Hey there! If you have a lot of deer in your area, you might be worried about whether or not they’ll eat your hydrangeas. While it’s hard to say that hydrangeas are a tasty treat for deer, hungry deer may still munch on them. However, some types of hydrangeas are less appealing to deer than others. So if you want to prevent deer from eating your plants, you’ll need to take some measures to protect them.
Do deer eat hydrangea?
Yes, deer will eat hydrangeas. Hydrangeas are not a preferred food source for deer, but they may be consumed if other food is scarce or unavailable. If you live in an area with a large deer population and want to protect your hydrangeas, you may need to take measures to deter deer from eating them, such as using deer repellents or fencing off the area.
Are hydrangeas deer-resistant?
While some hydrangea varieties are less appealing to deer than others, there is no guarantee that any hydrangea plant will be completely deer-resistant. Deer are known to eat a wide variety of plants when their preferred food sources are scarce, and different populations of deer may have varying preferences for food.
However, some hydrangea varieties are generally considered to be less attractive to deer than others due to their tougher leaves, bitter taste, or higher acidity levels. Examples of these types of hydrangeas include the oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia), panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata), smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris), and mountain hydrangea (Hydrangea serrata).
If you live in an area with a high deer population, it’s a good idea to take some measures to protect your hydrangeas from browsing, such as using deer repellents or fencing off the area. Ultimately, while some hydrangea varieties may be more resistant to deer than others, no plant can be considered entirely deer-proof.
Deer-Resistant Hydrangea Varieties
There are several hydrangea varieties that have been reported to be deer-resistant. However, it’s important to note that no plant is completely deer-proof, and different regions and populations of deer may have varying preferences for food.
Here are some hydrangea varieties that are generally considered to be less attractive to deer:
- Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
- Panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)
- Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)
- Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris)
- Mountain hydrangea (Hydrangea serrata)
These varieties have tougher leaves, a more bitter taste, or a higher acidity level that makes them less palatable to deer. However, keep in mind that if a deer is hungry enough, they may still eat these plants. Additionally, factors such as the severity of winter weather and the availability of other food sources can influence deer browsing behavior.
Hydrangeas Deer Love to Eat
While no hydrangea variety is completely immune to deer browsing, there are some hydrangeas that deer tend to find more attractive and tasty than others. Here are some of the hydrangeas that deer may be more likely to eat:
Bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla): This type of hydrangea is popular for its large, showy blooms, but it’s also a favorite of deer. The leaves and flowers are both attractive to them.
Lacecap hydrangea (Hydrangea serrata): Lacecap hydrangeas have delicate, lacy flowers with small fertile flowers surrounded by larger, sterile ones. Deer are known to eat both the flowers and leaves of this plant.
French hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘hortensis’): This variety, also known as the mophead hydrangea, is similar to the bigleaf hydrangea but has larger, ball-shaped flower clusters. Deer may be drawn to the lush foliage and colorful blooms of this plant.
Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens): While this plant is on the list of deer-resistant hydrangeas, it can still be browsed by deer if other food sources are scarce. The tender new growth and flower buds are especially vulnerable to damage.
If you live in an area with a high deer population, it’s a good idea to take measures to protect your hydrangeas from browsing, such as using deer repellents or fencing off the area.
How to Keep Deer Away from Hydrangeas?
There are several strategies you can use to help keep deer away from your hydrangeas:
Use deer repellents: There are a variety of deer repellents available on the market, including sprays, granules, and electronic devices. Some common ingredients in deer repellents include garlic, essential oils, and predator urine.
Plant deer-resistant varieties: As we discussed earlier, some hydrangea varieties are less attractive to deer than others. Consider planting these varieties if you live in an area with high deer populations.
Install physical barriers: Fencing or netting can be effective at keeping deer away from your plants. However, they can be expensive and may not be practical for larger gardens.
Rotate repellents: Deer can become habituated to certain types of repellents over time, so it’s a good idea to switch up your repellent strategy periodically.
Create a distraction: Planting other types of vegetation that deer find more appealing, such as clover or alfalfa, can help divert their attention away from your hydrangeas.
Keep your garden tidy: Deer are attracted to gardens with lots of vegetation, so keeping your garden well-maintained can help deter them. Prune any low-hanging branches or dense shrubs that provide cover for deer.
Remember, no single strategy is foolproof, and different methods may work better in different areas. It may take some trial and error to find a combination of strategies that works best for your garden.