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Groundcovers Deer Won't Eat

By Edited Jun 26, 2015 0 2

 It can be hard for homeowners to design their landscape when they have to take the local deer population into account, but there are deer resistant groundcovers available for purchase at your nursery or big-box store. Deer are notorious for their appetites, especially during the spring. When local deer populations are high, and food resources are low, deer will eat anything green. While this may be true, there are some groundcovers that deer won’t eat because of their texture, taste or because many of these groundcovers are poisonous. When using these groundcovers in your landscape, keep the pets in your area in mind. you want to keep the deer out, you don’t want to start a war with your neighbors because their beloved Fluffy died after munching on your landscaping.

Alleghany Spurge

Alleghany Spurge

Allegheny spurge (Pachysandra procumbens), also known as American Pachysandra, is an evergreen perennial that can grow up to a height of 12 inches and have a width of up to 48 inches. During the middle of spring, it produces lightly fragranced blooms that can be white, off white or pink. Even though the flowers are pretty, Allegheny spurge is typically grown for its interesting evergreen foliage. Hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9, this deer resistant groundcover thrives in a wide variety of lighting conditions. It tolerates full shade, partial shade, dappled shade and full sun. This is one of the groundcovers deer won’t eat that requires moist, humus-rich soils that are not allowed to dry out in between waterings. It requires soil with a pH balance ranging from 5.1 to 6.0. Once established, it tolerates short periods of drought. The dence, clumping growth habit of Allegheny spurge makes it a reliable groundcover.


Dead Nettle

Dead Nettle

Dead nettle (Lamium spp.) grows to a height just under 6 inches and a spread of approximately 36 inches. Hardy to USDA zone 6, this smooth foliaged deer resistant ground cover produces pale pink flowers in late spring or early summer. Dead nettle, a perennial plant, thrives in sun to partial shade. Dead nettle has average water needs and does not like to be overwatered. It requires well-drained, loamy soils with a pH each level ranging from 6.1 to 7.8. once established, this groundcover is drought resistant. This is one of the groundcovers deer won’t eat that attracts birds, butterflies and bees. to promote a compact growth habit,cut the plant back after it flowers for the first time.


Lily of the Valley

Lily-of-the-Valley

Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis) grows to a height of 12 inches and each plant has a spread of 12 inches. Because Lily of the Valley spreads rapidly, it can be considered one of the groundcovers deer won’t eat. Hardy in USDA  zones 4 through 8, this perennial produces highly fragrant white, off white or pink bell-shaped flowers from the middle of spring until early summer. This is one of the deer resistant groundcovers that thrive in partial shade but tolerates deep shade and hot areas. They prefer soils rich in organic matter that are well-draining but remain moist. Plant in soil that has a PH level ranging from 5.6 to 7.5.  Keep the soil consistently moist during flowering. Once established, Lily of the Valley plants are drought resistant. All parts of this plant are toxic to humans and animals. this deer resistant groundcover can become a nuisance if allowed to grow unchecked.


Candytuft

Candytuft

Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) can grow up to a height of 12 inches in mace red up to 24 inches. During the early spring, candy top produces non-fragrant white blooms among mounds of medium-green foliage. Hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9, this is one of the groundcovers dear won’t eat that performs best in areas where it receives full to partial sun for most of the day. Candytuft performs best in well-drained soil that has been amended with plenty of organic matter. However, it sometimes tolerates soils high in silt and clay. It requires soils with a pH level ranging from 6.5 to 8.5. Once established, this is one of the deer resistant groundcovers that is drought tolerant. It may produce fewer blooms during dry periods. Plant it throughout the flower beds, planters and rock gardens.


Creeping Phlox

Creeping Phlox

Moss phlox (Phlox subulata), also known as creeping phlox, is one of the perennial groundcovers deer won’t eat. it often grows up to 1-foot tall can spread as wide as 3 feet. Hardly any USDA zones 3 through 8,  the slow-growing creeping phlox produces an abundance of blue or violates flowers in early spring. It does best in areas that receive full sun in the morning with some evening shade or full sun in the evening but shade in the morning. This profusely flowering groundcover needs protection from cold winter winds. It performs best in well-drained soils rich in organic matter. Plant and soil with a pH level ranging from 5.5 to 8. this is one of the ground covers deer won’t eat that is drought resistant. Grow creeping phlox anywhere you want a colorful groundcover.


Spring Cinquefoil

Spring Cinquefoil

Spring cinquefoil (Potentilla verna var. nana) is one of the easy to grow groundcovers dear won’t eat. This is one of the deer resistant groundcovers that often grows to a height of 12 inches and a width of approximately 4 feet. Cinquefoil produces bright yellow flowers from mid-spring until early summer. Hardy in USDA zones 3 through 7, this evergreen perennial thrives in full sun. It prefers rich, well-drained soils with a pH level ranging from 6.1 to 6.5. Plant this cheerful groundcover along walkways and throughout the landscape.


Ajuga(92075)

Bugleweed

Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans), also called carpet bugle, often grows to a height of 6 inches tall. This rapidly growing perennial is one of the groundcovers deer won’t eat. This aggressive plant spreads by runners that root as they grow. Care must be taken to keep bugleweed under control. There are number of different varieties available for purchase, with variations in foliage colors and patterns. They produced little flowers from early spring to early summer. It is primarily grown for its interesting foliage. Hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9, it performs best in full sun to partial shade. It requires soils with a pH level ranging from 6.1 to 7.8. It adapts to a variety of soil conditions, as long as the soil is well-draining. Once established, it is drought tolerant. This is one of the deer resistant groundcovers that can be grown anywhere and looks great on the side of a hill.


Periwinkle

Periwinkle

 Periwinkle (Vinca minor) and Large Periwinkle (Vinca major) are perennial groundcovers deer won’t eat. Both of these groundcovers deer won’t eat do well in areas that receive some shade but they really thrive in full sun. They require soils with a pH level ranging from 6.1 to 7.8. They repeatedly produce blooms from late winter through fall. Vinca minor grows to a height of 6 inches and produces white, off-white, blue or purple blooms. Vinca major produces lavender or violet blooms. Periwinkle is a heat-loving, drought resistant groundcover that adds a splash of color anywhere it grows.

 

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Comments

Mar 29, 2012 2:18am
askformore
Thank you for very useful information. The photos made your article even better.
Mar 29, 2012 2:33am
DebDavies
Thank you!
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Bibliography

  1. Pete Nitzsche, Pedro Perdomo and David Drake "Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance." Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. 28/03/2012 <Web >
  2. Cheryle Moore-Gough and R.E. Gough "Deer-Resistant Ornamental Plants for Your Garden." Montana State University Extension. 28/03/2012 <Web >
  3. L. Potts and I. Shonle "Ground Covers and Rock Garden Plants for Mountain Communities." Colorado State University Extension. 28/03/2012 <Web >

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