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Do Deer Eat Artichoke Plants? (7 Things To Know)

While no plant is truly safe from a hungry deer, true artichokes are not typically a deer’s first choice.  Deer tend to avoid eating most artichoke plants due to their prickly texture. Some artichokes are even known to repel deer!

Keep reading to learn which artichokes are best for keeping deer away!

Are globe artichokes deer resistant? 

A globe artichoke is a prickly plant grown for its edible flower bud. Artichokes are a type of thistle, meaning they’re covered in many different-sized thorns. Deer tend to avoid eating globe artichokes because of the prickly greenery.

Planting globe artichokes in the garden may also help keep deer away from other plants. 

Read Also: Do Deer Like Eating Ranunculus?

Do deer eat Jerusalem artichoke plants?

The Jerusalem artichoke, while misleading, is not an artichoke. It’s a variety of sunflower grown for its tasty roots. Since this plant is lacking the typical thorns of other artichokes, deer are not repelled by it.

Jerusalem artichokes are a popular food among deer, who love to dig up and eat the roots. Many gardeners have found that deer will seek out Jerusalem artichokes and eat them above other plants.

How to Protect Artichoke Plants From Deer?

Artichoke plants can grow to impressive heights, making it more difficult to protect them from hungry deer. The only way to ensure that deer cannot access your garden is to enclose it in an eight-foot fence. Deer are known to regularly jump up to six feet, so making sure your fence is tall enough is vital.

Other methods for repelling deer include scent repellents such as bar soap, blood, or coyote urine; motion-activated lights or sprinklers; and noise repellents such as ultrasonic devices.

Unfortunately, deer will quickly learn that these are not real threats. Physical barriers are the best way to protect your garden from deer.

What if Deer Eat Artichoke Plants? 

Artichokes are not toxic to deer, so consuming them will not cause negative health issues. The prickly texture of globe artichokes may cause some discomfort, but artichokes are entirely safe for deer to consume.

Deer will not experience any adverse health issues upon eating globe or elongated artichokes.

Jerusalem artichokes are not related to globe artichokes in any way other than the name. These plants are also entirely safe for deer to eat. Their greenery and roots are a healthy and popular addition to any deer’s diet.

Jerusalem artichoke roots are often used as deer feed and are a popular winter food among deer.

Globe Artichoke Nutrition

When deer are particularly hungry, they may choose to eat these prickly plants anyway! True artichokes are high in vitamins such as vitamin C and magnesium. They are also high in sodium, which can be attractive to a hungry deer.

Calories60 cal
Fat0.2g
Sodium120mg
Potassium474mg
Carbohydrates13g
Protein4.2g

Jerusalem Artichoke Nutrition

Though not a true artichoke, Jerusalem artichokes are still a common root vegetable. They’re very popular among deer during winter due to their impressive fiber and caloric contents. Jerusalem artichokes are also rich in iron and potassium, making them a healthy addition to the deer’s diet.

Calories109 cal
Fat0.2g
Sodium6mg
Potassium644mg
Carbohydrates26g
Fiber 2.4g
Protein3g

Benefits of Growing Artichokes

do deer eat artichoke plants

As a member of the thistle family, artichokes are known to keep many pests out of gardens. From deer to rabbits, most creatures aren’t interested in the prickly leaves of an artichoke. Gardeners can use this to their advantage and plant artichokes to help protect their other plants from hungry wildlife.

Not only can true artichokes help protect your garden from hungry deer, but they’re also nice to look at! Globe artichokes are often grown as decorative accents in gardens. The tall, impressive stalk puts out a giant flower bud, which can be eaten in typical artichoke fashion or left to bloom.

The purple flower blooms are very popular with pollinators, helping to increase the overall health of the garden and the surrounding ecosystem. The silver leaves also add color and visual variety to gardens.

Read Also: Do Deer Eat Red Kidney Beans?