Return to the Plants for Difficult Places Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Posted by ChateauClubcrest SW Ohio (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 4, 05 at 20:37

The new house has a lovely shaded deck that apparently had been surrounded by shrubs that at some point that were viciously hacked off by the previous owners, leaving lots of little stumps.

I don't plan to do much with it this year, hide the stumps with some mulch, but I would like to try to put in a few deer resistant plants and se how they do. I have a long list of deer resistant plants (thanks to some wonderful links here!) but many of the plants I'm unfamiliar with.

So off the top of your head, any deer resistant shade plant suggestions? It's pretty shady!

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

for flowers you could try columbines, but it sounds like you need a shrub... anything thorny or spiky like holly, or a juniper. Sometimes really strong herbs will deter... but they LOVE basil. you can also walk in the woods and see what plants they are NOT eating.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

'Scuse me, but the deer love blue holly and junipers need sun. They tend to leave some viburnums alone such as Korean spice, but will eat doublefiles. Winterberry holly is o.k. but gets large. St. Johns wort, Clethra, Itea all good in shade and deer haven't eaten mine. Easier to give you a list of shade perennials that deer don't like. Pulmonarias, hellebores, Dicentra Luxuriant or exima, Astilbe, viola, seed begonia (they ate my tuberous begonias one year, but usually don't) Sedum (usually), sedges, ladies mantle, ferns, lamium, epimedium. There are even more, but these are mainstays in my shade gardens with voracious deer.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

shrubs: boxwoods for form & substance, leucothoe for a more informal cascading/mounding look
upright perennials: ferns, astilbes, bleeding heart, and columbine (although deer sometimes will nibble at the astilbe flowers)
ground cover: lamium (aka dead nettle) especially the variegated types, sweet woodruff, vinca, and pachysandra
annuals: marigolds

i have all of the above in my shade garden which is on a old deer trail, and they do fine.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Try some hellebore. Need shade, evergreen, tropical looking, flower from the end of winter until ?. Mine are still in flower in June! Probably due to the wet, cool spring. You won't be disappointed. Almost everyone who sees mine wants to know what they are and where they can get some.

As long as you plant them in rich, well drained soil, they'll perform extremely well.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Thanks. I picked up some hellebores last week and see how they do.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Actually any of the dicentras should be OK. I have a dicentra scabra climbing up a trellis and it's unscathed as is my eximia. Which brings me to my point really ANY plant is suseptible to deer when they decide to nibble-sometimes that wrecks a plant/bloom for a season you need to always be prepared for that no matter what anyone tells you is deer-proof. That said, these are plants that live in shade/potentially deerproof: lamium, pulmonaria-they are loaded with spiny hairs (that I certainly wouldn't want on my tongue)! My helleborus argutifolius was grazed and I was looking for a dead deer after that occurance since they are highly toxic(no dead deer though). Yes, to sweet woodruff,jack-in-the-pulpit,may apple, boxwood,Kirengeshoma palmata,...Magnolia stellata hasn't been touched BUT I'm wondering how much shade you've got since it needs some sun to bloom. Many of the plants mentioned in my post and others actually like at least a little sun. Do you have deep dark shade? or is it more dappled.
Winterberry is not safe-at least my female shrub has been deer pruned: ( No hollies are deer resistant and Amelanchier also got snagged by deer and wrecked the beautiful form it had. Kalmia which is supposed to be resistant to deer also got chomped to smitherines. I would look into Leucothoe maybe you should let me test that one and I'll get back to you lolol. Good luck: )

~Babs


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

I'm in a place where deer eat everything even the things they're not supposed to. They devoured my Clethra within a week of my planting it and did a job on my Leucothoe and Ilex -- evergreen that looks like boxwood. (Not glabra). The one thing they haven't eaten is my Pieris japonica -- it is related to rhodies and poisonous to deer. I've had other problems with my Pieris -- they have been afflicted with lacebugs but I'm told that is because they get too much sun. If your site is truly shady, it could work for you.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Just wanted to report that I've planted a variety of supposedly deer resistant (hellebore, marigolds, sedum, coreopsis, achillea) and deer candy (free hostas :-) ) and used Deer Off and I've been sucessful so far. Key word is "so far." As of right now, the deer are more interested in enjoying the bounty of the two apple trees than eating my stuff.

