Re: Deer Resisitant Plants
In my experience, there is absolutely nothing that the deer won't try at
least once. Some things they only try once - of course daffodils are the
most deer-resistant of all. They usually don't come back for plants that
are rough-textured or hairy. Zinnias, for instance, are not a favorite.
As a general rule, they don't like smelly or sharp-flavored plants, but
have been known to eat tomato plants and marigolds. The few things
in my garden that seem most reliable are rue (Ruta graveolens),
several artemisias, especially A. 'Powis Castle,' and castor beans,
which are highly poisonous. However, even those have been nibbled
when they were young. Hope the deer had a good tummy-ache from
that. They have not eaten my Hellebores, but a friend says they eat
his regularly. I have succeeded in keeping the very prickly roses
'Blanc Double 'dCourbet and 'Grootendorst Supreme' going for a
number of years, but have given up on all others except the miniatures in
containers in protected areas.
And they don't like some ornamental grasses - the ones with sharp
or rough edges.
What I have decided after many years of gardening around deer, and
many years of reading lists put out by so-called experts, is that you
just have to find out what the deer in your own situation will and will
not eat. Things that appear on most deer-resistant lists have been
eaten in my yard, but I have succeeded with some things that other
people say the deer will eat. I've had to adjust my garden plans to
adapt to the deer. Our land is so placed that it would be almost
impossible to fence. We sprayed for some years, but that is a real
nuisance, and you have to keep changing the type of spray every
two or three weeks so that they don't get used to it. These days, I
just accept that my garden would strike some as odd, and grow
what I know I can get away with.
In a message dated 02/21/2006 7:27:45 AM Eastern Standard Time,
One of my former readers has moved to the low country of South Carolina -
Mt. Pleasant, wherever that is - presumably zone 8 . She has a deer problem
but wants a flower garden. Other than Lantana (which is a noxious weed in
some parts of the south) Perovskia and maybe Rosemary, what can she grow?
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