Keeping Deer Away From Flowers
Smelly sprays and powders did not keep some animal (deer?) from eating my beautiful border of impatiens last year. I don't want a fence across my front lawn. What can I do?
Montgomery County Maryland
Be sure that you are not referring to impatiens downy mildew, a fungus. Symptoms include stunting, and leaves and flowers will fall off leaving bare, leafless green stems. The leafless stems will eventually turn brown and become soft. At this time we do not recommend planting them. See more on our website and substitutes http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/invasives/impatiens-downy-mildew
If you are dealing with wildlife such as deer or rabbits, here are some suggestions.
Repellents are one tool to help manage deer damage. However, there should be other strategies in place for deer control; like planting ornamentals that they tend not to browse and fencing off areas of the yard such as around a vegetable garden. Repellents work best when applied before feeding patterns develop and are useful when deer damage is at low to moderate levels. They should be applied according the product label and on a regular basis for continued effectiveness. Spray in the fall, at least one time in the winter and very importantly as plants are putting out new growth in the spring. Look on the label to see what it says about the need to apply after rain. Nothing is 100% effective when it comes to preventing deer damage but if used in a timely manner repellents can help reduce the amount of damage to plants.