Deer pressure increasing. Why plant native plants?

Asked April 3, 2019, 9:35 PM EDT

I live in northwest Baltimore City, in Mt. Washington. 8 DEER appear here nearly daily, and prefer native plants. Their diet is widening, as they get more hungry. This winter they finally ate my Christmas fern, and whatever rhododendron they could reach. I no longer recommend native plants to my neighbors, as it seems like setting the table for the deer. They eat the natives, and the most aggressive invasive exotics move in anyhow....... What to do?

Baltimore Maryland wildlife deer native plants

1 Response

We agree this is a frustrating situation but do not give up. Deer will eat anything if hungry enough and deer do not read the lists. Whatever you plant will have to be protected initially with repellents and fencing until the plants establish their root systems and reach some maturity.

Normally deer do not eat Christmas ferns. Try lady, ostrich, cinnamon, maidenhair, and hay scented ferns. Also, deer tend to not bother American holly, American beautyberry, inkberry holly, native ornamental grasses and sedges,etc. All you can do is keep trying.
Here is our website on deer http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/deer

mh