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ego45

Tall + woodchuck/deer resistant

ego45
15 years ago

I have part-sun (more sunny than shady) area behind the fence where I'd like to fill the spaces between various shrubs for the interest when shrubs itself not in a bloom.

Area is pretty wild and I don't mind to have a root-spreading plants there, but try to avoid heavy selfseedes since cultivated gardens are nearby.

Resident woodchuck and ocassionaly deers are the main problem there.

Here is the list of what I've tried already and were eaten at the different stages of growth:

-Goatsbeard,

-all kinds of Rudbeckia,

-all kinds of Echinacea,

-Joe Pye weed,

-Filipendula,

-Helianthus.

What survived:

-Astilbes,

-Aconitum,

-Sib.Iris,

-Peonies,

-daffodils + alliums,

-Verbena bonariensis (though it's a seeder I could live with it),

-Monarda.

What else would you recommend in 2.5 to 6' tall range?

Comments (25)

  • duluthinbloomz4
    15 years ago

    There isn't too much that something won't eat if it's hungry enough. I live close to a large in-city nature preserve and get deer so I pretty much rely on protecting plants with a spritz of Liquid Fence and an alternate broadcasting of Milorganite along their usual trails.

    Nothing has ever touched Stella d'Oro daylilies - oh so common, but a reliable bloomer. Bleeding hearts, both the pink and the white, never get critter eaten, but the plants themselves will gradually disappear as the summer progresses (only to show up the next year bigger and better). And ferns, however, something like the Ostrich Fern once established could eventually find its way into cultivated areas. Nothing bothers poppies, but those have heavy reseeding potential and they're quite ephemeral to begin with. Veronicas, Nepetas, and Salvias are reliably resistant, as are the varieties of Feverfew and the common Saponaria (Soapworts: Bouncing Bet, etc).

  • giboosi_alttara
    15 years ago

    caryopteris comes to mind, esp. 'Snow Fairy' or the other variegated one. pulmonaria but they're too short, some salvias might do ok even if not in full sun. Possibly hibiscus moscheutos. (Sometimes the deer eat mine, sometimes they don't)

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  • ego45
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Thanks for reminding me about caryopteris as a deer resistant plant. Salvia Caradonna being tall might work as well. I have my doubts about hibiscus, but willing to try it, especialy because I have one that become too big for a space and it need to be relocated anyway.
    What do you think about Cimicifugas and Turtleheads in terms of w/d resistance? Perovskia?
    BTW, pulmonarias are woodchucks candies here, though only after they blooms. Every year at this time of the year I have a bare spot where fairly large clump of pulmonaria bloom in a spring.

  • cloud_9
    15 years ago

    The Veronicastrum that I got from you at an early swap has never been touched by deer or woodchucks in my yard. Cimicifugas never are either. You didn't say when you wanted it to bloom, but I am assuming now-ish. Would Buddleia be too big for the space?
    Deb

  • donn_
    15 years ago

    Ornamental Grasses. Most of the taller ones are pretty much deer-proof.

  • ego45
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Deb, thanks for the confirmation on Cimicifuga.
    I have several that could be moved there.
    Actualy I don't realy care about the bloom time for as long as it will be after peonies (early June).
    Re: Veronicastrum. It doesn't want to stay straight even in a full sun. Over there it will be groundcover(ish) :-)

    "Would Buddleia be too big for the space?"

    Sorry, I have to laugh.
    No, not too big for sure. There are 3 large (to be) viburnums, 3 different buddleas, 2 deutsias and ever spreading Sorbaria sorbifolia plus some forsythias and kerrias. Sounds like a mess, but I want it to be wild/natural looking and need similarly wild/natural looking perennials to fill some open spaces which are still a plenty.

  • covella
    15 years ago

    I've lost all my daylilies to deer a couple of years - including all the Stella's - they just nip off all the buds. I have my own personal herd of invaders that have tried just about everything.

    In addition to what you already know about the deer haven't bothered:
    Chelone
    lobelia cardinalis and its hybrids,
    astilbe - there are some 2-3 ft ones
    Aster Honeysong Pink and Alma Potschke
    garden mums
    the old Heirloom mums like Mary Stoker and Clara Curtis
    Becky, Alaska and Silver Princess Shasta Daisies
    the whole family of salvias
    reseeding annuals nicotiana, verbena bonariensis and Shiso Perilla
    Digitalis
    Clematis
    Anthriscus
    Ligularia
    Physostegia
    Lavendar
    Dianthus barbatus
    Sedums
    Cilantro, Parsley and Basil
    I let pokeweed go to seed in my wild areas because the birds love it so much.

    Shrubs: Pieris, Mahonia, Leucoethoe, ribes, they have sometimes eaten the new tips off of holly but leave all my boxwoods alone. For some reason they leave all my rhodos alone but do eat the tops out of all the kalmia and azaleas. There is a small forsythia called Fiesta that is supposed to max at 4 ft that they haven't bothered since I planted it 2 yrs ago. Also Hypericum Albury Purple which makes very pretty berries. I don't have Callicarpa but there's another heavy fruiting shrub. They haven't touched Fothergilla Mt Airy, Witchhazel Jelena, but eat my clethra's to the ground in the winter. I also planted Itea Little Henry last year and they took a few bites early in the season and then left them alone. They also leave Spicebush alone.

