Plants Iguanas and Key Deer Ignore or Eat

Iguanas and Key Deer are plant eating animals and will eat many kinds of plants. In particular, they like flowering shrubs, like hibiscus, berries, fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes, strawberries and figs. The best way for eliminating iguanas is to keep them out of the garden in the first place. This form of iguana control means changing the environment some so it is not iguana friendly.

They are in your property because it is providing items like food, shelter, and a safe place to live. Some ideas are:

  1. Do not leave food scraps such as fallen or ripe fruits and vegetables out in the garden,
  2. Pick or cover ripening fruits before they notice them.
  3. Enclose compost bins or bury any food items deep inside, as this can be an additional food source.
  4. Reduce areas where iguanas can hide such as brushy, low growth plants and shrubs and piles of branches or stone.
  5. Harass Iguanas (Key Deer are protected – DO NOT HARASS KEY DEER) every chance you get. Most Iguanas roam over a large range and if harassed enough will move to more friendly locations.
  6. Fill in and cover Iguana burrows as you find them. Do not leave a burrow open. Try to fill burrows during the day when the iguanas will not be in them.

There are a number of plants that Iguanas and Key Deer will usually not bother with, or at least will not eat to the ground. Try growing more of these and if you must grow plants they love to eat, protect them with chicken wire cages. Review the plant list below and if you have personal experience with these plants or others add them to the comments. Please share with your Facebook and Twitter friends.

Update: The Monroe County Extension website has updated their site and seems to have eliminated this information. I will continue to search for alternative information.

Plants that Iguanas and Key Deer ignore or eat.
Key Deer
Preference
Iguana
Preference
Iguana
deterrent
Iguana problems
Agave (century plant)eats center
Alamandaignoreignoredog hair_poops
Aloe?ignorelives in palm tree
Bananaignore leaves (can’t reach fruit) or eats leaves, if possible; may use as rutting postignore or eatslives in pine trees
Bay Cedareatsignorelives in mangroves
Beach Sunflower, Helianthuseats?destroys seawalls
Begoniaignoredigs holes in mulch
Bird of Paradiseeats?
Blackbead,
Pithecellobium ,guadalupense
ignoreignore
Black Ironwood, Krugiodendron ferreumignoreignore
Bleeding Hearts?eats
BloIly, Guapira discolorignores or eats new shootsignore_
Blue Dazeignore?
Bottlebrushignore
Bougainvilleaignoreeats leaves and flowers
Bromeliad flowers_ignoreeats flowers
Bromeliad leavesoften uproot when sampling, but don’t eatignore
Buttonwoodignoreignore
Caladiumeats
Cardboard palmeats?
Cardinal Vineignore _ignore.
Cat’s Whiskersyummyignore
Chalice Vineignore?
Chinese Red hat_Ignore
Clerodendrum -Shooting Starignoreignore

 

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Melissa

    I actually have a question. I’m caring for a friends iguana I want to let it out on hot days but I dont know if a cherry tree with no cherry’s just the leaf’s are safe for him same thing with a dogwood tree can anyone help me here please and thank you

    1. FKT

      DON’T “let it out” or you may never see it again and only make the problem worse.

    2. Louise

      Do you realize that iguanas are pests that we have to deal with because people let them out?!?!?
      Maybe you didn’t know, but now you know. Be a good human and don’t let it out. You are a nice person to care for another person’s pet but it’s a pet no one should have in Florida. Particularly, South Florida.

  2. Marsha

    Iguanas LOVE Pentas!!

  3. dr gary swanson

    will iguanas eat horseradish. horseradish grows with a tap root, but has large green leaves and foliage. the leaves are bitter but i dont know what appeals to an iguana

    1. FKT

      My guess is they will. Plants in the cabbage family can be quite bitter in the Summer and iguanas will eat them up.

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