Do Deer Eat Foxtail Fern? Could This Be What You Need to Plant?

Last Updated on June 16th, 2023

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Foxtail Ferns are known to be a beautiful, cheaper alternative to landscaping plants. The ferns are also known to bear flowers and berries, which are bound to attract the wildlife in the area where they are planted. 

It’s important to remember, however, that this plant is considered invasive and is best planted away from any other plants you want to keep around, for the fern can eventually spread.

Deer are known to avoid plants that are unappealing, and by unappealing, we mean plants that may be poisonous, fuzzy, and even those that bear thorns. 

While there are a large variety of plants that deer will avoid, such as lavender and even ferns like ostrich and autumn ferns. What about Foxtail Ferns? Let’s explore the deer’s relationship with Foxtail Fern.

Foxtail Ferns - Do Deer eat them?

Do Deer Eat Foxtail Ferns?

While there are also many plants deer enjoy grazing on, the foxtail fern is usually not one of them. Unless the deer fail to find anything within the usual areas they forage in and become desperate to eat, you might find them grazing upon your foxtail fern. 

The chances, however, are unlikely because a deer is considered to be a forager; it’s what they do for a living.


Are Foxtail Ferns Deer Resistant?

A foxtail is considered to be a deer-resistant plant, which means that deer will likely not bother the fern. However, it’s important to remember that just because plants are deer-resistant does not mean that the deer will completely avoid the plant at all costs. 

If the deer is desperate enough, the deer will indulge in the foxtail fern. The chances are just extremely unlikely.


What Makes A Deer Eat A Foxtail Fern?

As stated above, if the deer is hungry enough, the deer will eat. Therefore, there is a possibility that the deer may also be sick. 

There are many things to look out for when you suspect a deer might be sick such as unawareness, body condition, and many other symptoms. If you see a deer that you suspect is sick, it may be worth contacting your state’s wildlife management services. 


Can You Protect Foxtail Ferns From Deer?

If you’ve reached a point where a deer, for some reason, often will graze on the foxtail fern you are trying to protect, there’s no question you are trying to find some sort of way to try and keep the deer away. 

There are two methods of approach to protecting your foxtail ferns and possibly any other plants.

The first method might be the easiest, most efficient way to protect the foxtail fern: moving the plant from the outside to indoors. 

When the fern is placed in a pot, it can serve as a great houseplant. Many individuals who have potted foxtail ferns will often bring them inside their homes for the cooler seasons.


How To Stop Deer From Eating Foxtail Fern?

If you’d like to keep your foxtail fern outside, there are a few different things to try, most involving the deer’s sense of smell. Aside from physical barriers, there are sprays on the market that assist in keeping the deer away from your beloved outdoor plants. 

Simply spray your plants on a regular basis. If you’d rather not spray the plant regularly, you can put your money forth towards some soap! 

Hanging a bar of soap from a tree or placing chunks of it around your flowerbed or other landscaping is likely to keep the deer away. If you don’t want to spend any money, there’s another solution. 

Deer avoid the scent of human hair. Saving clippings from your next haircut, or even the loose hairs stuck in your hairbrush to place around your garden, is likely to keep the deer away.


Final Thoughts on Deer Eating Foxtail Fern

Deer eat foxtail ferns, while the ferns are considered deer-resistant – it doesn’t mean that deer will avoid the plant at all costs. If the deer is hungry enough, it will graze upon the foxtail fern; luckily, there are ways to protect these plants. 

The foxtail fern is not just considered to be an outdoor plant but also an indoor plant. 

If you would rather not bring the fern inside your home in a potted setting, you can always purchase products like sprays that deer will avoid or even a bar of soap to create a scent that is off-putting for the forest forager.


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