Is this even possible?? Help!

miclino(5)December 2, 2012

Just got back from being gone for two weeks. We have had problems in the past with deer eating tulips in the backyard but nothing major.

I come back to find that my groundcover sedums: angelina, red dragon, voodoo and denim variegated have been completely sheared off so that almost nothing remains. Large chunks of the fothergilla mt airy that I recently transplanted are missing. Even most of my newly planted euphorbia bonfire is missing? Is it possible that deer eat all of these? The sedums have been there for two years with no problems. The fothergilla is so slow growing and now deer eat half of it???? SO ANNOYED.

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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Starving deer will eat anything.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 6:04AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i once heard a speech ... somewhat tongue in cheek ... that said there are two species of deer ...

urban and rural ...

rural deer.. can and will find crop remnants.. and forest fodder.. to get by just fine ... and rarely do.. extensive damage ... except at golf courses and park .. lol .. which they probably think are just forests anyway ... i suspect this is why i have deer.. walking thru my 5 acres.. cleaning up millions of acorns.. and moving on toward the pond down the street ... knock on wood ...

the converse is the urban vermin ... who can and will eat just about anything they stumble across ... suburbia is not a good thing.. in regard to their feeding habits.. they must be pretty stressed or the populations are too high ... [redundent???] ... for them to be stalking your neighborhood ... it doesnt surprise me.. this happened during MI firearms season ...

presuming you have ruled out vengeful neighbors.. what alternative is there???

BTW.. if there is anything left of the sedum .. i bet it will pop back up next season ...


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:11AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Our deer are rural with lots of forest to graze. This year they have eaten all the flowers you mention that have been ignored in the past. My only safe plants this year have the poisonous or the very strong flavored. Al

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:45AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

yeah.. but those are California deer Al ..

we all know.. things are weird in CA ... lol


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:23PM
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Ken, I don't think it's possible for any human to hav sheared back the sedum they way these were. Munched right down to ground.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:05PM
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They found them succulent

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Karolina11(6b Central PA)

I have nothing helpful to post, but idabean, my beverage is all over my laptop screen.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 11:25PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


spilling it in your lap is better than when you aerosolize it all over the screen ... lol ..


    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 7:53AM
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I'm glad my misery is cause of such good humor :) still very annoyed. I thought the sap of euphorbia meant nothing would eat it? So far pretty mild winter here so no idea why the deer should be stressed. Could be construction in our area.

How about some constructive comments on how I can stop them :)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 9:17AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

they were stressed.. because burly men were chasing them thru their native habitat ... with loaded firearms..

and because all the local crops have been harvested since October ..

there ought to be a bazillion hits on the GW search for deer protection..

the latest i heard.. over in conifers was filling old socks with human waste ... milorganite .. and tying them to your trees.. the neighbors will love you for that ..

there is also plantskdd .. offered by your MI soil conservation district office.. and probably your extension office.. though it is now commercially available ... see link


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 10:22AM
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I think they're stressed because people are putting up subdivisions and strip centers in their habitat and they have nowhere else to go to find food. Those burly men with guns don't go looking for deer to kill anywhere near homes. They were there before the houses were.

Where I am, people who are plagued by deer are also plagued by wild hogs and some are plagued by alligators.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 9:33AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

There's a "plants for difficult places" forum that's mostly discussions about deer. Enough to keep a person busy all winter...

Sorry about your losses!

Ida, thanks for the laugh!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:56PM
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Looks like this shrub is just plain unlucky.There were still a couple of full branches left with buds so I would still expect flowers in the spring. Well over the christmas holidays, my sister while visiting was out making a snowman with the kids and snapped off the remain largest branches to make the arms...............I've resigned myself to the fact that I will be planting something else there as it is a prime location and I can't wait for this thing to recover. It will have to move elsewhere.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 9:27PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

yes .... over the years.. i have had plants that are cursed ...

just put it out of your misery ....

at least sissy gave you an hour of freedom from the kids.. and got her WHOMPIN BIG FEET OUT OF THE HOUSE ... lol ...


    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 10:20AM
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I live out in the country. The deer are welcome to eat anything they want on most of my 39 acres but sometimes they choose to eat MY plants. I have chosen mostly deer resistant plants but I don't think there is anything that is totally deer proof. Sometimes they'll go after plants that they haven't ever touched before. I use a home made spray on the plants I know they do like and on the plants I've noticed them taking a nibble at. Start spraying early in the season before the deer have gotten a taste for the plant and keep at it (almost daily) seems to keep the herds at bay for the most part.

My deer spray:

A good squirt of dish washing liquid and six or ten (whatever) drops of Chinese hot chili oil in a quart spray bottle. Fill with water. Shake. Spray plants thoroughly. Repeat often.

Or you can put a deer fence around your property/gardens.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 6:55PM
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I do appreciate that my sis did get the kids out of the house. I did not say a word to her about having destroyed the plant....

Thanks for the advice rosestink. I think my initial reaction was just surprise. Having been here 5 years and deer generally eat nothing except the bulbs in spring.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 11:08PM
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I spread dried blood around. Just yesterday I threw it around onto the snow where the deer enter my Garden area, where I first saw their tracks. It keeps them away. I've done this for many years. You can get a bag of it in the organic fertilizer section of a good garden center. It's granulated, not gross at all. It works.

PS...on a good note, it may attract predators which will scare away the rodents and deer! I have no problems with it at all and it adds nitrogen to soil.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 4:40PM
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