Daylilies forum: What works to deter deer?

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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Jun 17, 2015 6:11 AM CST
This is the first year that I have had problems. We no longer have a dog and this week our security light has been out. So now they have found my dls and eaten almost all the buds of the outside row. Including Isabelle Rose and others that are new to me. Angry

I put down Milorganite yesterday. Any help would be appreciated.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Jun 17, 2015 7:30 AM CST
Oh, that's a shame! Teresa.

I remember from your landscape photo (I think?) that you do not have a fence, so this might not work, and I know deer can jump over any fence built if they want to, but if you string bright reflective material along the fence, it spooks them and they lose interest in going in there. I believe reflective silvery milar tape is made and sold for this pupose; I've seen it in use but no idea who sells it.

So anyway, if you can figure out how to locate some kind of bright reflective barrier, I think it can help.

Good luck!

Another idea is to place/plant material you don't care whether they eat, outside at the edge and put your material you want to protect further in. Unless they are really starving, they tend to pick and choose and don't necessarily eat all of it! I had a garden in deer territory once that got visited a time or two -- I had no fence at all, no way to protect it -- the deer did eat a rosebud I didn't care to lose off a new bush, but they really did very little other damage.

But, daylily buds are TASTY! Green Grin!
[Last edited by kylaluaz - Jun 17, 2015 7:31 AM (+)]
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Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
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Lalambchop1
Jun 17, 2015 7:39 AM CST
I'm so sorry. We have that problem here. We were discussing at our DL sale Sat. and the general thought was that an electric fence is the only "sure" defense. "De fence" is the answer. LOL
Short of that I've used milorganite put out about every 3 weeks. Plantskydd also works some but must be reapplied after a heavy rain.

In the past I alternated those two every four weeks. This year the deer have been more avaricious so we're planning on putting a fence around the breeding beds.
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
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Char
Jun 17, 2015 8:05 AM CST

Moderator

Sorry to hear the deer have found your daylilies. Along with the milorganite if you are in an area where noise would not be a problem you could try leaving a radio on outside in the garden all night. Deer do not like strong smells or noise, they can't smell or hear a predator approaching.
We are in a rural farm land area and the deer are still nervous when around homes, it doesn't take much to scare them off or remind them this is not a deer friendly property. The radio placed inside a rubbermaid tub tipped on it's side to keep the rain off and also funnel the sound into the garden is one thing I use during bloom time and normally works well. Another option or if you have a more determined group of deer around is a monitor for movement (driveway monitor with in house chime) they can be placed to detect movement in the garden, then a dash outside during the night with something loud. I use a big old antique wooden noise maker my Grandfather made, not sure what he used it for.
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
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Dennis616
Jun 17, 2015 10:25 AM CST
Char, that is a great tip about the radio/noise maker! I never heard that before but it makes sense. I think I will try that.
Deer haven't been a huge problem for me yet (knock on wood) and I sure don't want them to be now that I have so many nice new daylilies.
Yesterday around dusk I saw some deer nearby and I fired my pellet gun in their general direction and scared them off. Fortunately they have a lot of food in this general area so they have options-- I hope they remember my property as a danger zone and opt to stay away!
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
Jun 17, 2015 11:06 AM CST
Char, that is a fantastic idea about the radio! I had never heard of that either, and I love it! I've got a tall fence around my daylilies, so I never worry about them, but I'm going to try this when I get more areas planted outside the fence!
Natalie
Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
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Lalambchop1
Jun 17, 2015 11:56 AM CST
I'd forgotten about the radio. Dan Hansen used one at his place and it helped. With 3-4 acres under cultivation there was no way he could fence them all.
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Jun 18, 2015 10:55 AM CST
Thanks for the tips. I tried using a radio near the corn patch but finally gave up. They must like Rock and Roll!
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
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Claudia
Jun 18, 2015 4:25 PM CST
I had only battled deer here over my tomato plants until this year. A good number of lily buds have been eaten and 1 phlox got trimmed down to about 6 inches. I am now looking at the most daylily scapes I have ever had in 8 years here. I am praying they do not come back for a taste of daylily buds!
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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robertduval14
Jun 18, 2015 6:52 PM CST

Plants Admin

Do you know any deer hunters? Deer don't like them much... Blinking
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
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Claudia
Jun 18, 2015 7:49 PM CST
Married to one nodding but we can't hunt where our property is located. Located within a private lake community. No hunting allowed. Just had one out front a few minutes ago.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
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floota
Jun 18, 2015 9:16 PM CST
Regrettably, once they've tasted, they WILL be back. A TALL fence is the best deterrent!
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
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bluegrassmom
Jun 18, 2015 10:55 PM CST
The electric company came and replaced our security light today. I am sure it being dark outside didn't help any. No damage overnight but DH did fire a warning shot off late last night. Rob both my son and husband hunt.