Winter is going to be kind of scary. These deer are *not* afraid of people. All the moms and baby deer hang out in our yard.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Boy, I am jealous that your ferns are managing to get avoided by the deer. I bought a house in May that had twenty or so ferns under the trees and by late june they were gone. I have lots of deer too. Maybe there are some ferns that deer like less than others.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Has anybody tried spreading dog or cat fur around (in the mulch) to repel the deer? I've read where this is supposed to work, but I've not talked to anyone who has tried it. I'm taking some fur today to a friend who has a deer problem. I'm also trying to convince her to replace severely deer-damaged yews. Imagine-- yews in a forest!


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

  • Posted by Suja z7 noVA (My Page) on
    Sat, Dec 24, 05 at 21:07

The deer in my yard practically laugh at dogs, so you can just imagine what they think about dog fur. The short answer is no.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Illicium floridanum(Florida Anise; zone 6-b or 7-a)is deer resistant and does well in moist shade. Woodlanders has several varieties. I. henryi is also a good choice.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Greetings all!

How come nobody has mentioned hydrangeas? The new cultivar "Endless Summer" blooms from late spring to fall and all the hydrangeas are nearly deer proof.

Another point is to use PlantSkydd. I've diluted mine to the point that it's half strength or less and it's still effective. I use it on the fast growing plants about every 3 weeks in spring and then less often in summer. I have perfect roses and hostas, not even deer tracks in the yard now for the last two years running that I've used it.

Bob

Here is a link that might be useful: Bob's Adventures


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Deer love hydrangeas.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

in Bob's response...what is Plantskydd???


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Monkshood. I think the latin name is "aconitium" or something like that. Grows vigorously and flowers profusely in shade, but highly poisonous to people. And deer, too, apparently 'cause they don't touch them. Not even a nibble.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Goatsbeard (Aruncus) works well, as does Andromeda (Pieris japonica). One of the spireas seems to do well (according to the nursery near me).

Bambi and friends do nibble at: hellebores, forsythia (the Arnoldii strain), peonies, yuccas (Y. filamentosa), and bleeding heart (Dicentra), and columbine - but I had twenty plus of the ambulatory vegamatics running across my property (on a weekly basis 2 years ago) and leaving presents for me. A six foot high fence of garden wire (2" x4"); five feet of fencing hung six feet high), (around three of the four sides of my yard) helped a lot; now there are only three/maybe four diehards that want to take risks on unfamiliar plants.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

I have a country garden that the deer love to pick at.....what helps and works is peeing around the property and on the plants. Deer don't like the smell of us, go figure! Of course if it rains you'll have to be out there again.Hey, it's safe, natural and you've got nothing to lose.I am being serious!


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Stay away from hydrangeas and hostas. They have never touched my ferns (yet).


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

  • Posted by bwca4 z5 (Chicago) (My Page) on
    Fri, May 9, 08 at 17:53

How about Dwarf Fothergilla? Anybody had success with that?


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

my deer heard have never touched my LIGULARA. they love shade too!!!


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

It's amazing to read these posts! It seems as if the deer have regional preferences. Deer in my area (rural Maryland) nibble on forsythia and weigelia, but don't really eat it. Hostas are dessert! But they leave alone the fernleaf bleeding heart, lavender, hellebores, species geraniums, astilbe, skimmia, cherry laurel (Otto Luyken) and ferns I have planted on the edge of my woods. And they have never touched my Nikko Blue hydrangea.

Go figure!


