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Do Deer Eat Coreopsis? (Read This First!)

Specialized herbivores such as deer eat the food nature provides and the number of different plants in nature are limitless. Some deer like while others they avoid at all cost. Coreopsis is one such flowering plant from the daisy family but does it appeal to or repulse deer?

Do deer eat coreopsis?

Deer do not usually eat coreopsis. They rarely browse and look for coreopsis when they want something to eat. But in times when food is scarce and they are starving, deer will most likely eat the long-blooming perennial flowering plant. So, coreopsis are in a way slightly deer-resistant.

Lance-leaf coreopsis or tickseed are flowering plants with cheerful yellow blooms that brighten up gardens and yards from the middle of summer all the way to early fall and even though they are guaranteed to attract a lot of bees and butterflies; thankfully deer don’t come looking for them.

Deer do not actively avoid it like they do other plants which have high toxicity or are poisonous but will also not try to eat a coreopsis plant unless they are hungry and are unable to find any other food to satisfy their hunger.

This means that coreopsis will be relatively safe even if deer frequent the area they are planted in. But in cases when deer are hungry, which part of the coreopsis plant are they more likely to eat? Read on and find out!

Coreopsis flowers:

Deer aren’t very picky eaters. So, if they happen to be hungry and pass a field with coreopsis flowers in full bloom with no barrier then you can bet your bottom dollar, they will munch those bright yellow flowers down to the stub. Therefore, it is best to use some sort of a barrier to keep deer away from coreopsis plants with flowers.

Coreopsis plants:

Coreopsis plants are rarely eaten by deer. They seem to much prefer narrow-leaf evergreens such as arborvitae and fir over lance-leaf coreopsis. But when they can not find arborvitae or fir, they will certainly begin to munch on coreopsis plants even though it isn’t their favorite. So, basically being hungry can make deer eat coreopsis plants. That means if you are planning to plant coreopsis in your garden or field, you better find a way to protect them from any passing deer.

Is coreopsis or tickseed deer resistant?

Coreopsis also known as tickseed is a long-blooming plant that is deer resistant. The flavor, texture, smell or a combination of all keeps deer away from this flowering plant. But there are many different species in this plant family. Are deer resistant to them all? Take a look at the list we have compiled below to find out.

Moonbeam coreopsis:

Moonbeam coreopsis is a flowering plant that belongs to the coreopsis plant family and it is also deer resistant. It produces beautiful lemon-yellow flowers when summer starts arriving but even these pretty blooms don’t beckon to deer which is a good thing for the flower owners. However, sometimes when food is scarce and deer are unable to find and eat the food they prefer, they will begin to eat plants such as the moonbeam coreopsis. Hunger makes it hard for the deer to resist them.

Threadleaf coreopsis:

Threadleaf coreopsis is one of the most resilient plants from the coreopsis family. It can tolerate heat and drought and is very deer resistant. Deer are almost never seen eating threadleaf coreopsis. They avoid it at all costs. They might munch on other coreopsis plants here and there out of hunger but they don’t even nibble on threadleaf coreopsis. This makes threadleaf coreopsis the right choice for people living in areas that are frequented by deer.

Zagreb coreopsis:

Zagreb coreopsis is also safe from deer as it is deer resistant. It has showy blooms with bright green foliage that has a fine texture. And even though all this helps to attract bees and butterflies, it fails to get the attention of deer and also rabbits. Deer will completely ignore zagreb coreopsis and instead opt for plants with narrow leafs. It is not quite clear if deer will begin to eat them in hunger or not because plant specialists have reiterated that zagreb coreopsis are very deer resistant.

Coreopsis Grandiflora or sunkiss coreopsis:

Coreopsis grandiflora also known to many as sunkiss coreopsis has a very rapid growth and blooms bright yellow flowers with burgundy red centers in summer but despite the beautiful appearances, it is resistant to deer. The aesthetically pleasing features of the coreopsis grandiflora does not appeal to deer and they are rarely if ever seen seeking it out for consumption. The only time they appear to be eating coreopsis grandiflora is when their food of choice has run out and they are in need of nourishment.

Coreopsis Lanceolata:

Coreopsis lanceolata is a flowering plant with blooms that have a nectar source which attracts quite a few butterflies but is still somewhat resistant to animals such as deer. But deer do not avoid it completely like they do for a few other plants from the coreopsis family. Many coreopsis lanceolata owners claim they believe it isn’t actually deer resistant because deer may not seek it out but if they happen to find it by chance, 8 out of 10 times they will start to munch on the flowers and foliage.

Dwarf coreopsis:

Deer do not enjoy eating dwarf coreopsis which is why it is mostly classified as deer resistant. Other coreopsis plants usually reach a height of about 18 inches which isn’t all that tall but the dwarf coreopsis as the name suggests is even shorter. It can be as short as only 6 inches from the ground and in order to eat it, deer would have to bend very low which is uncomfortable for them. So, they tend to avoid eating dwarf coreopsis altogether.

Coreopsis Rosea:

Coreopsis rosea is also another flowering plant from the coreopsis family that is unpalateable to deer and a few other herbivores. In order for deer to like it, the foliage should be tender with a smooth texture and have a slight sweet taste but the coreopsis rosea comes with hairy and textured foliage. This makes it deer resistant and keeps it off any passing deer’s radar.

Do deer like coreopsis?

Coreopsis is a deer resistant flowering plant and their eating habits and food choices suggest they do not like coreopsis. The coreopsis plant family has a lot of different species of coreopsis under its umbrella and deer react differently to them.

Some they eat but others they avoid like the plague. But they mainly avoid it because the texture and taste of coreopsis is different from what they usually seem to like to eat and also coreopsis are not very tall. That means in order to feast on them, deer will need to stoop down low which can be inconvenient and also leaves them exposed to dangers.

However, all of these problems cease to matter when they are hungry and struggling to find food. When that happens, they will gladly eat coreopsis even though its foliage might be hairier than they like and also shorter than they like.

How to keep deer from eating coreopsis plants?

By now we know that coreopsis are deer resistant meaning deer don’t have much interest in these flowering plants. But at the same time lack of food and hunger takes away a deer’s privilege to choose. In times like that they will definitely eat coreopsis plants and flowers. So, if you have planted coreopsis plants in your garden or yard; then here are a few ways to ensure they don’t get demolished by any deer that might be passing by.

  • You can string a fishing line 2 to 3 feet from the ground. This should go around the entire patch of coreopsis. It will confuse deer and will cause them to go look for food elsewhere.
  • Deer have a very strong sense of smell. So, a bar of deodorant soap near the coreopsis will discourage them from eating the flower or foliage from the plant.
  • You can also leave spent coffee grounds and locks of human hair on the ground near the coreopsis. Deer will associate the smell with humans and think humans are nearby and hopefully leave the flowering plants alone.
  • Another way to keep deer away is by choosing the right coreopsis such as threadleaf coreopsis. Because this particular coreopsis plant is known to be hardy and very deer resistant.

Final Thoughts

Coreopsis is not a deer’s first choice when it comes to food as they do not find the texture of its foliage to their liking and the lack of height of the plant requires them to bend down while eating. But when food is scarce, deer will start eating coreopsis flowers and plants in spite of this.