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Plant what the deer don’t like

POSTED: January 4, 2012 4:00 a.m.

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how to keep deer from eating landscape plants.

As the Dawson County population increases, natural areas are being replaced by homes. Homeowners soon realize nuisance deer are difficult to control in residential areas.

Commercially available repellants and "home remedies" may give some control and fencing is not practical.

So what is a long term answer to deer eating ornamental plants? Plant ornamentals that deer do not like to eat.

Remember though, few plants are totally deer resistant. When deer populations are high and food becomes scarce, deer are more likely to feed on almost any ornamental plant.

The following list may be helpful when selecting ornamental plants for your landscape. Please note this is not a complete list of plants that may have a high degree of deer tolerance:


Trees

Bald cypress, crape myrtle, fir, ginkgo, gordonia, leyland cypress, most hollies, pines, red maple, river birch, southern magnolia, spruce and sweetgum.


Shrubs

Anise, barberry, boxwood, butterfly bush, forsythia, gardenia, holly, juniper, ornamental grasses and sweetshrub.

Herbaceous perennials/bulbs

Daffodils, dahlia, iris and yarrow.


Annuals

Alyssum, cornflower, dusty miller, marigold, parsley, poppy, snapdragon and verbena.


Vines/groundcovers

Carolina jessamine, Cherokee rose, honeysuckle, trumpetvine and wisteria.

Clark Beusse is the Dawson County extension agent. For more information, call (706) 265-2442.

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