The Q&A Archives: Deer resistant shade plants

Question: I am looking for shade loving perrennials that live in zone 6 and that a somewhat deer resistant. I use to grown hosta, fern and impatiens in my yard. I feed deer everyday and they leave the daffodils alone but they eat almost everything else in sight. I have almost 100% shade from May to November. Thanks, Karen

Answer: Unfortunately, deer are voracious when it comes to our plantings. Deer learn to eat new plants over time and as browse pressure increases. There are lists of deer resistant plants, but unfortunately that does not mean they are deer proof. Your best reference is going to be your neighbors who can tell you which plants they are succeeding with, meaning your local deer have not yet learned to eat them. Some gardeners have success using the spray on repellants sold at garden centers. In my experience, unfortunately, a tall fence is the best long term solution to the deer browse problem.

Having said that, some plants you could try might be Japanese anemone, columbine, lily of the valley, Cimicifuga racemosa, Dicentra, Tiarella, and Pachysandra. Here is a list that may be helpful to you, I selected plants from it that are shade tolerant. You may need to cut and paste the complete url into your browser to make it work correctly.

I hope this helps!

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