Do Deer Eat Impatiens? (How To Protect Them)

It can be hard growing a garden with so many pests. Slugs, insects, rabbits, and deer all cause harm and will not hesitate to demolish your garden if given the opportunity. 

However, there are some plants pests won’t eat, but are Impatiens one of these plants? If not, what can you do to keep them safe? What plants can you grow if Impatiens aren’t deer resistant?

Deer will eat Impatiens; but by growing deer-resistant plants nearby like Lavender or Marigold or using motion sensors or repellents to scare them off, you can keep them safe from most deer.

Keep reading below to learn more about Impatiens and deer, what plants they don’t enjoy eating and how to keep your garden safe from pests, so you don’t have to worry. 

What Animals Will Eat Impatiens Flowers?

impatient flower
Unfortunately, Impatiens have a mild sweet smell and bright colors. While this makes them attractive in your garden, it also makes them attractive to animals and insects. 

Do Deer Eat New Guinea Impatiens?

Yes, deer eat any type of Impatiens, including New Guinea Impatiens. They enjoy eating these flowers and will not hesitate if the Impatiens are unprotected. If there are a lot of deer in your area, it may be a good idea to take steps to protect your plants before they are all completely eaten.

Unfortunately, this means that when people ask if Impatiens are deer resistant, the answer is no since deer love them so much.

Do Rabbits Eat Impatiens?

There is a bit of a debate on whether rabbits eat Impatiens. Some say they love to eat Impatiens and that having them in your garden will surely attract rabbits. Others say that rabbits are not attracted to Impatiens but will eat them if they are nearby.

Either way, even if rabbits aren’t attracted to Impatiens, they will nibble them at least once. For this reason, it is an excellent idea to protect your garden from rabbits that may want to try them out of curiosity.

Do Squirrels Eat Impatiens?

Squirrels are similar to rabbits when it comes to Impatiens. While Impatiens aren’t their favorite food, they will not avoid them and may eat them if they are in the area. However, they don’t attract squirrels to your garden.

Besides these animals, many others enjoy at least an occasional tasty nibble on these pretty plants. 

Some examples of other pests that eat Impatiens include:

  • Slugs
  • Earwigs
  • Weevils
  • Chipmunks
  • Aphids
  • Spider mites
  • Thrips

So when you plant Impatiens, it is best to be prepared to fight off pests often and to make preparations right away to keep pests away.

How Can You Prevent Animals From Eating Impatiens?

impatien flowersOne of the easiest ways to keep animals from getting into your Impatiens, especially larger animals like deer, is to plant the Impatiens close to your home. You can keep an eye on them near a window or the front door and scare away pests that might arrive.

For further benefits, it is a good idea to keep them up off of the ground. Window boxes are an excellent way to do this, as they allow you to keep the plants off the ground, which keeps away pests like rabbits and slugs much easier.

However, if the house is empty for periods of time, such as when you are in school or working, this might not work. 

Another option that helps to brighten your garden is to plant flowers and plants that are natural pest repellents. Plants like marigolds and poppies are great deterrents to deer while also making your yard brighter and more colorful.

Other plants that keep away pests include:

  • Lavender
  • Penstemon
  • Crape Myrtle
  • Cactus
  • Artemesia
  • Hyssop
  • Sages
  • Shasta Daisy
  • Common butterfly bush
  • Columbine
  • Foxglove
  • Rosemary

Using one or a mixture of these in your garden will keep the most persistent pests away and leave you better able to save your Impatiens and keep them healthy.

If that isn’t working, then another thing you can do is place some other deterrents around your garden. Things like dried blood meal, pepper sprays, chemical scents from stores, or predator urine are all excellent options but need to be replaced often. This helps ensure your repellent stays strong and effective. 

If you want something more mechanical that works automatically, any machine that sprays water, makes a noise, or emits a bright light can work just as well. Even something that releases a spray when there is a movement will work.

You can rig something up yourself with a motion-controlled sensor if you are handy. But don’t worry; if you are a little nervous about making something yourself, you can buy motion-activated sprinklers, control lights, or ultrasonic animal repellents fairly easily online or in gardening stores.

Fences work as well, as long as they are too tall for deer to jump over. You may also want to ensure the fence is dug down a foot or two so that rabbits cannot dig underneath the fence. Chicken wire is also a great way to keep away bigger pests, as they cannot push through the small holes.

What Annuals Will Deer Leave Alone?

Many plants are naturally deer-resistant. Certain plants are unattractive to deer and other pests, whether due to a toxin or a pungent smell. With so many options, you can be sure to plant a couple in your yard that will fit your garden design and flow with your other plants.

Some examples of annual plants that are deer resistant are:

  • Cosmos
  • Spider flowers
  • Larkspur
  • Mexican sunflower
  • Mexican marigolds
  • Sage
  • And many more

These are just some of the most common deer-resistant flowers, but there are many others. 

Do Deer Eat Lantana?

Lantana is a great plant to have in your garden. Not only does it attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, but it keeps away both deer and rabbits because of its strong scent and heavily textured leaves.

Do Deer Like Eating Lavender?

Deer tend to avoid lavender as much as possible. While many people enjoy it for its potent fragrance and beauty, the smell is what keeps deer away from it. This is why lavender is considered deer-resistant. 

Do Deer Eat Geraniums?

Most garden pests, including deer, do not like geraniums. However, they are not distinctly deer-resistant as deer will eat them when in a pinch or if they are readily available.

Geraniums have a bitter taste and a strong, pungent scent and are fairly toxic, so it keeps away many pests. 

Do Deer Eat Petunias?

Petunias are not considered deer-resistant in the least. Deer quite enjoy petunias and will eat them whenever they can. Some people even come to know petunias as deer candy as they enjoy the flavor so much. 

Some experts say that deer are not naturally attracted to petunias and have only learned to like them after repeated feedings. This does explain why some areas seem to have a high amount of deer-eating petunias while others say they don’t see deer eating them much. However, whether this is true or just a strange phenomenon is still unclear. 


Deer will eat Impatiens; however, by growing other deer-resistant plants nearby and employing mechanics or repellents to scare them off, you can keep them safe from most deer.

Now that you know that your Impatiens are not naturally safe from animals and insects, it is important to take steps to ensure they are protected in your garden. Things like keeping them off the ground, planting them near other flowers that are repellents, or even using mechanical repellents, powders, or sprays all work great, and you may be able to use a few of these methods at once. 

While Impatiens are not deer resistant, many other plants are like Lavender, Marigold, Sage, and Cactus. In general, anything that is toxic, has a strong smell, or isn’t very palatable, is usually safe from pests.