Urban sprawl and deer-resistant plants

I went outside this morning to water some plants in my front yard. I made my way to the pot of Pink Flamingo Celosia which has been growing nicely & blooming. I love this plant because it provides great nourishment for the butterflies. To my utter shock, the leaves and flowers were stripped bare. They even managed to pull one plant up by the roots! I guess the deer were hungry last night! They have munched on it a couple of other times, but not to this extent. Every evening at dusk, I watch the deer go across our front yard; I suppose going to greener pastures across the street. There are always at least 2 or 3 does and several fawns. Last night there were a few bucks with them. I don’t mind sharing my Celosia with them (although I wish they’d leave a little for the butterflies)!

Urban sprawl and deer-resistant plants

Urban sprawl is certainly impacting these deer, and they are being forced to live in smaller and smaller islands of habitat throughout the region. So, I guess if my plants look tasty to them…they won’t hesitate to eat.

However, I also have several kinds of salvia planted which they leave alone. Keep in mind, “deer-resistant” doesn’t mean deer will never try these plants, just that they don’t prefer them.

Here are a few more plants that deer don’t seem to bother:

  • Texas Sage
  • Texas Mountain Laurel
  • Firebush
  • Lantana
  • Esperanza 

Landscape options

When considering a landscape design, it is important to decide what your preferences are regarding attracting wildlife. If you like seeing them and don’t mind sharing your plants, there are many native plants that can provide benefits to these critters. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to keep your plants bite-free, you can still find a great variety of plants (both native and ornamental) that can meet your needs.

At Stuart Nursery you can also purchase, Plantskydd, a deer repellent product. It comes in a liquid or a granular to sprinkle on the ground. It is organic. If you have deer in your area and you have new trees planted you might want to protect the trunk against rubbing with some fencing. Sometimes just three or four t-posts installed around the trunk will keep them away.

With all the new development and building in Parker county, deer are losing their ‘stomping grounds’. By using deer-resistant plants and possibly deer repellents hopefully, we can learn to live with them!


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