Deer Behavior

Do Deer Eat Coreopsis? Safeguarding Your Coreopsis Plants

Buck Venwood

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Coreopsis, commonly known as tickseed, is a popular perennial plant that graces many gardens with its vibrant and cheerful flowers. But if you’re a gardener who also happens to live in an area frequented by deer, you might be wondering: Do deer eat Coreopsis? Let’s delve into this topic and find out more.

Key Takeaways

  • Deer have varied diets, but they are known to nibble on many garden plants.
  • Coreopsis is not a primary food source for deer, but it can be eaten if other food sources are scarce.
  • There are measures you can take to deter deer from your garden.

What is Coreopsis?

Coreopsis is a genus of flowering plants in the Asteraceae family. They are native to North and South America and are known for their bright, daisy-like flowers that come in shades of yellow, orange, red, and pink. These plants are not only beautiful but also hardy and drought-resistant, making them a favorite among gardeners.

Deer’s Dietary Habits

Deer are herbivores, and their diet primarily consists of grass, leaves, stems, and fruits. However, their dietary choices can vary based on the region they inhabit and the availability of food. In areas where food is abundant, deer can afford to be choosy. But in places where food is scarce, they might eat whatever is available, including plants that they would typically avoid.

Do Deer Prefer Coreopsis?

While deer are known to eat a wide variety of plants, Coreopsis is not at the top of their menu. That said, deer might sample or nibble on Coreopsis, especially if they are curious or if their preferred food sources are not available. However, in general, Coreopsis is considered to be deer-resistant, which means that deer are less likely to eat this plant compared to others.

How to Deter Deer from Your Garden

If you’re concerned about deer munching on your Coreopsis or any other plants in your garden, here are some measures you can take:

Planting Deer-Resistant Plants

While no plant is entirely deer-proof, some plants are less appetizing to deer than others. By planting more of these deer-resistant plants, you can reduce the likelihood of deer feasting in your garden.

Using Deer Repellents

There are various deer repellents available in the market that can deter deer from approaching your garden. These repellents can be sprayed on plants and emit a scent or taste that deer find unpleasant.

Installing Fences

A physical barrier, like a fence, can be effective in keeping deer out. Ensure that the fence is tall enough (at least 8 feet) as deer are excellent jumpers.

Coreopsis Varieties and Their Features

Coreopsis comes in various species and cultivars, each with its unique features. Here’s a table highlighting some popular Coreopsis varieties:

VarietyColorHeightSpecial Features
Tequila SunriseYellow with red eye18 inchesFern-like foliage
Golden StardustBright yellow12 inchesProlific bloomer
Creme BruleeCreamy yellow24 inchesLarger flowers
Route 66Bicolor24 inchesChanges color with season
Cruzin Broad StreetRed24 inchesResistant to deer

Coreopsis and Its Benefits in the Garden

Coreopsis, with its bright and cheerful blooms, offers more than just aesthetic appeal. Here’s why many gardeners love having Coreopsis in their gardens:

Drought Resistance

Coreopsis plants are known for their ability to withstand dry conditions. This makes them perfect for gardens in areas that experience frequent droughts or for gardeners who prefer low-maintenance plants.

Attracts Pollinators

The vibrant flowers of Coreopsis are a magnet for pollinators like bees and butterflies. By planting Coreopsis, you can help support these beneficial insects.


Coreopsis plants are versatile and can be planted in borders, containers, or even as ground cover. Their varied heights and colors offer plenty of options for garden design.

Deer’s Impact on Gardens

While deer are majestic creatures, they can be a nuisance for gardeners. Here’s how deer can impact gardens:

Feeding on Plants

Deer can feed on a variety of plants, and their feeding habits can change based on the availability of food. While they might not prefer Coreopsis, they can still nibble on them if other food sources are scarce.

Physical Damage

Apart from feeding, deer can cause physical damage to gardens. Their hooves can trample young plants, and bucks can rub their antlers against tree trunks, damaging the bark.

Disease Transmission

Deer can be carriers of ticks that transmit diseases like Lyme disease. By frequenting gardens, they can increase the risk of these ticks coming into contact with humans.

Tips for Growing Healthy Coreopsis

To ensure that your Coreopsis plants thrive and produce vibrant blooms, follow these tips:

Choose the Right Soil

Coreopsis prefers well-draining soil. If your garden has clayey soil, consider amending it with compost or sand to improve its drainage.

Regular Pruning

Prune dead or faded flowers to encourage more blooms. This process, known as deadheading, can help prolong the blooming period of Coreopsis.

Fertilize Sparingly

Coreopsis doesn’t require frequent fertilization. Over-fertilizing can lead to leggy growth and fewer flowers. If you choose to fertilize, do so in the early spring with a balanced fertilizer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Are Coreopsis plants toxic to deer? No, Coreopsis plants are not toxic to deer. However, they are not a primary food source for deer either.

2. How often should I water my Coreopsis plants? Coreopsis plants are drought-resistant, so they don’t require frequent watering. Water them when the soil feels dry to the touch.

3. Can Coreopsis plants thrive in partial shade? While Coreopsis plants prefer full sun, they can tolerate partial shade. However, they might produce fewer flowers in shady conditions.

4. Are there any pests or diseases that affect Coreopsis? Yes, Coreopsis can be affected by pests like aphids and diseases like powdery mildew. Regularly inspect your plants and treat any issues promptly.

5. How long does Coreopsis bloom? Most Coreopsis varieties bloom from early summer to fall. With regular deadheading, you can extend their blooming period.

6. Can Coreopsis be grown from seeds? Yes, Coreopsis can be grown from seeds. Sow the seeds in early spring for summer blooms.


Buck Venwood

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