How Resistant Are Deer Resistant Plants?

Deer resistant plants are a group of plants and trees that, according to some, will sustain little to no damage from deer in the area. While some may appear to accomplish this, the majority of these “deer resistant” varieties may not get eaten, but that does not mean they will not get stepped on or damaged just by the deer being in the general area. This is where deer repellents come into play.

Deer resistant plants may keep the deer from damaging them but eventually, and if the deer get hungry enough, all plants are fair game, pardon the pun. There are some that sustain less damage due to natural defenses such as thorns or prickly leaves. These plants, however, do not always fit into the gardener or landscapers design.

There are preferred methods used all over the country for deer control and the commercial grade repellents seem to tout the best success rate in keeping damage down to a minimum. These simply need to be sprayed on as per the manufacturer’s directions and re-applied when the weather or time requires it. Many of the ones available have a useful life of around 30 to 45 days per application.

There is only one sure fire way to keep deer out. That is to use an 8’ high chain link fence around the garden or yard. For many people, this is simply not an option, usually due to cost. There are smaller fence sizes available, but deer can jump quite high and anything much lower than the eight foot height will do little to no good.

There are many varieties of hedges and shrubs that can be planted to make an effective barrier, such as holly, that will look good in almost any landscape and keep the deer under some control. Contrary to popular belief, roses are not conducive to deer control and if anything, attract them even more with their odor. Stick to ones that are either prickly or taste bad to the local deer population to keep the damage as far down as possible.

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