You own a banana plant, and you don’t know if it’s safe from deer?
In this post, I will explain to you if deer can eat your banana plant, and what you can do about it.
Will Deer Eat Banana Plants?
Although bananas aren’t part of deer’s diet, a hungry deer will eat a banana plant, including fruits, and leaves.
Deer naturally eat what’s around them. Usually, they eat mushrooms, berries, dogwood, wheat, chestnut, and many, many more food.
Fruits are also a large part of deer’s diet. They like wild strawberries, plums, grapes, pears, and they will eat bananas if they’re around.
A deer will eat your banana fruit because these animals don’t have the upper incorns teeth. That means that they can’t chew hard food, and prefer soft food.
Banana is soft and easy to digest for a deer. Moreover, bananas have a sweet flavor, which deer love. Bananas also contain vitamins and minerals like fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and various antioxidants and phytonutrients that deer naturally seek out for.
That being said, there’s no reason why a deer wouldn’t eat a banana from your plant.
A deer will also eat banana leaves since they are slightly sweet, contain water, and fiber. So, you should expect that a deer should eat banana fruit first, and then leaves, but it highly depends on the deer.
How to Protect Your Banana Plants From Deer?
If your banana plant is young and available for a deer, you can’t wait until the plant grows higher. Here are the things that you can do now.
1. Install a cage
Tree cages can be installed to help protect young banana plants. These structures can widely vary in form and material. Cages can be installed for single trees, as well as for groups of trees.
However, you should install cages for individual trees, not one big cage for all your banana plants, because deer can be tempted to jump inside the cages if they are large.
The cage material can be metal or plastic. The posts that support the cage can be wood, metal, or PVC. Stronger materials will cost more but require less maintenance. If you cannot commit to checking the cage on a regular basis, then stronger materials are recommended.
Cages need strong support to remain upright. They should be supported by metal and wood stakes.
Tools you might need to install the cages include a mallet or hammer, zip ties, string, and wire cutters.
The diameter of the cage should prevent deer from reaching over the cage-at least 5 feet (1.5 m). The height of the cage should be about 6.5 feet (2 m).
2. Deer repellents
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, try this one.
There are lots of deer repellents, but you need to use them properly to see some results. Spray your banana plant once a week, consistently, to effectively repel deer.
Repellents work by using a combination of odor and taste deterrents. They are most often made from putrified eggs, dried blood, garlic, or soaps. All repellents work if you use them religiously. You can buy this one on Amazon.
You should spray your banana plant until the plants reach a height of around 8 feet (2.5 m), and deer won’t be able to reach them.
3. Motion-activated sprinkler
Deterring deer and other animals can also be effective with a motion-activated sprinkler.
When they sense motion, these sprinklers deliver a sharp burst of water in the direction of the motion, scaring the wits out of the deer and sending them running.
The range of the sprinkler’s aim can be easily adjusted to target a fairly accurate area, making them ideal for protecting yards and individual plants.
They’re effective throughout most of the growing season, these sprinklers are completely useless in the winter, when hoses quickly freeze. The sprinklers must be drained and stored properly for the winter.
One sprinkler can protect a small to medium yard, but you’ll need more than one to make larger deer-proof gardens.
This sprinkler from Amazon is all you need.
4. Other methods
Place Bar Soap Near Outdoor Plants: To keep deer away, many gardeners turn to ordinary bar soap. The scent is said to interfere with their sensitive sense of smell. Choose a soap with a powerful fragrance, and hang bars from strings in banana trees.
Scatter Human Hair Around Outdoor Plants: The scent of human hair can also prevent deer from entering a garden. Ask your barber or hairdresser for some clippings. You may need to sweep them up yourself, but they should be free of charge. Scatter the hair like mulch across your garden beds, or stuff it into pantyhose and hang the deer-deterrent stockings out of sight throughout the landscape.
What Other Plants in Your Yard Do Deer Eat?
Deer will eat most of the plants in your garden. They prefer rather soft-to-touch plants. The most common ones are:
In general, you should know that deer like to eat tender greens, spring, and early-summer plants, especially in containers, fruit, fruit leaves, fallen fruit, bark, twigs of shrubs, and trees, woody plants.
What Other Animals Can Eat Your Banana Plants?
If you’ve noticed that something is eating your banana plant, but you’re not sure that it’s deer, there might be other predators that like banana plants. For example:
- House Sparrows
These animals also like bananas and can eat the fruits. However, they will usually inflict less damage.
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