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Deer Resistant Plants for your Garden
I discovered long ago that deer can be very picky when it comes to food. One year we grew watermelons in our market garden. With just days away from harvesting over 200 hills of juicy-sweet melons, I came out to discover that deer had been pushing their hoofs into the fruit. What’s interesting is that they would only eat the yellow-fleshed melons, leaving the red-fleshed alone (after poking hoof holes in most of the melons, of course).
A deer’s nature is to browse, and they will often leave less desirable plants in order to snack on their favorites, like roses and yellow-fleshed watermelons. When their food of preference decreases, their interest goes elsewhere. As such, they start to nibble on plants that they might normally leave alone.
If deer are devouring your flowers before their blooms can brighten you day, you can try one of many tactics to deter them from lingering in your garden. However, none are fool-proof with the exception of an eight foot fence around the area you want to protect. But you can foil their efforts by growing plants that are “deer resistant” or “deer repellent“ for your garden.
Here are a few of Kris Wetherbee‘s Recommendations:
Deer- Resistant Trees:
Cherry laurel, crape myrtle, hawthorn, pine, redbud, river birch, spruce, cedar, cypress, magnolia, palms.
Deer- Resistant Shrubs:
Bamboo, barberry, boxwood, butterfly bush, cotoneaster, holly, lavender, manzanita, pieris, ornamental grasses (many), culinary herbs (most), sumac, viburnum.
Deer- Resistant Ground Covers:
Ajuga, cape honeysuckle, English ivy, jasmine, pachysandra, periwinkle, sweet woodruff, vinca, wisteria.
Deer- Resistant Flowers (Bulbs):
Agastache, agave, artemisia, aster, astilbe, bear’s breech, carex, catmint, coreopsis, coneflower, crocosmia, culinary herbs, daffodil, dahlia, daylily, erysimum, euphorbia, lamb’s ears, monkshood, poppy, salvia (most), santolina, statice, verbena, veronica, yarrow.
Deer- Resistant Flowers (Annuals):
Alyssum, dusty miller, marigold, poppy, impatiens.
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