Are there any landscaping plants that deer won't eat?
Last winter (2015/2016) the deer ate all 36 10-year-old beautiful knockout roses and several other old plants also. I do not remember the name; they have red leaves and strong thorns. They are about 20 years old. The deer did not touch our Japanese azaleas. We have a planting area about 6 feet wide across the entire front of the house that is raised about 2 feet with bricks retaining the soil. Our house, because of the loss of so many plants, does not have an inviting appearance. Can you suggest any plants of different heights that the deer might not find so enticing? A couple weeks ago we saw a few new sprouts on the roses and were hopeful that they would recover but this morning all the new sprouts and leaves are gone. Fencing is not a solution for the front of the house. I would appreciate any suggestions you might have. Thank you.
Harford County Maryland
When you have deer in the area, it is recommended to plant deer resistant plants and protect the plants that deer like to feed on with fencing or repellents. If you cannot protect your plants with fencing/netting, then you may have to rely on repellents. They will have to be reapplied as they wear away in the elements. It also helps to rotate the repellents as deer can get used to them. Follow all label directions.
Also, See our publication on Deer Resistant Ornamentals. We cannot make specific recommendations as we do not know your site conditions, sun or shade. Also, take into account mature height and width of the plants.
Keep in mind that deer may browse on any new plantings until mature. So you may want to initially protect them with repellents or deer netting.