The Q&A Archives: Deer-Resistant Vines

Question: Our backyard is chain-link fenced and sitting on top of rock. We are close to the ocean and it's incredibly windy. I have tried many vines and climbers to cover the fence but the deer have eaten everything. I thought ivy would work (evergreen is a preference) but I would like something that flowers. It would need to be relatively drought-resistant. Yes, I want it all! Any suggestions?

Answer: This is a tough one. The only flowering climber hardy in your region that is resistent to deer I could find is Wisteria. This plant would need regular pruning and training, and I'm afraid it might not fare well in high winds. A better bet might be English ivy--though it has no flowers, you could interplant with flowering perennials like Echinops ritra (globe thistle) or Monarda (bee balm), or with annuals like cleome and salvia.

All these plants are reputed to be spared by deer, but if they are hungry enough deer will eat just about anything!

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