What Plants Do Raccoons Eat?

What Plants Do Raccoons Eat? featured image

Raccoons are fascinating creatures that live in forests, cities, and even near our homes. They have a unique diet, which means they eat a variety of things to survive. One important part of their diet is plants! Yes, raccoons do eat plants, but they are not picky eaters.

They enjoy munching on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and even flowers. They use their clever paws to grab and hold the plants while they eat. Some of their favorite plants to snack on include berries like strawberries and blueberries, sweet corn, and yummy apples.

Raccoons are skilled foragers, which means they can find food in different places and adapt to their environment. So, if you ever spot a raccoon in your garden, don’t be surprised if you find some missing fruits or vegetables the next day. Raccoons are just looking for a tasty plant treat!

Raccoons as Omnivores

Raccoons are interesting creatures because they are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. They have a wide range of dietary preferences and can be quite opportunistic in their eating habits. However, despite their ability to eat a variety of foods, raccoons primarily rely on plant-based foods for sustenance.

Raccoon Diet in the Wild

In the wild, raccoons can be found in diverse habitats such as forests, wetlands, and even urban areas. They are highly adaptable and can find food in a variety of environments. When it comes to foraging, raccoons have a preference for water sources like rivers, lakes, and streams.

Related Article:What Plants Do Raccoons Hate

Now, let’s talk about the different types of plant-based foods that raccoons consume in the wild:


Raccoons love fruits, and their preferences change with the seasons. During the summer, they enjoy feasting on berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. In the fall, they have a particular fondness for apples and cherries.


Acorns and walnuts are among raccoons’ favorite nutty treats. They have a knack for cracking open these hard shells and enjoying the tasty kernels inside.


Raccoons have a seed tooth, which means they can munch on various types of seeds. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are just a couple of examples that they enjoy snacking on.


When it comes to vegetation, raccoons have a wide-ranging palate. They feed on various types of grasses, leaves, and shoots. These plant-based foods provide them with the necessary nutrients to thrive.

Roots and Tubers:

Raccoons are skilled diggers, and they are not afraid to dig up roots and tubers for a tasty treat. Cattails and water lilies are examples of roots and tubers that raccoons savor.

In addition to their plant-based diet, raccoons are known to raid bird nests and consume eggs. This behavior, although natural for raccoons, can be problematic for bird populations.

Related Article:What Animals Do Raccoons Eat

Raccoons and Human Food Sources

Raccoons are incredibly adaptable to urban environments, and they have become quite skilled at scavenging human food. They are attracted to easily accessible food sources, such as garbage cans and compost bins.

While raccoons can cause damage to property, it’s essential to understand their behavior and address the underlying food-related issues. Here are some tips to prevent raccoons from accessing human food sources:

Securing Garbage Cans:

Use tight-fitting lids or invest in raccoon-proof bins to keep these clever critters out of your garbage. Trust me, it’s worth it!

Properly Sealing Compost Bins:

Raccoons love compost, so make sure your compost bins are sealed tightly to prevent them from turning it into their personal buffet. Plus, minimizing food waste is good for the environment!

Harvesting Fruits and Vegetables Promptly:

If you have a garden or fruit trees, make sure to harvest your produce promptly. Leaving ripe fruits and vegetables out for too long can attract raccoons and lead to unwanted encounters.

Plants to Avoid Feeding Raccoons

While raccoons have a diverse diet, it’s crucial not to intentionally feed them. Feeding raccoons can lead to dependency and habituation, which can cause problems for both raccoons and humans.

Related Article:What Vegetables Do Raccoons Eat?

Here are some plants that are harmful or toxic to raccoons and should be avoided:

Nightshade Family:

Plants like tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants belong to the nightshade family and contain toxic alkaloids that can be harmful to raccoons if ingested.


Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which can be toxic if consumed in large quantities. While humans enjoy rhubarb pie, it’s best to keep it away from raccoons.


Yew plants, commonly found in gardens and landscapes, are highly toxic to raccoons. It’s best to avoid planting them if you want to create a raccoon-friendly environment.


Azaleas may be beautiful, but they contain toxins that can be harmful to raccoons if ingested. Let’s keep these lovely flowers away from our raccoon friends.

Balancing Raccoon Coexistence

When it comes to raccoons, coexistence is key. It’s essential to understand raccoon behavior and take steps to avoid conflicts. Responsible waste management and securing potential food sources are crucial.

However, it’s also important to recognize the potential benefits of raccoons in ecosystems. They help with seed dispersal and can be valuable for insect control. Respecting their natural behaviors and avoiding direct interactions is the best way to maintain a harmonious coexistence.

Related Article:What Do Raccoons Eat Rabbits?

Here are some additional tips for peacefully coexisting with raccoons:

Install Motion-Activated Lights or Sprinklers:

Raccoons are nocturnal creatures, so installing motion-activated lights or sprinklers can deter them from venturing into your yard. Plus, it adds a little excitement to your nighttime garden strolls!

Seal Off Potential Denning Sites:

Raccoons love cozy and secluded spaces, so make sure to seal off potential denning sites in attics, crawl spaces, or sheds. They’ll have to find another place to call home.

Consult Local Wildlife Authorities:

If you’re facing raccoon-related issues that you can’t handle on your own, don’t hesitate to reach out to local wildlife authorities. They have the knowledge and experience to assist you in finding the best solutions.


What plants do raccoons eat?

Raccoons have an omnivorous diet and will eat a variety of plants. Some common plants that raccoons consume include fruits such as berries, apples, and grapes. They also eat vegetables like corn, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Additionally, raccoons may feed on nuts, acorns, and seeds from various plants.

Can raccoons damage my garden by eating plants?

Yes, raccoons can cause damage to gardens by feeding on plants. They may dig up and consume vegetables, fruits, and flowers. Raccoons are known to target corn crops, as well as raid gardens for ripening berries and other fruits. They can also cause harm by trampling plants while foraging for food.

Related Article:What Do Raccoons Eat Rats?

How can I protect my plants from raccoons?

To protect your plants from raccoons, you can take several measures. One option is to install a sturdy fence around your garden area to deter raccoons from entering. Electric fences can also be effective. Covering fruits and vegetables with netting or wire mesh can prevent raccoons from accessing them. Additionally, using motion-activated lights or sprinklers can startle raccoons and discourage them from approaching your plants.


In conclusion, raccoons are omnivorous animals that primarily rely on plant-based foods for sustenance. Understanding their dietary habits is crucial for ensuring their coexistence with humans. In the wild, raccoons consume a variety of plant-based foods, including fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetation, and roots. They are also known to raid bird nests and consume eggs. In urban areas, raccoons adapt to scavenging human food sources, such as garbage cans and compost bins. However, it is important to address the underlying food-related issues and prevent raccoons from accessing these sources. Avoid intentionally feeding raccoons and refrain from offering them harmful or toxic plants like those from the nightshade family, rhubarb leaves, yew plants, and azaleas. Balancing raccoon coexistence involves responsible waste management, securing potential food sources, and respecting their natural behaviors. By implementing these strategies, we can peacefully coexist with raccoons and appreciate the benefits they provide to ecosystems. Share your experiences and tips for coexisting with raccoons in the comments section. Thank you for your interest in learning about raccoons and their diet.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *