If you’re thinking about planting some new flower beds but want a vibrant species that deer aren’t naturally attracted to, Sunpatiens are an excellent option.
Are Sunpatiens deer resistant? Sunpatiens are one of the most deer-resistant flowers commonly available for landscaping purposes. A hybrid version of impatiens, Sunpatiens thrive in medium to full sun rather than shade, and they have an aroma that is apparently quite disgusting to pests like deer and rabbits.
Read on below to explore all the factors impacting the real level of deer resistance that Sunpatiens have!
Sunpatiens and Deer – What To Know
Sunpatiens are one of the newest and most popular impatiens hybrids.
One of the most successful aspects of the new impatiens varieties is that it is far more deer resistant than impatiens are. That said, they are not 100% deer resistant.
If the local environment is low on food sources for deer, they will not shy away from your Sunpatiens the way they do when there is plenty of other vegetation to choose from.
Additionally, if they do decide to start eating your Sunpatiens, they may devour them in one dinner session.
In the following sections, we break down all of the most important aspects of the deer resistance of Sunpatiens, including what you can do to protect yours.
Will Deer Eat Sunpatiens?
Deer are not naturally attracted to Sunpatiens as they are to impatiens. Unless they are starving or lacking major nutrients, there is little chance that deer will nibble on your Sunpatiens even a little bit.
As with other flower species that deer don’t typically eat, Sunpatiens have an aroma and taste that is repulsive to deer.
Are Sunpatiens Toxic?
The official verdict as to whether or not Sunpatiens are toxic or non-toxic to people and pets is still out.
These flowers have not been listed as either safe or dangerous due to them being a relatively new hybrid variety of impatiens.
That said, according to homeowners and Sunpatiens enthusiasts, Sunpatiens are harmless to cats and dogs as well as people.
When Deer Might Eat Sunpatiens
Despite being practically resistant to deer, there are occasions when those four-legged pests do munch Sunpatiens.
For example, when deer deplete the local food sources or during a drought when vegetation is scarce, your well-maintained flower beds more than likely look like a slice of heaven.
Furthermore, when deer are lacking nutrients, they may hit your Sunpatiens up if there is nothing else around to choose from.
Are Sunpatiens More Deer Resistant Than Impatiens?
The common consensus is that Sunpatiens are more deer resistant than impatiens by a landslide.
Firstly, the Sunpatiens grow in full sun, whereas impatiens thrive in the shade. That means Sunpatiens are bound to smell stronger, thanks to the direct light and heat they receive from the sun.
Secondly, Sunpatien flower petals may lose their crisp, vivid color more quickly than impatiens and therefore be less attractive visually and smell-wise.
Will Sunpatiens Recover From Deer Damage?
When deer decide to munch on your Sunpatiens, they are just as likely to eat them right down to the dirt as they are to take a nibble from each one and move on to the next vegetation that catches their eye that may taste better.
In other words, whether or not your Sunpatiens will recover or not depends on how much damage is inflicted on them.
How To Protect Your Sunpatiens From Deer
There are several ways that you can help ensure your Sunpatiens are as deer proof as possible:
One of the best options for running pests away from your Sunpatiens is installing motion-activated sprinklers.
This option is a quicker and easier solution than most methods on our list, plus it is nonlethal and nontoxic.
Using an ultrasonic repeller is another nonlethal and nontoxic method for keeping deer and other pests away from your Sunpatiens.
It’s also another of the easiest and quickest solutions you could choose.
3. Install Fencing
Putting up a fence is a great idea if you have the time, money, and know-how. That said, it is no doubt the most labor-intensive option on the list, as well as potentially one of the most expensive.
However, you must be sure that the fence is tall enough to actually be effective against deer. A height of 8 feet is recommended.
The market is saturated with various deer and rabbit repellents, sometimes referred to as “liquid fences.”
The fact of the matter is that some of them work better than a physical fence, while others are nothing but a waste of money.
Make sure to do some research before just buying any old liquid fence! The option linked above is one of the most effective choices.
5. Make Individual Cages for Plants
Building cages for each set of flowers is another great solution for keeping deer and other pests out of your Sunpatien patches. Cages can be made out of wood, metal wire, or even plastic.
The cages should allow you to water the flowers and let sunlight shine through but act as a physical barrier to keep the pests from reaching the plants.
6. Sprinkle Soap Shavings Around Plants
One trick that many gardeners and flower enthusiasts swear by for protecting Sunpatiens is sprinkling soap shavings around the plants.
This method usually works because deer and other pests are repelled by the smell and taste of soap bars (especially Irish Spring).
7. Plant Onions Nearby
Planting other types of vegetation, like onions, that are known to repel deer and other common backyard pests is another great natural pest control method to help protect your Sunpatiens.
The smell of onions is pungent and repulsive to many pests, including deer, various other mammals, and insects.
8. Sprinkle Cayenne Pepper on Plants
Sprinkling cayenne pepper on and around your Sunpatiens is another tried-and-true method for protecting your flowers from pests like deer.
The smell is quite unpleasant to most pests. Furthermore, if it gets in their mouth, nose, or paws, it may temporarily cause a burning sensation, which typically teaches them to stay away.
Do Sunpatiens Come Back Every Year?
Sunpatiens are technically perennials, but if you live somewhere where it gets below freezing for several weeks in the winter, they may need planting every year.
However, if you take your Sunpatiens inside or protect them from the cold some other way, they grow back and bloom again every year.
How Do You Keep Sunpatiens Blooming?
The best way to keep your Sunpatiens blooming is to take great care of them. The more they are thriving, the longer they continue blooming.
For this reason, regular fertilizing is recommended. Also, to prevent legginess and promote bushy growth and improved flowering, try a light pruning session several times per season.
Sunpatiens are much less likely to be affected by deer and other pests than impatiens and many other popular flowers.
That said, they are not 100% deer resistant, as such a species doesn’t really exist.
Deer will do whatever it takes to survive in certain situations, and if that means scarfing down your Sunpatiens, they’ll do it gladly.
Hopefully, with all of the information above, you should have no issue keeping your Sunpatiens protected from the deer and other common pests in your neck of the woods.