Deer resistance

florrie2February 8, 2009

Hi Everyone:

I have a Nikko Blue hydrangea in my yard that the deer donÂt touch. Since that is just about the only thing I can grow that isnÂt a deer buffet item, IÂd like to plant more hydrangeas.

Springhill Nursery has a $25 free coupon, and I was thinking about getting some from them.

They have H macrophylla "forever pink" and H macrophylla "bulk", but thereÂs no Âdeer resistant symbol for them.

Does anybody have deer experience with these varieties?

Please donÂt tell me that a hungry deer will eat anything. I know this and have seen them nibbling plants on my porch!

Thanks, Florrie

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Hydrangeas are not noted for having any particular deer resistance. In fact, they are typically included on lists of "often browsed by deer" or "frequently damaged by deer" plants. Specific cultivars would neither deter or encourage them - a hydrangea is just a hydrangea to a deer. Flowers in particular seem to be favored but most sources also indicate deer will nibble back hydrangea stems rather severely, often within inches of the ground.

For flowering shrubs liking similar conditions to hydrangeas that are NOT very appealing to deer, you could consider Pieris japonica, Leucothoe and most viburnums.

BTW, Springhill Nursery has a very poor reputation as a mail order source. You might want to check out the Garden Watchdog and review the ratings before deciding to do business with them.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 9:14AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

I have deer all over the place around here, and they loved munching on my Pinky Winky. Strangely enough, they generally left my other paniculatas alone (Limelight and Quick Fire). They did not seem to like my Annabelle or Endless Summer much either (thank goodness!!!). But yes, truth be told, when they get hungry, they seem to munch on everything... sigh!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 8:37PM
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If you have a hydrangea that deer don't eat, I'd say take cuttings from it and make more of those! They love my Annabelles ... I have to keep spraying them with Liquid Fence. I also have some wild H. arborescens (Annabelle is a cultivar of it) and they love those the most.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 10:27PM
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Thanks everyone for your advice. I made some cuttings from my "deer resistant" Nikko Blue last year. Let's see how they do!

I've not had problems with Springhill. Last year some of the plants I got didn't grow and they replaced them with similar plants.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 10:16AM
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