Do Deer Eat Coleus? [!Fun Facts Explained]

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Plants are like children to the gardeners. So the deers are a great fear for them. In this sphere, many gardeners depend on coleus plants to save their garden as coleus are often seen to be neglected by deers.

That’s why the question arises again & again: Do deer eat coleus?

Nowadays, coleus has gotten fame as a deer-resistant plant. If you are tense about your coleus plants or gardens, then scrolling down this article is waiting with some exhausting information for you. 

Deers will show minimum interest in your coleus plants. Nevertheless, scarcity of food will lead them to destroy your plants. 

You need to be careful of this. And I will give you some hints so that the care you will take, may be fruitful.

Then, waiting is over and enjoy your article.

Do deer eat coleus?

Coleus plants are often remembered as deer-resistant plants. But many of us are confused about whether it is trustworthy or not. 

Well, you can not always verify every piece of information by implementing it. But I can assure you that you may rely on it. 

Deers are normally seen to avoid coleus plants. You may notice that many gardeners are nowadays adopting this strategy to save their garden.

So, from a general point of view, it can be said that deers have negativity towards coleus.

Why do deer avoid coleus?

Now, the question that is knocking at your mind is undoubtedly the reason that protects coleus from deers.

Basically, the fact is coleus plants’ colorful foliage. Normally attractive foliage draws the attention of the animals. But here the incident is something different. 

Deers don’t prefer eye-catching plants that are too colorful. As a result, coleus plants’ beautiful foliage is not on their food list.

Coleus plant
Coleus plant

Coleus characteristics

Meanwhile, it is clear to you that deers avoid coleus because of foliage. Then, let’s know the details about the foliage and overall characteristics of the coleus plant.

Coleus plant

A tabulated representation may save your scrolling time more than a descriptive one.

Plant partColeus characteristics 
Scientific namePlectranthus scutellarioides
Others nameFlame nettle
OriginAsia and northern Australia 
Plant typeHerbaceous perennial
Leaf colorMagenta and green
Leaf sizeOne to six inches long
Leaf shapeOvate to oblong
Plant height0.5 to 3 feet 
Flower colorBlue colored
Flower typeSmall and two-lipped flowers borne in spike
Temperature Upto 95° Fahrenheit 
Sunlight Low sunlight or bright sunlight in the early morning is perfect
Fertilizer neededFrequency-Once in one to weeks Fertilizer type- Liquid slow-releasing fertilizer 
Propagation Stem cutting by rhizome
Soil pH6-7

Coleus plants are enchanting enough to attract a human being. But fortunately, the same thing is bothering deers.

Deers’ food habits

Then what plants are favorable to the deers? Some information should also be gathered about this term so that we can compare the habit with coleus characteristics.


Deers normally love grass plants. Some flowering herbs or shrubs are also favorable to them. 

The plants which have no constrictions like thorns, any kinds of toxicity or irritating substance and fresh leaves are the main food of deers.

Again, they eat many fruiting plants. In the scarcity of food, they may take food from woody plants too.


Deers change their food habits if necessary. Normally they take tender leaves or shrubberies and avoid colorful plant parts.

But if food is not available, they can harm any plant which is available there.


Plants that have a strong odor are not preferable to the deers. These plants can attract butterflies and other plants but cannot allure deers.


Area is an important issue as the places covered with human living are not focused on by deers.

Deers normally don’t come into the surroundings where they get signs of living humans. Because of it, they normally don’t irritate the gardens adjacent to houses.

Are coleus deer resistant completely?

Typically, coleus is defined as a C-grade plant in deer deterrence. 

That means it doesn’t eat coleus. But occasionally if the food source is not available, coleus may also face harm from the deers. 

So you can not say that coleus is 100% deer resistant. But it will certainly help you to save your garden.

The damages caused to Coleus by deer  

Though deers are not so much interested in coleus. But still, if deers get your coleus plant in a scarce period, they will be devastated. 

Plant parts damage

Deers eat all the parts of a coleus plant. As deers can reach up to six feet, the whole plant will be easily available to the plant.

They eat the tender leaves, buds, stem parts and flowers of coleus plants. The apical portions are most favorable to them because they can have new leaves in there.

Decreasing yield

Many gardeners plant coleus because of its health benefits. They can be used as remedies for high blood pressure, asthma, obesity.

Coleus benefits
Coleus benefits

Most importantly, it is available throughout the whole year. That’s why as an ayurvedic component coleus plants have value.

Gardeners of a small range sell coleus plants because of their benefits and ornamental values. But deers deteriorate this cultivation and the yield is decreased.

Indication of deer damage

It needs to be more clear so that you can understand that your garden is targeted by deers. Then how to identify the damages caused by deer? 

Have this answer from here.


Deers’ footprints will be available in your garden and this is the first proof. Deer hooves are gradually narrowed in the downwards like heart shape.

The side of each hoof is convex.


The plants will have scratches on their shoots. You may clearly understand it by scratches on a woody plant.

Plant damage

The plants are eaten in apical portions. Besides, blossoms, other foliage parts especially young leaves are eaten.

How to protect coleus from deer? 

Meanwhile, you have understood that coleus plants are also at risk because of deers. 


The first thing that you can do to save your coleus plant is fencing. Fences can be made from bamboo

Another instrument for fencing is wire. Wiring with thorns may be more effective. 

You should be concerned about the height of the fence. As deers can jump too high, you should make a fence of around 5-6 feet high.

Fencing for Deer
Fencing for Deer

Making a fence of such height may be troublesome. But it may be helpful for your plant.


Well, if you are not able to go for fencing, an alternative option for you is netting. 

You can cover your plant with nets. This procedure will also help your coleus plants from birds or other animals.


Deers avoid strong odors. Garlic, mothballs, blood meal etc. can be applied to keep the deers away from coleus plants.


Some chemicals may be sprayed around the coleus plants which are toxic to the deers.

Repellent sprays should be sprayed once or twice in every six months so that they may be acquainted with the odor and don’t bother the garden.


The coleus garden should be made near to your house. 

Apart from that, you may keep any kind of sound-producing tools that may create noise in the deers’ presence.

How does Coleus save the garden?

Coleus plants may bring great safety to the rest of the plants in your garden.

As coleus plants are moderately deer resistant, you can keep some coleus plants around other flowering herbs and shrubberies.

In this case, deers won’t be able to reach the other plants.

Final thoughts

I think you have already gotten the answer: do deer eat coleus? This is a critical question as the relationship between deer and coleus is not completely done.

Coleus plants are beautiful shrubs that can bloom in your surroundings as well as can help to save other plants.

As deers do not like them much, you should make the best use of this factor to enjoy happy gardening. 

So? Are you thinking of coleus?


1. Are all coleus varieties deer resistant?

-There are almost 294 species of coleus plants. Around all of them are moderately deer resistant. 

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