Are African Daisies Deer Resistant?

African daisies are a deer-resistant option for growing ornamental annuals in your garden.  The vibrant flowers add color to any container throughout the summer and are not bothered by larger pests such as deer and rabbits. The deer and rabbits leave the plants alone because they do not like the texture of papery flower bracts or the tough stems and leaves. African Daisies are more susceptible to damage from aphids, earwigs, and thrips. 


According to Rutgers University, this plant is Rarely Damaged on their rating scale from Rarely Damaged to Frequently Severely Damaged. This rating means African Daisy is one of the most deer-resistant annuals in a garden.

Rarely Damaged
Seldom Severely Damaged
Occasionally Severely Damaged
Frequently Severely Damaged

Keeping Deer Away From African Daisies

Gardeners in areas with high deer populations will try many different methods to keep deer out of a garden. Repellents work for a while. Eventually, the scent is washed off by rain, or the deer become used to the smells. Growing plants near high traffic areas such as a patio or deck will often protect plants from browsing deer. Deer generally stay away from the areas where humans come and go.

Since deer rarely browse the African Daisy, it is an excellent addition to a mixed annual container. The presence of the African Daisy may be enough to keep the deer away from other more vulnerable plants in the planting. Deer will always take the easiest path when browsing for food.  


Will African Daisy Come Back After Deer Eat Them?

African Daisy is a tough grower that will bloom non-stop through the summer. If a deer takes a few bites, the plant will grow back quickly. Any damaged stems or flowers should be pruned at the base of the plant. This will tidy the appearance and discourage entry of pests, such as aphids or thrips. If deer damage happens early in the summer, the whole plant can be cut back by one-third to encourage bushy new growth. 

Sources: Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station ‘Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance’ 2018

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Author Robbin Small - Published 8-31-2022