion sensors available in the market. Some drive the animals away by spraying water on them while some can emit sounds.

orbit 62100 yard enforcer motion-activated sprinkler with day & night detection modes,black

Remember that deer can adapt to repetitive sounds and lights. While a motion sensor may scare away the deer in the beginning, it may not work when a deer is sure that no harm is coming its way.

To prevent this from happening, you can use motion sensors that emit radio sounds. The sounds are always changing so the deer don’t adapt to it. Deer are particularly afraid of human voices and won’t step into a garden with such noises.

Other Animals

While deer are definitely notorious for eating succulents, there are some other animals as well that you should be careful about. These are:

  • Insects like caterpillars, bugs and grasshoppers
  • Squirrels
  • Snails and slugs
  • Rabbits

Parting Thoughts

It is not uncommon for deer to wander off in search of food. These hungry animals often walk in gardens and eat away the plants. While these animals are lovely to look at, it can be annoying when they destroy your garden.

A well-fed deer would not harm your succulent but a hungry one might.