Petunias will grow as perennials in USDA zones 9 through 11 but are commonly grown as annuals throughout the rest of the country. You can add a burst of color to a bed or planter with Petunias, but be aware that deer may drop by to snack on these flowering plants.
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 Petunias
Protecting Petunias is not necessarily hard, but it is not very easy either. Repellent is generally the most effective method of keeping deer away from Petunias. Growing the plants in beds close to your home or planters on a deck or patio may discourage deer from eating the plants because they would have to get too close to your home. Hungry deer may still venture close to seek out food, but if you have pets, that may further discourage deer from getting close.
We really like these DIY petunia planter scarecrows to scare the deer away too! Although, we can't confirm if they actually work.
Will Petunias Come Back After Deer Eat Them?
If deer eat Petunias, the plants may come back. As long as some greenery is intact, new growth will likely emerge. You can help the Petunias bounce back by removing any damaged growth and routinely fertilizing the plant. It will also help if you use a small cage or fencing to protect the damaged plant should the deer return. If the entire plant falls victim to a hungry deer and there is no greenery left, the Petunia is not likely to grow back.
Sources: Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station ‘Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance’ 2018
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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 16-12-2021