Flowers in the shade - deer proof

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by cbard6, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. cbard6

    cbard6 Member

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    I have a long winding driveway lined with oaks. I've planted impatiens there for several years. They look beautiful and they are not bothered by hungry deer or squirrels (another BIG problem), but I am tired of spending all that time and money purchasing new plants and replanting every year, so does anyone know of a perennial flower that will grow in shady areas that are deer proof? (It seems deer proof plants are also squirrel proof). PLEASE help me, otherwise I'm going to have to put rocks all over the area.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Results vary from one location to another but if you search the web for "deer resistant" you should start to notice some names being repeated from one account to the next.
     
  3. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    There are many groundcovers which are attractive as plants, and they usually manage to survive in shade. This must be a shady area. Those with variegated leaves [Lamium and Lamiastrum] and of various degrees of invasiveness come to mind, as they lighten-up shade. They'd just require some trimming now and then. Some are evergreen [depending where you are]. Some are no doubt harder to purchase depending on local nursery availability or popularity of use, especially if lawns are more fashionable than groundcovers in your area... there is variegated [white/green and gold/green] Vinca minor which blooms with purple, blue or white flowers in spring and in summer, there is a lovely mountain speedwell which is so brightly pale-yellow/green, stays flat, has pale blue flowers in early summer which aren't it's main feature, is called Veronica montana 'Corrine Tremaine' which has been my most successful and well-behaved groundcover, showing brilliantly from a distance owing to the dark green conifer surroundings while it just glows creamy-bright light green like a beacon... and it is evergreen in coastal BC. For early spring colour and beauty you could plant underneath all this masses of bulbs: various daffodils, winter aconite [snow drops]... none of these are attractive to deer [tulips are, so don't plant those]. Virginia creeper has been used as a groundcover and is brilliantly red in autumn...
     
  4. cbard6

    cbard6 Member

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    GREAT info. Thank you!
     
  5. runningtrails

    runningtrails Active Member

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    Elephant ears, taro (Caloucasia) are beautiful in the shade, if you don't mind digging them up in fall and storing through winter. I have lamium in my shade garden and like it a lot. It does lighten it up and spreads nicely, requiring no work on my part. I also plant balsam impatiens every spring from seeds that I collect and it reseeds itself. I usually start them early indoors in the spring but Its not necessary to do so. It is not the annual run of the mill garden center impatiens and can usually only be found in seed. It is short and does very well.

    Foxglove do well in shade and deer don't eat them but they are tall for the back of the garden, perhaps near a taller tree to graduallly lower the tree height in the bed.

    I find that calendulas do well in shade, as does feverfew, but I don't know if they are deer resistant. I think deer will not eat the strong feverfew. It is beautiful and blooms all summer long - can be a bit invasive reseeding, if the flowers are not trimmed back when finished.

    My favourite shade plants are primulas. They bloom in the cool weather, spring and fall. Mine are blooming now, again. You can grow them from seed or buy them, if you wish and they come in many different varieties.

    Veronica also does well in shade and blooms all summer long. Astilbe is another good shade plant, also cranesbill geranium (perennial). Deer may eat them, however.

    I am in the country and have deer around my place a lot. They don't eat any of my flowers, the groundhogs do but not the ones mentioned above.

    The groundhogs LOVED the nikkies (nicotiana) - they were a big disappointment until I got rid of the groundhogs.

    I know that deer love hostas.
     
  6. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    This inquirer will love these suggestions -- I am glad you made them and that you agreed with a few of mine. It is possible deer will eat the Vinca minor I suggested above, but try some and see. Primulas bloom exotically and gorgeously in early spring, and are a great suggestion. The plant leaf clusters are a bit messy in winter though, if you can be prepared to live through that -- not brown in a mild climate just messy and with a few rotting outer leaves... they also spread famously. Be sure and get the hardy ones not the florist variety if you are anywhere chilly in winter. How do you look after primulas in winter, Runningtrails? I really need to know. My suggestion of Virginia creeper is only if cbard6 can take deciduous, by the way, it will lose its leaves after the red color is over with and lie like a network of brown vines on the ground until it leafs out again, plus it will try to climb the tree trunks for sure.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yellow archangel and lesser periwinkle are pest plants in this region, I would not plant those.
     
  8. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Yellow archangel is Lamiastrum galeobdolon and not the Lamium I mentioned above, which also can be fairly spreading, and Lamium looks exactly or almost the same although the leaves may be a bit smaller and closer together, which is a good thing. A good website on yellow archangel is http://www.shim.bc.ca/invasivespecies/_private/yellowarchangel.htm. Not sure if that entered properly. It is http://www.shim.bc.ca/invasivespecies/_private/yellowarchangel.htm. If it is a pest in your state or province, cbard6, you should not plant it obviously, but there are many look-alikes among the Lamiums which do the same thing, cover quickly with a light-colored groundcover, but are less invasive. Ron, I have not seen in the Victoria area the periwinkles out of bounds, and although they may be registered pests, I would have to make my own decisions on that one as it is a useful groundcover and the variegated ones, I was told at my nursery, are not invasive. In fact, they don't spread quite enough, for me!
     
  9. runningtrails

    runningtrails Active Member

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    I don't do anything special to them in the winter. They are pretty much ignored and are extremely hardy. They are one of my favourite flowers!
     
  10. william777

    william777 Member

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    cbard6,
    I do know a way to get rid of deers. Have you tried deer repellent? Not all deer repellents work though, so you have to be careful. This is the one I've used that has worked for me. Let me know what you think. :)
    http://www.outsidepride.com/repellents/deer-repellent/
     

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