If food sources are scarce deer will eat phlox in your garden although they are not specifically attracted to it. Sand phlox, moss phlox, and creeping phlox are known to be more deer-resistant than other types of phlox. If you want to protect your phlox from deer, use a deer-proof fence to keep them out.
Understanding Deer Behavior
Deer are herbivores, which means they primarily eat plants. They have a keen sense of smell, which they use to locate food. Deer are attracted to plants that are high in nutrients and water content, such as tender young shoots and leaves. They also prefer plants that are easy to digest, such as those that are low in fiber.
Deer have a varied diet and will eat a wide range of plants, including trees, shrubs, and flowers. They are particularly fond of plants with soft, succulent foliage, such as hostas and daylilies. They will eat phlox if they can access them and there are no other plants around that they prefer. They will also eat fruits and vegetables, such as apples, berries, and tomatoes.
To deter deer from eating your plants, it is important to understand their behavior and preferences. Planting deer-resistant plants, using deer repellents, and installing physical barriers such as fences can help protect your garden from deer damage.
Will Deer eat Phlox in your garden?
When it comes to deer and phlox, the question on every gardener’s mind is whether deer will eat phlox or not. The answer is not straightforward, as it depends on several factors. Generally, deer tend to avoid eating some types of phlox, especially sub-species such as Woodland Phlox. This is because almost all Phlox species have very strong smells which irritate the deer.
However, there are circumstances in which deer will consume phlox. For instance, if there is a scarcity of food, deer can eat almost any flowering plant. Deer are more likely to eat phlox if it is young and tender. Therefore, it is essential to take precautions to protect your phlox plants from deer damage.
One way to protect your phlox plants is to plant them in areas where deer cannot access them easily. You can also use deer-resistant plants to create a barrier around your phlox plants. Some deer-resistant plants include:
Another way to protect your phlox plants is to use physical barriers such as fences or netting. You can also use deer repellents such as sprays, powders, or granules. However, it is essential to note that deer repellents are not 100% effective and may need to be reapplied regularly.
While deer tend to avoid eating phlox, it is still possible for them to consume it under certain circumstances. Therefore, it is crucial to take precautions to protect your phlox plants from deer damage. By planting them in areas where deer cannot access them easily, using deer-resistant plants, and physical barriers, you can ensure that your phlox plants remain healthy and intact.
Factors That Influence Deer’s Eating Habits
Deer are known to be picky eaters, and their food preferences can vary depending on several factors. Here are some of the factors that influence deer’s eating habits:
Deer’s eating habits can change depending on the season. During the winter months, when food is scarce, deer tend to eat whatever is available, even if it’s not their preferred food. In the spring and summer, when food is abundant, deer have more options and can be more selective with their diet.
Deer are opportunistic eaters and will eat whatever is available to them. If there is a shortage of their preferred food, they will eat other plants that are not normally part of their diet. However, if their preferred food is abundant, they will eat that instead.
Taste and Smell
Deer have a keen sense of taste and smell, and they are more likely to eat plants that are sweet or have a strong aroma. Plants with a bitter taste or a pungent smell are less likely to be eaten by deer.
Deer prefer to eat plants that are tender and easy to chew. Plants with tough leaves or stems are less likely to be eaten by deer. However, if food is scarce, deer will eat plants with a tougher texture.
Deer are more likely to eat plants that are located in areas with less human activity. Plants that are located in areas with high human activity, such as near roads or buildings, are less likely to be eaten by deer.
Deer have a good memory and will avoid plants that have made them sick in the past. If a deer has had a bad experience with a particular plant, it is less likely to eat that plant in the future.
Deer Resistant Plants
If you’re tired of deer munching on your garden, there are a variety of plants that are known to be deer-resistant. Keep in mind that no plant is completely deer-proof, as hungry deer will eat just about anything. However, by planting deer-resistant plants, you can reduce the likelihood of your garden becoming a deer buffet.
Here are some examples of deer-resistant plants:
- Perennials: There are many perennials that deer tend to avoid, such as lavender, salvia, yarrow, and coneflower. These plants are also great for attracting pollinators to your garden.
- Herbs: Many herbs are also deer-resistant, such as thyme, oregano, and sage. Not only are these herbs useful in the kitchen, but they also add a lovely fragrance to your garden.
