Are Sweet Potato Vines Deer Resistant?

Sweet potato vines are often touted by nurseries as being deer resistant. It is a warm-season plant, and there is plenty of food available for deer to eat during late spring, summer, and early autumn. However, we know from experience and our customers' experience that hungry deer will eat almost anything, and sweet potato vine is no exception. Deer can quickly strip the tender young leaves on the sweet potato vine in your garden until only bare stems remain.


How To Keep Deer Away From Sweet Potato Vines

Grow sweet potato vine in window boxes on the second floor or higher to prevent deer from reaching it. Growing it on a raised deck is also an option. Deer are unlikely to climb a set flight of stairs to get to it. Growing sweet potato vines within a fenced-in area works too. If the problem is severe, use scented repellents to keep deer away. You may have to switch up the scents every few weeks to keep deer from becoming accustomed to it.


Will Sweet Potato Vines Come Back After Deer Eat Them?

Sweet potato vine will usually grow back after deer browse on it. It will most likely come back as a fuller plant with more side branches. Sweet potato vines respond well to intentional pruning. Many gardeners prune them to keep their length in check and increase the plant’s bushiness. Deer damage will not impact flowering. Sweet potato vines are commonly grown for their foliage, not their flowers.


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 Author Maureen Farmer - Published 12-16-2021