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Acerbob
Jun 20, 2015 6:07 AM CST
20 ft. tall fence. Problem solved. Lol.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Jun 20, 2015 11:01 AM CST
If it isn't made of concrete or tires, there is nothing to do, sadly.
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Jun 22, 2015 2:58 PM CST
Fences may work. Sprays do not. (They might slow the deer down, but after a week or so at the most, it seems that the daylilies become somewhat palatable again.)

We are past peak bloom here, so (for those daylilies outside of our fence protected side yard) I've adopted the approach of simply trying to save seed pods, blooms that I want pollen from (or want to pollinate), or scapes which I have yet to see bloom on at all.

It's unsightly, and I think that it does interfere a bit with the blooms opening (unless maybe you are out in the garden before 6 am, which I am not), but for the past week or so (as the deer have gotten desperate for food, so have I), I've been using organza mesh bags over those buds, pods, and scapes which I really, really, really want to protect.

While it is not blanket coverage of the daylily garden, and it may have some impact on bloom opening (especially for nocturnals and EMOs), the bags seem to have helped where used; we've had continuing night raids the last several days, but the pods, buds, and flowers inside the mesh have been untouched. (If you are handy with a sewing machine (I am not), I imagine you could get rolls of this material, and make your own (much) larger bags which you could put over multiple scapes, if not the entire clump.)

The blooms do not have to stay caged all day, either, depending on if you or your dog is home and outside to defend the garden. Either my dog Warp and/or I are out in the garden during the day, so I can take the bags off in the morning and enjoy the blooms and pollinate and collect pollen, and the deer won't come nigh. (If they try, our stalwart garden defender chases them out. Lovey dubby ) Come early evening, shortly after dinner, Warp and I go back out, I take off any blooms which I have not pollinated, and I put the bags back on.

protecting a baby seed pod, and also flower buds, on 'All American Girl' (a new plant for me)
Thumb of 2015-06-22/Polymerous/897ff5

protecting select seedlings in the patio seedling box
Thumb of 2015-06-22/Polymerous/88e3fa

our stalwart garden defender, Warp, looking for trail treats as we near the end of a hike
Thumb of 2015-06-22/Polymerous/4aad98

Apart from the unsightliness, this has turned out to be an effective emergency treatment to protect select pods and buds. Sadly, though, it does force you to make sacrificial choices, as is amazing how many seed pods or flower buds you absolutely must protect, but you don't have nearly enough bags to protect them all. Glare A new order has been placed for more bags... thankfully the company usually delivers quickly here. Rolling on the floor laughing


The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Jun 22, 2015 5:59 PM CST
I've heard that a motion activated water sprinkler works well to keep deer out. It does require having a hose hooked up to a faucet and tuned on over night, but it only sprays when activated by motion.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Jun 22, 2015 10:33 PM CST
We put up four of those at one end of the creek, where we can't block or fence it off. They worked to keep our dog IN, but I'm not convinced that they ever really did anything to keep the deer out.

(Needless to say, with the drought and current watering restrictions, we can't really use them now.)
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
"As for me and my house, we will se
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Keeps Sheep Daylilies Irises Hostas Hybridizer
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Lalambchop1
Jun 23, 2015 6:00 AM CST
Poly,
I found these bags on Amazon. They're made for weddings and such. Not expensive. I put them over pods that are nearing the end just in case I should miss their cracking open. I found that if I put them on too early I have occasionally had mildew build up and ruin the pod. I do overhead watering each day so that surely contributes. Overall they have worked well for me. I write both parents on the hang tag and put it in the bag with the pod. When I harvest all I have to do is snip the pod off the scape and I'm ready to go.

Thumb of 2015-06-23/Lalambchop1/f1047f Thumb of 2015-06-23/Lalambchop1/58039c

Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jun 24, 2015 6:59 AM CST
I don't have deer problems where I live but we have a vacation cottage l80 miles north and we have deer problems. I was just there last week and was told by a neighbor that I have a doe hanging around in my yard. All of my daylilies there are sending up scapes and by the time I get back to visit in a month, I assume all of the buds will be ate off. I did try a deer deterrent spray that smells like cloves and cinnamon so I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens. I won't be there anyway to see most of the bloom, if any.
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