The skinny on 5 great deer-resistant plants for the Pittsburgh area, that you might not be aware of! Try these if you are concerned about deer eating your plants.
Today we’re gonna be talking about some deer-resistant plant materials. Got a few here, some shrubs and perennials. The first one on my list I want to talk about is a type of sumac called grow low, most people are familiar with sumacs being much taller shrubs kind of more open, rather stark in appearance in the wintertime, but this particular sumac is more of a low ground cover. Around 2-2.5 feet tall and spreads and covers the slopes and roots as it goes. Great fall cover, really bulletproof, really drought tolerant, great for a dry sunny slope, and again I’ve really never seen a deer eat this one. It’s a good plant, especially again for fall colors.
The next one is a type of shrub called ‘Weigelas’. Weigelas are pretty common around here. This is a really nice one, it’s called ‘Midnight Wine’. Midnight Wine has a deep purple, maroon kind of foliage with a peakish lavender blossom and it blooms mid-late spring for a long period. Very very nice looking plant, and again I’ve never seen a deer eat this one at all.
The next one is a ground cover called “Plumbago”, the Latin name is ‘Cerastostigma Plumbaginoides’, that’s a mouthful. Low-growing, it comes up late in the Spring, tends to come up usually by mid-May, some people think it’s dead because it comes up so late it and it’s just habit. It’s easy to grow, full sun is best, it will take some shade, a very pretty blue flower in late summer. Excellent plant again, don’t see the problem with the deer on that one.
The next one will be an Ostrich Fern, again easy to grow around here. It does very well in our woodlands settings. Deer for some reason, I’m not sure why really don’t’ touch the fern and ostrich fern is excellent. Very nice soft habit, 2-3 feet tall, sometimes taller in the right conditions, and believe it or not, it’s edible. Apparently it tastes like asparagus, haven’t tried it yet but I might do that.
Just one more, let’s talk about ‘Anenome’. Pink Japanese Anenome are great in the shade, what’s nice about this particular plant is it blooms really really late, so it fills a really nice niche September-October time frame. And a really good one again, never seen a deer eat this one. Make sure you give it some shade, it will take some sun but it does fairly well in the shade. Does spread rather lightly so give it some room. Another great plant.
Just a caveat at the end here as we talk about these things, even with a deer-resistant plant, deer are going to experiment and try it. They might pull it out of the ground after you plant it. Some deer will nibble a bit just to taste. One deer might eat the thing that’s supposed to be deer resistant and the next deer won’t. So these are on a list of ones that have been tried and fairly true but still know that deer will down pretty much anything. So just remember that. But again, good ones for a start and we’ll talk more in the future.
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