do deer eat forsythia

Do Deer Eat Forsythia?

Written by: Gemmali Dizor

Deer are known to be voracious eaters and will consume a wide variety of plants and shrubs, but do they eat forsythia? The answer is yes, deer will eat forsythia.

If you’re a gardener or nature enthusiast, you may be interested in learning more about this topic. In this article, we’ll dive into the specifics of deer and their dietary habits, as well as how to protect your forsythia plants from becoming a snack for these wandering herbivores.

The Dietary Habits of Deer

Deer are herbivores, meaning they feed on plants and vegetation. Their diet consists of leaves, twigs, bark, and even flowers and fruits, depending on the time of year and availability of food in their natural habitat.

In general, deer have a preference for certain types of plants, such as tree seedlings, tender shoots, and succulent foliage. However, they are known to consume a wide range of plant species, including forsythia, if they come across it while searching for food.

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Why Do Deer Eat Forsythia?

Forsythia is a popular ornamental shrub that is often used in gardens and landscaping. It’s prized for its vibrant yellow flowers that bloom in early spring, long before the leaves appear on deciduous trees.

Deer are attracted to forsythia for several reasons. Firstly, forsythia is an early bloomer, which means it provides a valuable source of food for deer during a time when other plants are not yet available. Secondly, forsythia has delicate and tender foliage, making it an easy target for deer to munch on.

Protecting Your Forsythia from Deer

If you want to protect your forsythia from being devoured by deer, there are several steps you can take. Some of the most effective strategies include:

Fencing: One of the most effective ways to keep deer away from your forsythia is to install a tall fence around the plant. A sturdy fence that is at least 8 feet tall should be enough to keep deer from jumping over and reaching the forsythia.

Repellents: Another option is to use deer repellents, which are sprays or granules that contain a mixture of ingredients that are unpleasant for deer to smell or taste. There are several commercially available deer repellents on the market, and you can choose one that is best suited to your needs.

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Planting Deterrents: Planting other plants that deer dislike near your forsythia can also be an effective deterrent. Some examples of plants that deer tend to avoid include daffodils, alliums, and boxwood.

Adding Physical Barriers: Another option is to add physical barriers around your forsythia, such as chicken wire or mesh. This can prevent deer from reaching the foliage and flowers and will also protect the plant from other types of damage.


In conclusion, deer do eat forsythia and can cause significant damage to this popular ornamental shrub. However, by taking a few simple steps to protect your forsythia, you can keep your plants safe and thriving for years to come. Whether you choose to install a fence, use repellents, plant deterrents, or add physical barriers, taking action to protect your forsythia from deer is essential for maintaining a beautiful and thriving garden.

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