respectable 11th, 2020

So here’s what i have learned ~ a year and also a half of trying come garden up close and personal with deer.

You are watching: Do deer like to eat coleus


Don’t you wish they’d just eat the grass?

1.) Deer space picky. it is right. You might’ve heard (and seen) that deer will eat just around anything once they’re hungry enough. And also that’s right, too.

However, deer have definite choices for part plants over others. They start with your favorites (hosta, daylilies, tulips, east arborvitae, azaleas, young yews, roses, and also rhododendrons, to point out a few) and then go down the list till they’re full.

on one hand, that way that naught you tree is safe from one day becoming deer dessert. Yet on the other, the lower you remain on their choice list, the better shot you have at them filling up in someone else’s yard.

2.) no all deer choose the exact same thing. I doubt that prefer people, various deer have different food preferences at various times. That could explain why some human being claim the deer never ever eat, say, panicle hydrangeas, while others say that’s the an initial thing they picked out in their yard.

It could also aid explain why deer-resistant plant lists don’t constantly agree.

different varieties or species of the exact same plant also seem to have enough taste or smell differences to one of two people elevate castle or lower them top top the deer menu.

Rutgers University’s venerable deer-resistant plant perform (which I very recommend) bear that the end in that finding that deer hardly ever mess through Geranium macrorrhizum, sometimes dine top top Geranium sanguineum and Geranium cantabrigiense, yet frequently eat Geranium endressii.

I’ve viewed that in my own yard, whereby deer ate some ranges of mine coleus however not others (at least yet).

They additionally ate about fifty percent of all 3 of mine arrowwood viburnums, yet they can not use touched any type of of my 4 Korean freckles viburnums (yet).

and I’ve seen deer walk by a plant for months and also never touch it, only to gnaw it nearly to soil on a offered night.

possibly they simply happened come be an ext hungry than usual once they walked by the plant the time. Or possibly the eater in concern just acquired done thinking, “I’m sure in the mood for a great spirea tonight!”

3.) Deer choices vary by season. This one makes good sense. Deer have the right to fill increase on fresh, tender, and tasty perennials and also shrub foliage all during the growing season – flowers and veggies, too.


Deer might let many evergreens alone in summer, but winter is once this happens.

Things obtain much tougher in winter when the buffet all of sudden ends. That’s once deer rotate to your Hinoki cypress, that tender brand-new cryptomeria, or the leathery, spiny pipeline of evergreen hollies.

I’ve also seen deer eat climbed canes – thorns and all – as soon as there’s nothing much better to eat in January.

This is why fencing and also deer repellents are especially beneficial heading right into winter. Even what you thought was “safe” could become a winter target.

4.) Deer get less picky as soon as it’s hot and also dry. Here’s an additional one that makes sense.

once everything’s lush and also green, those stroller, stick deer to fill up on your tender favorites. Yet when your favorites walk brown or it must be or lose some odor in the heat, the lesser rung of tree starts come look better.

ns noticed that together July’s heat and also dry weather took a toll fee on my landscape.

As points went downhill, mine deer moved from the perennials and also annuals to things they hadn’t touched because planting, such together a brand-new spirea, a weigela, 3 dwarf panicle hydrangeas, and my two brand-new American fringe trees.

Deer didn’t decimate them prefer they did the begonias, coleus, hike jew, and also annual geraniums (technically Pelargoniums), however they walk chew off a fair variety of branch tips and also leaves. The was almost like they really weren’t enjoying it, but at least it to be fresh food.


Fencing is your ideal anti-deer bet.

5.) Fencing and also repellents work. The best means to stop deer indigenous eating your plants (other than switching come plastic) is to fence lock out.

We have lots of options on the front, from electric ones come parallel ones four feet apart, come fishing-line strands the supposedly confuse them.

i’ve had an excellent luck (so far) v my combination of one eight-foot-tall sturdy plastic mesh fence that ns ordered virtual from and also a six-foot-tall vinyl privacy fence (the tallest my borough allows). A fawn did regulate to somehow obtain in critical week, though, but I chased him/her out prior to he/she can eat much.

Deer can conveniently jump a six-foot fence, but I think my six-footer has at least discouraged them due to the fact that they can’t watch what’s top top the various other side. I’m hoping they don’t start using periscopes or develop new nerve.

I’ve had actually lots of plant damages – even to fairly “deer-resistant plants” – out front wherein things room in the open, however no deer damages in my fence-protected back yard (yet).

mine neighbors and I have additionally had success spraying deer repellents on plants. The trick there is keeping the spray fresh and ideally rotating brand so deer don’t gain used to any one odor or taste. I’ve had good luck with a brand referred to as Bobbex.

mine neighbor went far for 2 weeks last month and wasn’t roughly to save the deer repellent on her front-yard hostas. You deserve to guess what happened.

Read mine shaft for much more on how to combat deer

6.) There are no deer-proof plants, but there are lots lock hardly ever touch. Based on my own first-hand endure in lush times and lean – to add lists indigenous Rutgers and brand-new York’s Mohonk Mountain residence – here’s a starter perform of few of the garden-worthiest, deer-repugnant plants the I can recommend:


Russian cypress is one plant the deer hardly ever bother.

Trees: Beech, birch, black gum, dawn redwood, Japanese maple, katsura, kousa dogwood (although deer love the fruits), hawthorn, linden, redbud, sassafras, serviceberry, stewartia.

Evergreens: Boxwood, goldthread falsecypress, Japanese plum yew, Japanese umbrella pine, inkberry holly, juniper, leucothoe, pieris, pine, Russian cypress, spruce, sweetbox, western arborvitae.

Flowering shrubs: Abelia, bayberry, beautyberry, beautybush, butterfly bush, caryopteris, deutzia, forsythia, fothergilla, lilac, spicebush, red-twig dogwood, St. Johnswort, most spirea, summersweet, Virginia sweetspire, many viburnums, winterberry holly.

Perennials: Agastache, allium, amsonia, baptisia, barrenwort, betony, bleeding heart, brunnera, candytuft, catmint, coreopsis, creeping sedum, Culver’s root, euphorbia, ferns, foamflower, helleborus, iris, lamium, lavender, leadwort, ligularia, ornamental grasses, pachysandra, peony, purple coneflowers, rodgersia, Russian sage, snakeroot, salvia, sweet woodruff, yarrow, yucca.

Annuals: Ageratum, alyssum, angelonia, bidens, blue salvia, celosia, heliotrope, lantana, marigold, snapdragon, verbena, vinca, zinnia.

Bulbs: Allium, daffodil, glory-of-the-snow, Siberian squill, snowdrops.

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This entry was created on respectable 11th, 2020 through George and filed under George"s current Ramblings and also Readlings, chaos in the Garden.