Is Forsythia Deer-resistant?

alla_pa(z6)March 20, 2005

There is a wooded strip of land along a stream between our backyard and another street. We grow a vegetable garden behind the fence and would like to make that area a bit prettier to look at. For now, there are only weedy shrubs growing next our vegetable garden, so we want to clear the area and plant more appealing shrubs, like forsythias, red-twig dogwood, and butterfly bush. Are those deer-resistant? We have a few deer wandering around from time to time, but not a lot.

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I have a bad deer problem northeast of you in NY, across the border but near Wayne and Pike Counties, and have been combatting them for years with some success, replanting beds with deer-resistant plants and protecting those which are not. In the winter, I fence in all shrubs. With snow cover, they eat anything and everything. Here are my experiences with the plants you mention.

Forsythia. I took mine out, not because of deer, but for other reasons. Did they nibble on it in winter? Yes, and since it blooms on old growth, at least try easily removed netting. No nibbling in summers though.
Buddleia (butterfly bush). Yes, I had a few nibbles one summer on just one of them, but generally deer pass them by. In winter I don't worry about it, since they get cut way back in spring and bloom on new growth.
Cornus alba (red-twig dogwood). My understanding is that deer do not bother this much. In winter they might, but that shouldn't matter, since the plantsÂfor best winter colorÂneed to be cut back to nearly ground level in the spring.

Good questions. I would like to hear how the dogwood does for you.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 2:36PM
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I've had some luck with
redtwig dogwood
but if hungry enough they will eat it all.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 6:14AM
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kitova(z6 NJ)

look at:

this study was done in our area, central new jersey, but deer could be more or less desperate where you are. i generally stick to the "rarely severely damaged" (translation: they never touch it) to "seldom severely damaged" (translation: they will nibble at it occasionally but not badly).

we have forsythia everywhere in our neighborhood and we have lots of deer (one every day in my yard). the forsythia seem to bloom just fine. so do the buddleias. i've never seen my local mother and 3 bambis eating either in summer.

as for red-twigged dogwood, i've heard the same as you, brumeta, but never planted one nor noticed any in our area... p.s., other flowering shrub considerations are magnolia, bottlebrush buckeye, rose of sharon, weigelas, and lilacs

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 9:14AM
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We need a privacy hedge or shrub about 8 feet long. Live near wind/water/deer.

Any suggestions?'

Near a patio.

Just lost all of our trees in snowstorms

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 12:05PM
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