Skip to Content

Do Deer Eat Canna Lilies? (Read This First!)

Canna lilies are good for medication purposes. You can use the leaves and root powder for diarrhea and dysentery problems. Also, its powder and medicine can be used as the best menstrual pain relief.

Those are the very few advantages of planting canna lilies in your garden. You will also enjoy its flower and other parts for malaria disease. So, if you plan to grow medicinal plants in your garden, grow canna lilies. It will be a wise decision.

Deer eat canna lilies

Deer don’t eat canna lilies because of their bitter taste, smell, and stomach problems. Since canna is a medicinal tree, most animals will keep away from eating its leaves, roots, and other parts. It’s a pure deer-resistant plant that you can grow in your garden. It will deter deer.

Because of its medicinal power, you can consider growing some canna lilies in your garden. It can bear both the full sunlight and shadowy area. Specifically, the canna lilies can grow best under light shadowy regions. You must grow this plant if you have such a place in your garden.

It will give you two best benefits; one is its medicinal importance, and the other one is considered as the deer-resistant features. If you want to grow something deer don’t like to eat, you should consider planting more canna lilies in your garden.

They have a bitter taste and acute smell, which is entirely unfavorable to deer and other wild animals.

If some deer accidentally comes to your garden, it will still avoid eating canna lilies. Some studies also show that most deer will avoid eating canna lilies although they are starving and can’t find their food.

Considering these benefits, you can plant some canna lilies around your garden. They will protect your garden from deer because when deer smell canna leaves, they will not try to get into the garden. It’s the best part of planting canna lilies in your garden.

Besides deterring deer, you can also repel rabbits and other animals from your garden. If you have a pet deer & rabbit and want to secure your garden, you can safely plant some canna lilies and naturally deter deer & rabbit. Most of the animals will keep away from your garden.

If your deer accidentally eats some canna lilies, you need to take it seriously and help your pet get rid of the worst health condition. First, it might face stomach issues since the canna leaves can ruin the stomach. The digestion system will go wrong and take time to recover.

In that situation, you can offer more water to your deer than a meal. The extra water will help your deer survive long and fight against the canna leaves chemicals.

Do deer eat canna lily plants?

Deer don’t eat canna lily plants since they are not edible and contain a bitter taste compared to regular grass. Mainly, lily plants or canna lily plants are full of natural chemicals that create a pungent smell. And the deer & other wild animals cannot bear that smell & taste.

Consequently, the deer keep away from eating canna lily plants. You can taste your pet deer by offering some canna lily plants. They will mostly smell the leaves and will avoid it instantly unless they are too hungry and don’t have any nearby food source.

It’s a sign that deer don’t eat canna lily plants in harsh conditions. If your deer are sick and have no eating sense, they might take a few leaves and eat some portion of the canna lily plants.

But in normal conditions, your pet deer or any wild deer will never try to eat canna lily plants.

Do deer and rabbits like calla lilies?

Deer & rabbits don’t like calla lilies because of the same reason. The reason is deer & animal resistant smell & taste. You can also taste some canna lilies to get the real flavor and taste of the canna lilies. You will eventually get the reason why this is not edible.

You cannot chew and eat the canna lilies, leaves, and other parts. It will be bitter and have a sharp smell. These two features or characteristics are the main reasons why deer & rabbits don’t like to eat canna lilies or any part of them.

If you have a watery garden or pond in your garden, you can plant some canna lilies in your pond. They will be rabbit-deer proof. So, you don’t need to worry about repelling the deer and other wild animals manually.

3 reasons why deer avoid canna lilies

You will find three reasons deer avoid eating canna lilies from your garden. They are pretty much the same as why the canna lilies are deer-resistant. So, keep reading and get why your deer avoid canna lilies.

Bitter Taste:

The first reason your deer avoid canna lilies is their bitter taste. Since canna lily is a medicinal plant, you will get an unpleasant taste from biting canna lilies leaves.

The same happens when the deer try to eat some canna lilies and avoid them after taking the first bite.

It will not get the natural or favorable taste from canna lilies. And we know deer and other wild animals don’t like the bitter taste. They can digest and live the sweet taste, but they will avoid the bitter tasty leaves and plants.

Acute Smell:

If you get the canna lilies smell, you will get a sharp smell. Due to medicine ingredients or chemicals, the canna lilies contain an intense smell. When deer near the canna lily, it will also smell pungent or strong.

So, the smell quickly deterred the deer and rabbit from eating canna lilies. If you search for deer-resistant plants, I’d suggest growing some canna lilies and letting the sharp smell naturally deter deer and other animals.

You don’t need to use any deer-repellent sprayer.

Digestion Problem:

If your pet deer don’t have any sense of eating tasty bitter leaves, they might eat some canna lilies planted unwillingly.

It’s not like they will willingly eat some canna lilies. Once they eat some canna lilies leaves, they won’t ever try to eat this plant again.

Because they will face digestion problems, if they eat that plant, their stomach will be wrong and go through it for a long time. That’s why the deer will avoid canna lilies.

Are canna lily deer resistant?

Canna lilies are considered relatively deer resistant and classified as a rarely severely damaged plant.

This is the second-highest rating, indicating that while it is not a favorite food of deer, it is also a plant that they will nibble on occasionally as you need to provide some protection.

However, remember that deer taste each plant to see if they like it and, just like humans, they can have different preferences too.

Another thing that might make a difference is the number of other foods available to deer. When there isn’t as much wild food available, deer are more likely to invade your yard in search of food.

How can I protect my canna lilies from deer?

You can protect your canna lilies from deer with the following tips.


If you don’t like the idea of fencing or want to consider an alternative option, you can always look to cover your flowers with netting or floats.

Remember, this must be done frequently (daily, it will be great if it is done once at night and once in the morning). Apart from this, invest in good-quality nets with strong fabric around the edges.

Wind Chimes:

If you want to settle for some sort of low-tech, you can try wind chimes. As a thoroughly classic outdoor accent, they often startle deer and deter them from returning.

However, after some time, deer can become comfortable with the sound of the chimes, which will reduce their anxiety over time. That is why it is best to combine these chimes with something else.


If all else fails, you should try to get a dog to keep deer away from your canna lilies garden.

This way, the dog will yell at them every time the deer try to cross the border. In most cases, barking is enough to deter the deer since they take their fears very seriously.

Grow Nearby:

Interestingly, deer tend to be quite shy. They are constantly alert and will flee as soon as they feel uncomfortable.

Because of these characteristics, they generally do not come close to buildings or other structures where people are nearby. If they finally work up enough courage to venture into your home.

Final Thoughts

Because of the bitter taste, acute smell, and digestion problems, deer don’t eat canna lilies. They will always avoid eating any part of the canna lilies. So, you can also consider this canna lilies the perfect deer-resistant plant. You can plant lilies in your pond and let deer avoid them.