Deer with a Discerning Diet

Asked June 25, 2013, 6:22 PM EDT

Deer raid my flower beds but only eat the white petunias (not red, purple, pink, etc) First they eat the white flowers but will return and pull out the entire plant. Why only White Petunias?

Maricopa County Arizona

1 Response

Thank you for your question for eXtension. I'm not sure why they prefer white petunias, but they must taste better to them. According to Rutgers Cooperative Extension, petunias are sometimes eaten by deer in New Jersey. Here is that reference: You could try to protect the plants using chicken wire cages anchored to the ground, but once an animal develops a taste for something, they often return for more. If you'd like to discuss this further, you may call me at 928-445-6590 ext 224.