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Just discovered Bottlebrush Buckeye as a strong shrub possibility for my own shady spot that's frequented by deer. Everything I've read says it's deer resistant (maybe because the bush provides nuts? The nuts are highly poisonous to humans, but don't seem to affect squirrels, etc.). Only downside is that you need a large spot for this plant -- the bush gets big both in height and girth (12' x 12' I've read). It's native to New England and other states; has large beautiful white flowers in July; plus striking yellow leaves in the fall.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

I have had a serious deer problem and have noted that they tend to avoid: Pachysandra, Vinca minor, Pieris Japonica, Astilbe, Hellabore, and Schip Laurel.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

I've planted many on the "deer reistant" list to find that many get eaten. Even the new flower growth of Astilbe this year are getting chomped down, last year they weren't touched.

The best plants for my shade yard (none of these have been touched since planted 2 years ago): Foxglove, Lirope (common name lilyturf), Asarum (common name wild ginger) and Symphoricarpos albus (common name Snowberry).

It all comes down to the preference of the deer in your area. Even the local deer seem to have preferences, and I've talked to gardeners that live a few miles from me and have given me a list of what works in their yard, and some that worked for them haven't worked for me, vice versa.

Good luck!
Barbara


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Deer resistant and shade tolerant? Try ferns--they don't touch them! Also have luck with bleeding heart, Pieris, Hedera (ivy), and Skimia japonica. Maybe Ajuga and pachysandra--we'll see.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Concerning Ferns: I have witness the local deer chomping ferns down to the base of the plant! But, I say that with a caveat- here they will eat the "tender" leaf ferns, but stay away from the "tougher, leathery" leaf ferns.

I had a Pieres defoliated, it died.

Like I said, it all comes down to the preferences of your local deer population! LOL!

Trial and error, I've lost probably a few hundred dollars trying different plants until I've found what works for me. Foxglove and irises dominate, but I do have others they don't touch. The deer here seem lazy and don't seem to bother low growing plants (Like Ajuga).

And get this, they don't touch the two white Heliotropes in my yard, so this year I planted a purple one. They ate the purple Heliotrope and left the white alone! And the white ones are planted in the direct path of the deer, the purple is further fromt the path! That makes no sense, the woman at the local garden center didn't want to believe me! But, the white Heliotrope is on it's second year going strong, and I haven't seen Heliotrope on any of the resistant lists...

Barbara


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

We have deep shade against our house. Boxwood wasn't grazed by the deer, but wouldn't grow either. No one has mentioned Rhodies which are supposed to be poisonous to deer and like shade. Do you think these would work and grow together like azeleas? (We had two of three white azeleas planted in a row eaten. The third is doing great four years later - go figure.) Re Ivy - our house was covered with it for maybe 15+ years, then one year the deer ate it back to the twigs. We had to pull it all down and repair the siding. It's SO frustrating and expensive to keep replanting. Yes, deer repellent works great - until you forget to spray it...


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Jdannynet - Rhododendrons are great companions to azaleas, but in my experience, the deer enjoy munching on them.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

I bought this house last May. I planted 6 azaleas and 2 rhodedendrons, 5 burning bushes ground cover ivy, and a hydrangea tree. All are eaten way back. However, they did not touch any of my 9 boxwood bushes. My house in under mature maple trees and a lot of leaves on the ground. No plants...all eaten. I'd like to have something other than boxwoods everywhere! This is becoming very expensive and it's only my first year here.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Live in the woods with a herd of deer. Spirea does well. Rhodedendron also. Butterfly bush I heard is resistant. I'm going to try it this year. Wygelia- so far they only nibbled on them- 1st winter. they can get big so it's ok.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

can i plant marigolds now? i live in frederick md


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Reading everyone's posts -- one thing comes to mind. Whether a plant is listed as resistant or not, when it is young or putting forth new growth, I think all bets are off. Deer just seem to love tender growth, regardless

Usually, I spray Liquid Fence or cayenne water on ALL new growth and new plantings, to give them a chance to get going. After somewhat established, I leave off, and then the "resistant" varieties seem to perform as advertised.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Concerning the post from Barbara from gardenspuds regarding the concept that her deer did not touch white heliotropes but ate the purple. I have noted the same thing with other deer resistant plants, the white version seems to be the most resistant. I am glad to know someone else has had the same experience!


