The Q&A Archives: Deer Proof Plants

Question: I am pulling out rhododendron bushes that the deer have destroyed and would like to replant the front of my house with plants/flowers that will not require netting to keep the deer away. So far, the only plants they do not seem to eat are Andromedia bushes, blue salvia, some pines and sweet alyssium (and daffodils of course). The front of my house is a western exposure with tree cover. Should I just plant more Andromedia or is there another type of bush/flowers shunned by deer? Suggestions?

Answer: Unfortunately, deer seem to eat nearly anything if they are hungry enough and deer in different areas have "learned" to eat different things, so there is no truly "deer proof" list to offer you. Deer also seem to be creatures of habit, so if your plants are on the browse trail it is likely they will keep coming back. (To be honest, in my experience the only sure solution over time has been a fence.) The best suggestion is to check with your neighbors and see which plants the local deer have not yet learned to eat and stick with those.

In case you decide to go with a fence, otherwise healthy rhododendrons should recover fairly quickly from the browsing damage....

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