This was one of my gardens in June. And it only got prettier at the beginning of July. And then.....
....this happened...why can't they just go away???!!!!
Oh deer! I feel your pain...
Meet my lush, beautiful Irish Luck:
I haven't seen a deer here in 15 years and was devastated to see the insufferable damage throughout my hosta garden and the gardens around the perimeter of my condo one morning. 24 scapes were chewed off my Ventricosa, numerous scapes missing from my daylilies and astilbe plants and 1/2 of a large Fried Bananas hosta gone. Liquid fence seems to be working, but doesn't make up for my loses.
At our former home the dastardly thing ate over 200 in one night. I assume a herd came through and found the buffet to irresistible. That was a long summer.
Deer repellant spray, Vicks Vaporub, bow hunting. So far I've been lucky this year, but I saw a young one not far from my yard last night as we were driving in from the airport at midnight.
I've been there. Lots of Liquid Fence, milorganite, the neighbor's dog (since mine passed away a couple of years ago), husband with pellet gun. I've been luck this year, pretty much no losses. But in other years, decimated. Especially the year we were gone for three weeks in June on an extended road trip vacation. That was a bad season. Thankfully was before I was "serious" into hosta.
So sorry for your losses. They will come back, maybe even some new leaves this year, but definitely next year.
I don't have deer near me. So seeing a picture like yours is shocking to me. So sorry!
I feel your pain! Fortunately, my hostas are inside the fence so haven't experienced that destruction.
The deer must think I've laid out a salad bar for them.
This year my Hosta addiction kicked in bad... I started lurking here, and I doubled the number of hostas from nearly 100 to nearly 200 since the beginning of June. Coincidence? I doubt it.
After the first grazing, which devastated Elegans, Great Expectations, Paradise Expectations, Abiqua Drinking Gourd, Fragrant Dream, and Mayan Moon, I did some research and picked up some Milorganite. It's organic, readily available at Rona, and cheap ($15 for a 36lb bag). I sprinkled about half a cup around each Hosta, but did not work it into the soil. I got some weird white fuzz on the soil surface, directly related to the Milorganite, but not everywhere that I put it (i.e., not on mulch). Does anyone know whether this is normal and OK? I've posted a picture of Sagae with this Milorga-fuzz at its feet.
I have had some deer grazing since then, but aside from unlucky Irish Luck. the deer don't seem to be chomping the leaves as much. However, nearly all the scapes and flowers off the blooming Hostas are disappearing. There were a few I was SO hoping to see flower this year; every morning I check if the scapes are still there.
What else has worked for you? Vapo Rub? Do I put it on the leaves, or what? Is Liquid Fence the next step?
I feel your pain, hate when they mistake the garden for a salad bar. This year they've confined themselves to scapes and day lily buds. I was crushed when all the flowers buds vanished one night, am trying to think of the positives, like less time deadheading and that the day lilies were all fairly new and having no flowers will help them grow faster. (I'd still like to deadhead the deer).
I put taut fishing line at knee height and neck height on a deer around the bed and so far they haven't been back. It's a pain in the neck for me to get in and out of the bed, but at least I've got a few flowers. I've had some luck with Irish Spring soap. Cut a bar into fourths and hang it in a cloth bag about 2-3 ft. off the ground. Good luck - if they're really hungry nothing stops them.
Not true...DeerOff works fantastically. Works via smell and taste. If you spray the scapes when the buds are swelling, they might munch a few, but thats it. Works on daylilies and my shrubs also. It says 3 months on the label, but remember that if you get new shoots after you have sprayed, it's better to do another spray on the new leaves or buds. Oh, I start spraying the hosta when they first start coming up...the DeerOff also repels rabbits and squirrels.
DeerOff sounds like a miracle. Does it work on racoons,too?
Went for my morning walk this morning and the deer passed over my bed of ugly hostas and went to some of my favorites. This one I rescued from my moms ivy garden at the end of may. The other ones they ate had no sentimental value to them. When something like this happens, how do the hostas come back the next year? Are they affected, get smaller, or will they continue with growing and come back more mature?
MadPlanter1, don't know about raccoons, but I bet it would.
Bungalowmonkeys, since all plants generate energy from their leaves, this will affect the growth adversely, but it won't kill the plant unless the deer continue to eat every leaf.
Here's a link to the Vaporub thread. I'm going to put some more of it around the garden tomorrow.
Here is a link that might be useful: Vicks Vaporub deer repellant
The Milorganite should be sprinkled, aka needs air around it...the white stuff won't hurt anything, but use a hard spray of water to break up the mass and distribute it a bit. It will be fine.