Oak leaf hydrangea deer damage

Asked June 2, 2018, 8:25 PM EDT

I’ve had several oak leaf hydrangea planted in different places around my yard for six years and never had a deer problem. Last night a deer ate most of the blooms or just ready to bloom flowers on several of the plants (the higher up blooms they didn’t eat or couldn’t reach). I know it was deer because there was fresh poop nearby. While I’m bummed about the loss of flowers this year I am more worried if it will have long term impact on the plants. Thoughts? I’ve never thought to spray these plants but perhaps I should ( any opinion on that).

St. Mary's County Maryland

1 Response

As deer populations grow, they eat more. Different deer have different tastes, too. Yes, they will eat oak leaf hydrangea. Once one discovers it, you'll probably have to protect your shrub with wire fencing at the lower part and/or deer repellent. If possible, let it grow as tall a possible (don't prune it low.) Eventually if you don't do anything, you can a least have a large shrub with a bare bottom.

And, because we have created an artificially rich environment for deer, leading to overpopulations, support deer control measures.