Deer Eating Shrubs - Knowledgebase Question

Grovetown, GA
Question by dtrainor3
November 18, 1997
Deer are emerging from a neighboring woods nightly and are eating my shrubs! Roses, azaleas, whatever; they eat them all. What can I plant that they won't eat? I don't especially want a yard full of cactus or yucca. Can I treat my plants with anything that would repel the critters?


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Answer from NGA
November 18, 1997

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Deer will eat anything if they're hungry enough, but these plants have been reported to be less favored, due to their fuzzy or fibrous leaves: ferns, ornamental grasses, wormwood, lambs ears, bugloss, Virginia bluebells,lungwort, foxgloves, poppies.

Short of a tall fence or an electric fence, there are no guarantees for keeping deer from foraging in your garden. You can try a few tricks and see how they work. There's a motion senstive device that shoots water (Water DeFence - sold by Gardener's Supply Co. - www.gardeners.com; 800/863-1700). If you don't own a dog, borrow one from a friend a few days per week to stroll around the property - the scent may be enough to keep them away. Deer-Off is a concentrate of spoiled egg solids that has had success in some gardens (also sold by Gardener's Supply Co.). Wild animals are smart, and they'll learn your tricks unless you use a combination of them and vary them often. Your county extension office (ph#706/541-0557) may be able tooffer you other advice, and should be able to supply you with plans for fences if you need to take that route. Hope this helps!

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