Do Deer Eat Coleus – An In-depth Look

Last Updated on September 14, 2022 by Zoe C.

Do deer eat coleus? Let’s learn what type of plant coleus is and the possibility of deer eating or not eating them.

So do deer eat coleus? The coleus is a very beautiful and attractive plant. It is a member of the Lamiaceae family and is found throughout the world, especially in tropical countries. The coleus can be grown as a ground cover, or as a houseplant.

Coleus are perennial plants that are easy to grow from seed or cuttings and are extremely popular in modern garden design. They are very ornamental and attract butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects; as well as a range of birds.

The coleus is a plant with large, showy flowers that bloom in spring. It’s native to the Americas and can grow up to 3 feet tall.

Growing Coleus

Coleus are relatively easy to grow, but they do require some maintenance to keep them healthy. You can grow them in a large pot or container and make sure you have good drainage holes. You can plant them directly in the ground, but they will grow more slowly. You can plant them in containers too at the patio, balcony or outdoors.

Here are important factors to consider when growing coleus:

  • Plant in a large container with good drainage holes. The container you grow coleus should measure at least twice the height of the anticipated plant height.
  • Use compost that is well-draining and rich in organic matter. The soil in your container should be well-drained, but also slightly moist. Add an appropriate amount of fertilizer to your planting medium.
  • Plant in full sun or partial shade. Do not place in a dark part of the garden. Coleus can be grown in containers that contain gravel, pebbles, sand, or other materials.
  • Don’t let the soil get too wet. Watering twice a day during the summer months will encourage growth and flowering.
  • Fertilize coleus plants regularly. A regular feeding schedule is usually needed to keep plants thriving and growing. A good fertilizer for coleus is one that contains phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Don’t over-fertilize. Try to avoid fertilizer that has been labeled as “quick-acting” or “quick-fertilizing” on your coleus plants. These fertilizers are designed to be applied immediately after planting. While these fertilizers are helpful for very young coleus plants, they do not provide the best long-term results. Remove the spent flowers. Coleus plants are very attractive to butterflies and other pollinating insects.
  • Make sure the roots are exposed to air. The top of the root system should be exposed to the air, which helps with the absorption of nutrients. If the roots are wrapped up in a ball, the plant will not absorb as much water or nutrients. This will also help the plant stay healthy. Water your coleus plants regularly. If you water your coleus plants twice a day, you will be able to keep them looking great all year long. A general rule of thumb is that the leaves will begin to droop after the first hard frost. The leaves should remain in good condition until the ground thaws again. The best time to harvest your coleus plants is just before they start blooming. The plants will continue to bloom for several more months.

will deer eat coleus

Do Deer Eat Coleus?

So do deer eat coleus? Deer are destructive animals that eat almost anything growing in gardens. They will eat everything from grasses, to plants, to shrubs, to trees. They will even eat flowers and quickly demolish vegetable plants. If a deer comes into your garden and has the opportunity to eat Coleus, they will certainly take advantage of it.

However, generally speaking, deer will avoid eating coleus. This is because coleus is mildly toxic to animals, including deer. For this reason, they will very rarely eat this plant unless desperate.

If you do have a deer problem, deer tend to prefer plants with large leaves, so cutting off the leaves will help reduce the number of leaves on which they can browse. You can also cover your plants with a tarp or other cover that will keep deer from eating them.

Keeping Deer Away

It is a real challenge to keep deer away, and not just because they are curious. Deer have a very good sense of smell, and coleus is no exception to their smell sense. So to keep deer away from destroying your plants, do the following:

  • Fencing your garden. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with lots of native plants, you can put up a fence that keeps deer out. If not, you’ll have to get creative.
  • Use deterrents such as motion-sensitive sprinklers. You can also grow plants that deter deer, like chives and garlic or grow wildflowers that deer don’t eat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Coleus Deer Resistant?

Most people believe that coleus is deer resistant, but there is no research to prove that. Deer do tend to stay away as the plant is mildly toxic to them.

Do Deer and Rabbits Eat Coleus?

No. Deer and rabbits do not eat coleus. However, when there are no other plants in view, they may eat them to stay alive.   

What Flowers Will Deer Not Eat?

Some plants that are deer-resistant are Hellebores, Herbaceous peonies, Rhubarb, Skimmia and Jasmine.

Final Thoughts – Do Deer Eat Coleus?

So will deer eat coleus? While deer may be a nuisance to some people, they’re a part of the landscape. If you have a problem with them, look for ways to make your garden deter them. You can also seek professional help if you are not able to keep them away by yourself.

Do deer eat coleus is a subject that is still up for discussion, share with us any tips you may have about this topic. Although it is unlikely that deer will eat coleus due to it’s mild toxicity, it’s good to be prepared in case it does happen. For this reason, it may be best to use some of our tips above to keep them away from your plants.