The Q&A Archives: Animal-Resistant Flowers for Shady Areas

Question: Can you suggest some annual flowers which would grow well in a shady area that gets night visits from deer, raccoons and other woodland animals? Thank you.

Answer: It is so disheartening to suffer regular garden damage like that! Unfortunately, deer will trample and eventually learn to eat an amazing variety of plants, so there is no deer-proof plant list to share with you. Experimentation with an assortment of shade tolerant annuals such as impatiens, caladium, lobelia, sweet alyssum, and the variegated vinca vine or perhaps a dwarf ivy may yield some plants your local deer have not learned to eat yet.

There are many home remedies for deterring wild animals (including deer and raccooons) such as placing bath soap throughout the area, sprinkling blood meal on the surrounding soil, and hiding thorny branches within the desirable plants; commercial repellants are also available. The powders and sprays need to be reapplied regularly and after rain. Ultimately, the best solution is to fence them out of the area you wish to protect.

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