Do Deer Eat Fig Trees? (Explained in Details)

If you live in an area where there are plenty of deer herds, you may want to protect your plants from them. Deer are known to eat and demolish edible trees, flowering shrubs, and fruit plants.

You may ask, “Do deer eat fig trees as well?”

Let’s find out the answer.

Do Deer Eat Fig Trees?

Deer do not eat fig trees because they are not fond of their foliage. The only time you may find deer hovering around fig trees is when they are extremely hungry, and there is nothing around them to eat.

Do Deer Like Fig Fruits?

Deer are not fans of fig fruits. They don’t like their waxy sap and the taste of their leaves.

That being said, they might put them in their mouth if the fruit has fallen on the ground and they are hungry.

Related: How Long Does Fig Tree Live? (Explained)

When Will Deer Eat Your Fig Tree?

Deer will only consider eating and destroying fig trees when they are starving, and there is nothing around to munch. At this time, they have no choice but to eat anything that is available.

Deer have an easier time preying on young trees with delicate stems and shoots. They might find it challenging to target taller trees. However, they can still find a way to devour parts within their reach.

When Don’t Deer Eat Your Fig Tree?

Generally, your fig trees are safe from the shenanigans of deer. Unripe fig plants release a waxy, latex sap that is hard to digest, making them naturally deer-resistant. Deer also don’t like eating their leaves.

But mature fig trees don’t produce sap, and deer may prey on them at this time. However, chances are slim if they have ever tasted this fluid before.

How to Protect Your Fig Tree from Deer?

If you have a deer problem, you can opt for a deer-resistant fig variety like the American fig, or you can deter the deer by using animatronic figures, coffee grounds, and deer-repellent sprays. If none of this works, then you can simply build a fence to keep the deer at bay.

Even though it’s unusual, you might spot a deer munching on your beloved figs some fine day. Even deer can be attracted to them because of their succulent sweet taste.

If deer or similar wildlife are abundant in your area, you can consider growing a particular deer-resistant fig variety in your garden. American fig is one good example of that.

Remember that your fig plants are at risk from other animals like squirrels, bats, and monkeys. African elephants are also fond of figs and enjoy eating their leaves. But don’t fret.

You can protect your beloved fig tree from deer or other animals in multiple ways. Here are some of them:

  • Using animatronic figures is one of the most popular ways to deter deer, and you can try that. But deer can recognize the strategy and start ignoring it when they see the same animal scarer every single day.

So, play it smartly and keep changing these figures. For instance, hang a Santa Claus animatronic if you have used a Baby Yoda figure for one week straight.

  • Another technique is to spread the coffee grounds around the fig tree. Deer instinctively stay away from some smells and tastes.

Hence, the unflattering smell of coffee grounds will keep the deer away from the tree, and they won’t approach it.

You can also use hot peppers and wolf urine for that. Put the substance in a bottle and spray it on the tree and ground.

  • There are deer repellent sprays and products available in the market. For example, Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent (Buy this product here) is an easy-to-use product that can be applied to plants on a dry day.

Its potent smell of ingredients like garlic and putrescent egg solids can deter deer from coming near trees, shrubs, and gardens.

  • Consider building a fence as a deterrent. You can elevate the results by using an electric fence. The current running in the fence will give deer a moderate shock and keep them away.

Related: The Top 3 Largest Fig Varieties (with Photos)

What Other Plants Do Deer Eat?

One thing about deer is that they love tender plants with broad leaf foliage and a light fragrance. They also like plants that have a sweet taste. These are some of the plants that deer prefer:

  • Daylilies
  • Roses
  • Daffodils
  • Hostas
  • Japanese Pittosporum
  • Japanese Yew
  • American Arborvitae
  • Indian Hawthorn
  • Blueberry
  • Sweet potato vine
  • Ivy
  • Spinach

What Other Animals Can Eat Your Fig Tree?

Fig trees produce delicious fruits that are favorite snacks for many animals, including bats, squirrels, monkeys, African elephants, and capybaras. These animals love to devour ripe fig fruits and also cause damage to their foliage and stems.


  1. Will rabbits eat fig trees?

No. Rabbits are not fond of figs because their seeds are hard to digest. We know that figs contain antioxidants, including tannins, lutein, etc. However, rabbits cannot tolerate tannins and find them toxic, which prevents them from eating fig trees.

  1. Do squirrels eat fig trees?

Yes. Gardeners and fig tree owners constantly experience problems with ground and tree squirrels. Squirrels are not limited to eating fresh and dried figs. They also devour and destroy the leaves of fig plants.

  1. Do fig trees attract wasps?

Yes. Wasps and fig trees have a close relationship. We know that a plant’s female flower needs to be pollinated for reproduction. When the flower is ready for pollination, the fig emanates an alluring scent that attracts female wasps. A wasp comes toward the fig with this scent.

But a fig’s internal flowers are extremely challenging to pollinate because of the small opening. Because of its tiny size, the wasp is the one entity capable of doing this job successfully.

Still, this passage is so tight that even the wasp struggles to enter. In the process, its wings and antennae are also lost.

So, figs not only attract wasps, they need wasps.

  1. What plant do deer eat the most?

Deer eat multiple types of plants, including shrubs, flowers, vegetables, and wines. They are attracted to plants that are sweet-tasting, delicate, broad-leaved, and contain a light fragrance.

They really love when the foliage and stems of plants are soft and don’t contain a strong aroma. Some plants deer love to eat are lettuce, spinach, cabbage, morning glory, rose, tulip, and daylily.