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Deer Resistant Ground Cover for shady area

Posted by racheldworkin 10 (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 28, 10 at 13:16

Our hillside ivy has been destroyed by the deer and the pine needles that fall everywhere, making the soil very acidic. We need ground cover suggestions for a large area that is deer resistant. The hill gets very little direct sunlight.

Lantana was recommended but I fear we don't get enough sun. Rosemary was recommended, but I fear the bees that it attracts since we have small children. We'd love something with flowers, but at this point just want anything that fits the criteria!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Deer Resistant Ground Cover for shady area

Your zone is so different from mine, but what works here that the deer leave alone are dicentra eximia (western bleeding heart), ferns(many varieties), brunnera, liriope and Pachysandra terminalis.

Of course hungry deer will try and possibly eat anything.

RE: Deer Resistant Ground Cover for shady area

I have large expanses of hosta and the deer never have bothered them. In those beds I also have ferns and they eat the new growth off each spring. I am thinking that our deer just have plenty to eat and that is why I don't have problems with them. Still, I sprinkle the Milorganite just in case.

RE: Deer Resistant Ground Cover for shady area

I get the feeling you're in a western zone 10 and don't know if my ground covers will work for you. Rosemary and lavender are terrific plants that the deer will avoid (as other herbs) but they need full sun to be at their best. I have deer and the plants that I have used as ground covers in the shade (and worked as least for me) include the following:

Vinca minor
Hedera (both the common English ivy and the Algeian 'canariensis' will work)
Ajuga (bronze variety is very attractive)
Dicentra (as suggested above--there is a dwarf variety that is better as a lower ground cover. The dwarf also seems to be green and robust much, much longer.

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