The Q&A Archives: Deer and Peacocks

Question: Good Afternoon:
We have a huge oak tree in our front yard. I have spent over $200.00 on all types of plants. If the deer are not eating them the wild peacocks are. What can I plant so neither the deer or peacocks eat them.
Thank you

Answer: The following shrubs are considered deer resistant: Berberis (Barberry), Caryopteris (Blue Mist Shrub), Clethera (Sweet Pepperbush), Cotinus (Smokebush), Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster), Cytisus (Broom), Winter Daphne (Daphne), Enkianthus, Redvein Forsythia, Golden Forsythia, Gaultheria (Wintergreen), Hamamelis (Witch Hazel), Hypericum (St. Johnswort), Ilex glabra (Inkberry), Ilex opaca (American Holly), Juniperus chinensis (Chinese Juniper), Kalmia latifolia (Mt. Laurel), Kerria japonica (Kerria), Leucothoe fontanesiana (Drooping Leucothoe), Lonicera (Honeysuckle), Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grapeholly), Myrica (Bayberry), Pieris japonica, Japanese Andromeda, Sarcococca, Spirea(Bridalwrealth), Syringa vulgaris (Lilac), Viburnum, Vitex (Chaste Tree), Weigela. Deer resistant doesn't mean deer proof, though, so your mileage may vary.

Since I have no personal experience with peacocks, I consulted a gardening friend who keeps some. According to her experiences, the birds seem to leave conifers and rhododendrons alone for the most part, but are very attracted to many herbs, annuals, perennials and white flowers in particular as well as vegetable gardens. Unfortunately, she is not aware of any plants that will actively repel the peacocks. In cases where I have seen them in public gardens, they have been penned up. I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging.

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