The Q&A Archives: Deer proof plants & shrubs

Question: My plants & shrubs were decimated by deer during the winter. I would prefer to replace them with plants that deer will not eat. How about roses? Will deer dig up bulbs?

Answer: Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast lists to give you. For instance, daffodils are often cited as being deer proof (!) but the deer in my yard ate them one spring following a severe winter. Prickly things are also often suggested, but our local deer eat junipers, one of the prickliest groups of plants. Deer are creatures of habit and will browse the same area over and over, and will learn to eat more types of plants and expand there preferences over time. You might want to check with your neighbors and find out what your local deer population seems to favor and what has been successfully planted because this will give you the most accurate information for your own yard. The best method of preventing deer damage is, unfortunately, a fence.

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