Will Deer Eat Cleome

Last Updated on June 16th, 2023

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Cleome is a popular annual flower that originates in the southern United States and is easy to grow. The delicate spider-like flowers can be pink, rose, purple, white, or bicolor, and the common name, spider flower, comes from the plant’s spidery seed pods.

Full sun to partial shade is ideal for growing conditions. Cleome is somewhat drought tolerant but still requires watering during dry spells. Dwarf hybrids have been bred for more compact growth and increased flower production.

Cleome flower close up photo - Will Deer Eat them?

What Plants and Flowers Attract Deer?

As plant eaters, deer can be a nuisance if you have a herd wandering near your property, so it’s important to know what kinds of vegetation deer tend to avoid eating and which they crave.

These herbivores are picky eaters, and if you plant foods high on their food chain, like certain flowers or vegetables, they will devour them in a single night.

Although deer will eat almost any plant, they have a particular taste for both tender plants with broad leaves that don’t have a strong odor or fuzzy leaves or petals.


Grasses, Shrubs, and Flowers

Deer are particularly fond of plants whose leaves, flowers, and even stems are particularly tender and pliable.

Younger plants and shoots will be more appealing to deer as a result. For example, if you have roses, you know that they ignore the older wood in favor of the newer, more delicate buds and leaves.

Deer can wreak havoc on your garden by eating delicate annuals like spinach and impatiens. A crop or flower bed can be completely destroyed, leaving nothing but barren soil if they get their hands on it.

Even if they don’t eat the roots, they will still uproot tender young plants. It’s because of all that gnashing of teeth.


Herbs and Flowers That Have Broad Leaves


It’s been observed that deer prefer plants with broad, flat leaves and flowers. But, for some reason, needle-shaped or otherwise segmented leaves aren’t to their liking.

Asters are also not a favorite with their thin and long petals. However, they savor cabbage, lettuce, and flowers with broad petals.


Plants with a Pleasant Aroma


Flowers with a mild or subtle scent are more appealing to deer than stronger ones. In fact, they favor roses that don’t have a particularly potent scent, and they always choose the buds over the fully opened blooms.


What Plants Are Deer Resistant?

Plants can never be made completely safe from deer, but some are better than others. Hungry deer will eat just about anything if they have to.

As a result, deer will do the most damage to your plants from October to February, when the weather is at its worst. Here are just a few plants that are mostly deer-resistant.


Panicle Hydrangea

The Panicle Hydrangea, or Hydrangea Paniculata, is a fast-growing shrub that is not particularly tasty to deer. However, the plants are tough, so even if they are munched on, they will likely survive and thrive again.



Osmanthus may thrive in various environments because of its adaptability to soil and light conditions.


It blooms a smattering of delicate white flowers with a lovely scent reminiscent of magnolia and gardenia. The plant’s pungent aroma and spiky leaves work together to repel deer.



The aroma of lavender may be lovely to humans, but deer have a natural aversion to it, which makes it an excellent choice for a shrub in your garden.


Red Twig Dogwood

Red twig dogwoods are often planted for their showy leaves and stems of brilliant crimson. These are at their best during the colder months.

The shrubs are resistant to being eaten by deer, but even if they are, red twig dogwoods are fast-growing and can survive severe trimming, so they will quickly recover.


Bearded Iris

The aroma and taste of bearded iris are unpleasant to deer, but its exotic-looking blooms are a charming complement to the spring and summer garden.


Flowering Tobacco 

Nicotiana alata, sometimes known as flowering tobacco, produces highly fragrant blossoms, especially at night, and does best in a sunny location.

Fortunately, deer aren’t big fans of that sweet scent, so these flowers are perfect if you want to protect your garden from herbivores.


Why Don’t Deers Like Cleome?

Cleome is a unique annual that will not only make your landscaping more interesting but will also discourage deer from browsing your plants. The colorful flowers on the plant are guarded by strong spines, which are found around the leaf stalks of the plant.


Will Deers Stop Coming if You Plant Enough Cleome?

You will be disappointed to learn that it is not much you can do to prevent deer from visiting your property in the foreseeable future. When they are sufficiently famished, they are willing to eat virtually anything.

Even if they are unable to consume the Cleome due to the stalks, the deer will continue to attempt to do so. In the event that this does not work, they will simply look for something else in your garden to eat there.


When is the Best Time to Plant Deer Resistant Plants?

The best time to plant deer-resistant plants depends on the type of plant.



Plant annuals as soon as possible following the average date of the last frost in your area. In order to know if you can wait any longer, you should check the forecasts. Transplants can be planted early in containers and then brought inside before frost is expected if the containers are to be placed outside.



Planting perennials when the ground is still damp in the spring (from March to the beginning of May) or in the fall (from late September to October) is optimal.



The optimal time of year to plant a tree or shrub is in the autumn. Planting in the fall allows root systems to have time to establish themselves before spring arrives. The same is true for the vast majority of trees. They will be capable of producing fresh growth and flowers throughout the entire summer.



The beginning of spring is the season of the year that provides the most reliable results for planting herbs.” At this time, soil temperatures are optimal, and the weather is more moderate, which means that seedlings will not be subjected to the damaging effects of either extreme heat or cold.


Final Thoughts on Will Deer Eat Cleome

Cleome is versatile and can be used in a wide variety of settings, including borders, background plantings, masses, cutting gardens, and containers.

It provides a nice contrast when planted alongside other summer annuals like sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, salvia, or celosia. Larger masses of cleome, about 2 to 3 feet wide, have a more noticeable effect in the garden.

Planting other shorter annuals in front of taller cleome cultivars is helpful because those tend to have bare lower stalks. Cleome can withstand the ravages of both rabbits and their hungry hoards.


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