Do Deer Eat Eggplant?

We all know deer are not as picky as other animals when it comes to picking up what they eat. This is why we often see deer eating every vegetable and fruit.

Mostly, deer can ruin your garden if you have their favorite veggies or fruit trees in your garden. But can they harm eggplants? Do deer eat eggplant in your garden? Let’s check it out!

Table of Contents

Can a Deer Eat Eggplant?

Deer can eat all the beans and apples in your garden. However, keeping aside all the fruits and vegetables that a deer eats, if you make a list of the ones they don’t like, eggplant is one of them. Yes, deer don’t like eggplants at all. They don’t eat it or try to stay away from eggplants.

Can a Deer Eat Eggplant?

Why, Deer don’t you eat Eggplant?

So, by now, we know that deer don’t eat eggplants. But why do they don’t eat it? Is it toxic for them? Does eggplant harm deer? When deer feed themselves mostly on veggies and fruits, they try to skip some veggies and fruits, too.

Among them, eggplant is common. Besides, other vegetables like tomatoes and tomatillos are also hated by the deer. While humans love potatoes, deer don’t! Also, daffodils and foxgloves are some flowers that they hate.

Why Deer don’t eat Eggplant?

The reason behind a deer hating this plant is the vines. The vines of eggplants are prickly. As a result, it is capable of keeping the deer away.

But the prickly vines of the eggplants are not the only reason for a deer to hate this plant. There’s one more reason, too! According to studies, the plants that are included in the nightshade family are toxic to deer.

While a deer’s favorite diet is apple, berries, grapes, kiwi, beans, strawberries, peas, and plums, deer don’t like some specific food so much that they don’t go near them!

The nightshade family of veggies includes occurring alkaloids. The name of this alkaloid is solanine. When it comes to this compound, you must keep in mind that this is toxic in high concentrations.

The same thing occurs to some of the dogs if they eat it. Eggplant, along with the nightshade family vegetables, is toxic to dogs that are allergic to it. However, no deer can tolerate the toxicity of these plants.

Protection of the Garden

While lovers of deer can be sad about the fact that they can’t feed eggplants to the deer, the gardeners are happy. It’s because they have found a way to keep the deer away! At times, the deer can start ruining your garden, eating all the vegetation and fruits.

You can always plan on creating a fence to keep them away. But if you don’t want to go for it, you now have another idea to try out! Yes, we are talking about planting the deer-resistant vegetable- eggplant!

While deer love peas, plums, beans, and apples, you can go for planting deer-resistant plants right around the fruits and vegetables they love.

As a result, they won’t be reaching the ones they love! You can plant tomatoes, cucumber (leaf), rhubarb, etc., just like eggplants so that the deer don’t come and throw water on all your plans with the garden!


Why would deer eat eggplant?

Deer are herbivores and will consume a variety of plants for sustenance. If eggplant is present in their habitat and they find it accessible, they may choose to eat it.

Is eggplant a preferred food for deer?

Eggplant is not typically considered a preferred food for deer. They generally prefer tender, young shoots, leaves, and fruits of plants. However, if other food sources are scarce, they may consume eggplant.

Will deer only eat eggplant if there’s nothing else available?

While deer may eat eggplant if other preferred food sources are scarce, they will generally opt for more palatable options if available.

Are there any precautions to take to protect eggplants from deer?

Yes, if you live in an area with a significant deer population and want to protect your eggplants, you can employ deterrents such as fences, repellents, or planting deer-resistant varieties.

Final words

Yes, eggplants are toxic to the deer as they belong to the nightshade family of vegetables. However, there is no chance of a deer dying if they eat it. It’s because they won’t eat it! Whenever they see eggplants, or they get the aroma of eggplant, all they will try to do is leave the place.  

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