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Colorful Flowers - Deer Do Not Eat (SMILE)

United States

Hi Fellow Gardeners!
I have beautiful woods behind my home that I share with the deer who lived there long before I moved in. Does anyone have recommendations of flowers that I could plant to bring color into the woods without the deer eating them?



This vexed question has challenged a friend and myself in specific regard to muntjac deer which year on year have ravaged her garden. Problem is I suspect you are talking big deer not our little pesky Muntjacs. I can only describe what a friend and I have achieved this year after 3 years of grief. Plants we have found to be immune from their foraging include: Michaelmas Daisies, Monardia(Burgamot), Delphiniums & Lupins (* when shoots are more than 6" in height), Aquilegias, Lambs ears, Penstemmons, Genista, Irises all types, Gallardias, Artemesia and Doronicum. All these have survived this spring and are now developing into mature plants. Problem is we don't know whether other tactics played a part or maybe the deer have not been attracted so far this year. The deer have been seen in the garden but they have always been distrubed and moved on. * Other tactics we have employed this winter/spring include applying semi rotted horse droppings (aand thus a little smelly) and tea bags dowsed in Tee Tree oil throughout the herabacous border with added sprigs of Pyracantha (Firethorn)and Berberis prunings (12" - 16" long) in the form of tents/wigwams around young plant shoots. Muntjac apparently don't like thorny subjects near their food source and they have a very sensitive sense of smell and do not like unfamilar adours. This is the first spring in 3 years that tulips have matured to flowering hopefully as a direct result of these tactics. The tea bags need to be re dowsed with Tea Tree oil every 3 to 4 weeks depending upon rainfall, sooner if lengthy periods of rain are experienced. Once plants have become mature they tend to be left alone although flowering might be vulnerable - we continue to watch and experiment. Maybe you could try this approach with 'your' deer. Good luck dioon11

30 May, 2008


Deer do not have a taste for astilbes which would be at home in a wood, and they have left gladioli alone too but these may be happier on the edge of the wood where they would get more sun. The rhodedendrons in our local woods grow well without any signs of attack from the deer.

31 May, 2008

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