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Re: Deer proof ferns

  • Subject: Re: [ferns] Deer proof ferns
  • From: "Jeannette Salom Lellinger" jlellinger@earthlink.net
  • Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 05:11:59 -0500

I live in the Western North Carolina mountains, in zone 6b, and the deer
here don't seem to bother Hay-scented, Sensitive, Cinnamon, Bracken, Ebony
Spleenwort, Hartford Fern, and Netted Chain Fern.  However, it is possible
that in years of severe conditions they might eat some of these.  I don't
recall observing any deer predation on Christmas and Marginal Wood Fern, but
I do know they like Lady, Interrupted, Crested Wood Fern, Deparia
acrostichoides (Silvery Spleenwort or Silvery Glade Fern), and the fertile
fronds of the Rattlesnake Fern (Botrychium virginianum).  We've only lived
in NC for 1.5 years and don't yet have any experience here with some of the
more unusual ferns.

I have only observed native ferns and have no experience with non-native
ones.  I hope this helps.

Jenny Lellinger

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Marge Talt" <mtalt@hort.net>
To: <ferns@hort.net>
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 7:50 PM
Subject: Re: [ferns] Deer proof ferns


> > From: mahouse@verizon.net
> > I live in zone 6 in the USA.  A friend asked me if I knew of any
> deer proof
> > ferns.  The local Bambi is chomping all of hers!  I haven't had
> that problem.
> >
> > Can anyone answer that question?
> ----------
>
> I truly do not believe that there is a deer-proof plant on this
> planet; they have leather mouths and will try just about anything at
> least once if they are hungry enough.  Given that my local herd has
> never touched any of the ferns in my garden, it's hard to make a
> recommendation.
>
> Do you know which of your friend's ferns they are eating?  Do they
> eat them during the growing season or are they just attacking them
> during winter (which doesn't really hurt the fern unless they stomp
> on it or pull it out of the ground)?
>
> My local herd used to (before deer fence) eat Liriope in winter, but
> not during the growing season..so their diet does change with the
> season and availability of food.
>
> Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
> mtalt@hort.net
> Editor:  Gardening in Shade
> Shadyside Garden Designs
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