Are Coleus Deer Resistant?

Coleus is a low-maintenance plant known for its strikingly colorful foliage. It is commonly grown in beds or containers in all USDA zones as an annual, although it can be grown as a perennial in USDA zones 10 and 11. 

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If you have wondered if deer like Coleus, the answer is generally no. Coleus has low toxicity for most animals, so deer or other animals rarely eat it. Although, given the right conditions, deer and other wild animals will resort to eating just about any plant.

According to Rutgers University, this plant is Occasionally Severely Damaged on their rating scale from Rarely Damaged to Frequently Severely Damaged.

How To Keep Deer Away From Coleus

Repellent is possibly the best option to keep deer away from Coleus. Otherwise, you can plant coleus behind borders and fences to keep the deer away from them. Here are a few products we recommend for keeping deer away. It is best to rotate what repellent you use so the deer don't get used to a specific type.

Will Coleus Come Back After Deer Eat Them

Coleus will not likely come back if deer or other animals eat all of the leaves. The plant uses its leaves to conduct photosynthesis and store energy for the next year, so the plant may not be able to come back without any leaves. If the Coleus still has some foliage, it may come back.

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

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