Deer resistant perennials

grijo(z6 NJ)July 10, 2005

Moved into a new, to me, house a couple of months ago, and decided to take on gardening. So far the deer are getting the best of me. Last week I planted a) Little Business Daylily, b)Snow Lady Shasta Daisy, c) Purple Emperor Sedum, and d) Aureo-margaritana Hosta. Two days later they were gone.

Looking for recommendations on flowering perennials to plan around the house, next to the mailbox, and on outdoor planters.

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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

at my house these plants are safe

Coneflower (some nibbling, not bad)
columbines (not where I live now, occasionally at former house)
bleeding hearts
ornamental grasses
butterfly bushes
salvias, agastaches, monardas, lambs ear, lamium - anything in the mint family
things with scented or hairy leaves, generally speaking
deadly poisons, foxglove, monkshood, and hellebore
Joe pye weed
lily of the valley
Virginia bluebells
alchemilla, lady's mantle

sprays like Deer-off work well, but I do try to keep vulnerable plants near the house.

there are lots of deer resistant lists you can look up or get from the library.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 10:50PM
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grijo(z6 NJ)

I'll stop by the library tomorrow. Thanks for list.

Having undeveloped land behind my house is nice. So far this year I've seen a couple of foxes and a pheasant in my backyard. But the deer come next to the house and eat everything.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 11:01PM
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ron_a_nj(Z6 NJ)

Try looking here. It looks like the best source I have seen in a while!


Here is a link that might be useful: Rutgers Deer Resistance Study

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 12:36PM
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njtea(NJ Z6)

Birdgardner's list is a great one - however, I've found that the deer will eat Joe Pye to the ground as well as lobelia, poppies, coneflower and columbine!

All that said, this year they have left all those alone, for the most part, but really did in the viburnums and some of the ferns.

The Rutgers list is a good one also but if you're a purist, there are several plants on that list considered invasive - and additional ones "my" deer have savored, including jack in the pulpit.

I'm surrounding many of my perennials with grasses - so far it seems to be working.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 5:19PM
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ron_a_nj(Z6 NJ)

It all depends on how hungry they are! There have been winters where they eat all of my ivy and there have been winters where they eat none..
They just tromp across my lawn like its a buffet! The liquid fence stuff works but its pricy. My current alternative was to move all our perennials to the fenced in back yard. The front beds are bare mulched till I get the time to pick up non deer friendly stuff...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 5:40PM
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You need to check with your neighbors too! Deer appetites vary greatly from one area to the next, and on how many there are!

Unlike at birdgardner's current house, my deer eat: peonies, columbines, hellebores, yuccas, ferns, cranberry bush (Viburnum trilobum) and English/Boston ivy.

They'll nibble at Aruncus (goatsbeard), sample astilbe (I'm waiting for another round of browsing), coneflower (Echinacea), and have taste tested young poppies.

They do seem to ignore foxgloves(Digitalis), most of the sages, thistle (Echinops), myrtle (Vinca minor), and Virginia bluebells.

I do get some additional (collateral damage?) from groundhogs(woodchucks) which seem to savor Liatris, gaillardia, echinacea, and cyclamens (although I may be mistaken about the vandal involved).

Fencing helps, but isn't always feasible/practicable/possible. Deer can jump over an 8' fence, g'hogs can tunnel under it (or climb over a 5' fence) if they are hungry enough.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 11:51PM
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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

Grijo, the other posters are right about how much deer appetites vary! We had one neighbor whose daffodils would get eaten, and all the other daffodils in the neighborhood would be left alone. And my pachysandra gets eaten (newly established) and the neighbors have huge untouched sweeps.

They do seem to go for new plantings, and isolated plants, or plants on the edge - plants in a large bed are more likely to be left alone, especially when mixed with unappetizing companions. You can cover new plants with pieces of deer net - raise it up as the plant grows so the plant doesn't grow through and get stuck.

Another never-touched: Japanese anemone. In my yard, anyway. And caryopteris and spirea.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 10:55AM
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An analogy that helps to understand what's going on is this: Do humans eat liver? A very small number of them love it. Most hate it. But all will eat it rather than starve.

They won't touch my lambsear. It's doing beautifuly. If you're in the princeton area I could give you some plants.
You can e-mail me freedee56@aolcom

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 5:25PM
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