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
Iguana problems
Agave (century plant) eats center
Alamanda ignore ignore dog hair _poops
Aloe ? ignore lives in palm tree
Banana ignore leaves (can’t reach fruit) or eats leaves, if possible; may use as rutting post ignore or eats lives in pine trees
Bay Cedar eats ignore lives in mangroves
Beach Sunflower, Helianthus eats ? destroys seawalls
Begonia ignore digs holes in mulch
Bird of Paradise eats ?
Pithecellobium ,guadalupense
ignore ignore
Black Ironwood, Krugiodendron ferreum ignore ignore
Bleeding Hearts ? eats
BloIly, Guapira discolor ignores or eats new shoots ignore _
Blue Daze ignore ?
Bottlebrush ignore
Bougainvillea ignore eats leaves and flowers
Bromeliad flowers _ignore eats flowers
Bromeliad leaves often uproot when sampling, but don’t eat ignore
Buttonwood ignore ignore
Caladium eats
Cardboard palm eats ?
Cardinal Vine ignore _ignore .
Cat’s Whiskers yummy ignore
Chalice Vine ignore ?
Chinese Red hat _Ignore
Clerodendrum -Shooting Star ignore ignore


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