- Bulbs: Deer tend to avoid bulbs such as daffodils, alliums, and snowdrops. These bulbs are great for adding early spring color to your garden.
- Shrubs: Shrubs such as boxwood, holly, and butterfly bush are also known to be deer-resistant. These shrubs are great for adding structure and texture to your garden.
When selecting deer-resistant plants for your garden, keep in mind that deer tend to avoid plants with strong fragrances, fuzzy or prickly leaves, and plants with bitter or acidic tastes. Additionally, deer tend to avoid plants with toxic or poisonous sap, such as foxglove and larkspur.
In summary, planting deer-resistant plants can help reduce the likelihood of deer munching on your garden. While no plant is completely deer-proof, selecting plants that deer tend to avoid can help keep your garden looking beautiful all season long.
Phlox Varieties and Deer Resistance
When it comes to planting phlox in your garden, it’s essential to consider deer resistance. While deer love to eat many plants, some phlox varieties are less appealing to them than others.
A variety of phlox that is less likely to be eaten by deer is Phlox subulata, also known as moss phlox. This low-growing plant is perfect for ground cover and produces an abundance of small, delicate flowers in shades of pink, purple, and white.
Phlox divaricata, also known as woodland phlox, is another deer-resistant variety. This plant is perfect for shady areas and produces fragrant, lavender-blue flowers that bloom in the spring.
While these phlox varieties are less appealing to deer, it’s important to note that no plant is entirely deer-proof. If deer are hungry enough, they will eat almost anything. However, planting deer-resistant varieties like garden phlox, moss phlox, and woodland phlox can help deter deer from your garden and minimize damage.
Methods to Protect Phlox from Deer
If you’re looking to keep deer from eating your phlox, there are several methods you can use to protect your garden. Here are some of the most effective ways to do this:
Physical barriers such as fencing are among the most effective ways to keep deer away from your garden. A 7-foot-tall fence is ideal for keeping deer out. However, if you don’t want to install a fence that tall, a 4-foot-tall fence can also work. You can also use netting or chicken wire to create a physical barrier around your phlox plants.
Repellents can also be effective in keeping deer away from your phlox. There are two types of repellents: odor-based and taste-based. Odor-based repellents work by emitting a scent that deer find unpleasant. Taste-based repellents work by making the plants taste bad to deer.
Motion-activated devices are another effective way to keep deer away from your garden. These devices work by emitting a loud noise or flashing lights when they detect motion. This startles the deer and makes them want to leave the area.
Planting deer-resistant plants around or in between your phlox can also help to deter deer. Some deer-resistant plants include marigolds, daffodils, and lavender. These plants have a scent that deer find unappealing, so they are less likely to come into your garden.
Finally, designing your garden with deer in mind can also help to keep them away from your phlox. For example, you can plant your phlox in a raised bed or container so that they are harder for deer to reach. You can also plant your phlox in a location that is less accessible to deer, such as near a building or fence.
Remember, no method is foolproof when it comes to keeping deer away from your garden. However, by using a combination of these methods, you can increase your chances of keeping your phlox safe from deer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any varieties of phlox that are known to be deer-resistant?
While no plant is completely deer-proof, some varieties of phlox are less appealing to deer than others. Sand phlox, moss phlox, and creeping phlox are known to be more deer-resistant than other types of phlox.
What are some other deer-resistant perennials that could be planted alongside phlox?
There are many deer-resistant perennials that can be planted alongside phlox to help deter deer from eating them. Some examples include yarrow, lavender, salvia, coneflower, and bee balm.
Are there any measures that can be taken to deter deer from eating phlox?
Yes, there are several measures that can be taken to deter deer from eating phlox. Physical barriers such as fences, netting, or chicken wire can be effective. Noise deterrents like wind chimes or motion-activated sprinklers can also be helpful. Additionally, there are deer deterrent sprays available on the market that can be applied to plants.
Can creeping phlox be considered a deer-resistant ground cover option?
Yes, creeping phlox is considered a deer-resistant ground cover option. It is less appealing to deer due to its strong fragrance.
Are there any animals known to eat phlox besides deer?
While deer are the most common animal known to eat phlox, rabbits and groundhogs have also been known to munch on them. Taking measures to deter deer will also help to deter these other animals.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.