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

My white Butterfly bush has survived two years without any nibbles. No problem with any ferns, Hellebore, spreading Yew, Christmas Fern, Vincas (major or minor). Cleyera has done great-low maintanence evergreen shrub, although not for full shade? Deer did eat down my liropi just last year!I agree that spraying esp. when first planted helps deter their interest. Who called them "Ambulatory Vegematics"?--love it!!


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

We have been very successful at preserving plants from deer by staking Ivory Soap around the plants....we drill holes through the bar soap and use string to tie it to stakes and put the stakes every 5-10' or so. Lasts for months or through the winter. But they will need to be replaced.

That was especially after i saw the crows eating the soap!!!


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Hydrangeas are deer caviar!!!


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Deer chomped my columbine last night (grr - where are those mountain lions and wolves when you need 'em). In the Shenandoah Valley (Virginia), we've had luck against shade and deer so far with tiarellas and heucheras, which come in many lovely varieties - also cimicifuga (now actaea), polemoniums, and various native geraniums. All require almost 100% shade in our summer heat and drought, but if they make it through the first year, we're golden.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

I was looking to plant 3 trees/shrubs Arborvitaes to provide privacy and was looking to get them about 5/6 feet tall. However I was advised that the deer love them and we live next to a state park which is loaded with deer and visit us regularly. I would like to get a shrub/tree that will grow out if trimmed to stay at about 7 feet tall and fill an area about 15 feet wide that the deer will not dine on. The area is partially sunny and this would be in the NJ area.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

I'm in Wisconsin, and blue spruce here are safe from deer. There's a newish variety called Fat Albert that should meet your guidelines--bigger than a foundation planting, but not full-sized.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

A neighbor has been using garlic powder around his flowers and plants and it seems to keep the deer away.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

NO ARBORVITAE!!!! Boxwoods and Pieris are two of my favs and have never been touched.. Also have great luck with clumping bamboo (non-invasive)


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

Wow!! Eight years since the question was posted and suggestions keep coming in. Gardeners rock!

We will never run out of deer or ways to garden around them. I live in the Sierra Foothills in northern CA. Talk about deer! They start coming down from the hills around the first of June and don't leave again till serious rains come in the fall.

My deer don't eat lirope, spirea (grows well in shade but blooms better in sun), nandina (yes, mine grows well with only 1 hour of sun a day), rhodies, and pieris. Re the spirea, because it's such a beautiful shrub whether it blooms or not, I have many around the property. Shade or sun, they always please.

One poster said that her deer laugh at dogs. Around here one deer got tired of one very old, very yappy-at-the-ankles dog, raised itself up, and came down with its front legs on top of poor old Sammy. He gave them all wide berth after that...

Just joined GardenWeb today and look forward to learning and posting!


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

On our VA mountain, our purple butterfly bushes are never munched, but when the bushes were newly planted, the fawns liked to lie down on top of them. Lost one of the bushes that way. They do like sampling the limelight hydrangeas. I've had great success with grasses and lavender; all of these do better in some sun.


 o
RE: Deer resistant AND shade tolerant

  • Posted by corrine1 7b Pacific Northwest (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 12, 13 at 23:47

Deer don't eat Carex here & they do great in the part shade of the PNW as long as watered.

Have you considered corydalis lutea, perennial with yellow flowers? Great filler plant with blue green lacy foliage.

They don't eat hardy geranium with the scented foliage like G. macro or sang... Just sniff foliage before you purchase. If you know someone growing hardy geraniums you can ask for a start. They're prolific and easy to transplant.

The website link below has amazing garden photos & suggestions for your new garden space.

Here is a link that might be useful: slideshow of 10 great groundcovers


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Plants for Difficult Places Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here