    I am always looking for new deer resistant ideas for part shade/sun areas so looking forward to any other plant ideas too. After a couple years of trying to get the whole place sprayed I'm slowly just letting things go that get eaten - too much trouble. I have a bed with many species of lilies by the house where I can enjoy them and the deer can't bother.

  • ego45
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    alyrics,
    thanks for the great list and informative notes.
    I'm glad to see Chelone on your list since I have several clumps in a main garden which I could divide and plant there.
    Also, to see physostegia there is a pleasant surprise as I like the plant, but...you know why I don't have it in a garden :-) I have one still unplanted pot of 'Miss Manners' (white) and willing to put it there for the test. If within 10 days nobody will be interested in it I'll be looking for the pink one :-)
    Another pleasant surprise in your list are shasta daisies which I never had in a garden so had no clue they are out of interest of the vultures. Eventhough they might be out of deer's interest, but woodchuks could like them as they like tricyrtis and platycodons that were out of deer's interest before fence went in place (area I'm talking about is not fenced). Does anyone could confirm or deny shasta's resistance?
    As to new ideas, Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is deer resistant, though I'm not sure about hardiness for you.
    Buddleia alternifolia is deer proof and it's hardy for sure. As I mentioned earlier Sorbaria sorbifolia is out of interests of any creatures (spreading by suckers like crazy). I have Deutzia kalmifolia there and it's also out of interest.
    Another, maybe little bid unorthodox idea is a hydrangea paniculata in TREE form. I had it there for couple of years (now moved out, but for another reason) and while deers OCASSIONALY nibbled on a lower branches all middle and top branches were always in tact and it bloomed perfectly.

  • covella
    15 years ago

    Hi Ego - I've had Miss Manners for maybe 4 yrs - no trouble at all. It reseeded right around the parent plant but nowhere else and has been easy to thin out. But I've heard the pink one is really rampant - kind of like that Campanula Cherry Bells I wanted and can't get rid of no matter what I do. Ask somebody else about that.

    I love Chelone Hot Lips - I plant it with an old dark blue aconitum that came from way back in the family and a white tricyrtis called Shirohotogisu. Just have to protect the Tricyrtis because the deer or somebody - always wondered if it was rabbits, mice? Never caught anything at it - but they won't eat the hairy leaves but will pick each bud off and eat it.

    I planted Shasta's right next to where the deer walk by - I guess if they were interested they would have taken them by now. They are easy to Wintersow if you want to try that since seed is on sale right now.

    I forgot to mention Heptacodium miconoides - Seven Sons Flower - http://www.bluestoneperennials.com/b/bp/HECMP.html
    I planted a cutting last year and its done fine in our drought this year, and the deer walked past it.

    I've looked at the Vitex but I don't think I have the right sun for it. And your idea of using the tree form hydrangea is great! Why didn't I think of that? I have a couple hydrangeas that produce a few flowers around the base where the deer forgot to chomp the twigs off. I can never remember which one I like - the Pee Gee or the tardiva. Thanks for reminding me.
    A

  • giboosi_alttara
    15 years ago

    My chelone disappeared, although I don't know why...

    My deer do eat shasta daisy, sorbaria sorb., astilbe, sedum (at least anything taller than a few inches), tricyrtis.

    I have two heptacodium in front and they eat the shorter one that had soft new growth on top, but the one I moved in front once it got about 5' tall, with woody stems, is ok (so far).

    Perovskia gets left alone, but doesn't behave well in part shade. Maybe if you tried a shorter variety?

    George, if you want to try Heptacodium try a larger one to start, and I'll give you some if you're willing to wait until spring, as I've just started new cuttings.

    Oh, I should also note that the deer eat the tops off of all of my aconitum!!!

  • cbs_z5_ny
    15 years ago

    A couple more - Baptisia and Amsonia are critter resistant in my garden, and do okay in less-than-full sun. Easy to remove their seed heads to avoid self-seeding.

    -Caroline

  • cbs_z5_ny
    15 years ago

    Sorry - missed the part about bloom after June. Verbascum, Echinops, Calamintha, Agastache (if sunny enough) are mostly uneaten in my garden.

  • ego45
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Thanks ladies,
    I have fairly large Heptacodium and I think it's one of the best latest introduction to the market. (Well, not so new, but gaining in a popularity very fast, especialy in the North and rightly so, IMO.)
    Alttara, interesting note about chelone. While mine didn't disapper this year, but large established clumps look much skimpier than usual this year, be it C.lyonii or C.obliqua. Most notable underperformer is C.obliqua 'Black Ace' which only grew to 3' this year instead of it's regular 4-5' and produced only 5-6 stems instead of its usual increasing.
    Caroline, yes, I just recently transplanted piece of Amsonia taubernomontana there and so far it's not bothered.
    Verbascum...I think I have some wild volunteers there. Is it a selfseeder?

  • giboosi_alttara
    15 years ago

    I (heart) my Heptacodium, and actually am rooting more because I want to plant them all along the drive. They have everything but fall color, which I will provide by planting Rhus typhina 'Tiger Eyes' in front of them.

    Oh, but this is not the shrubs forum! Sorry. I got carried away.

    Verbascum is a self-seeder, so I've heard. I've not tried it yet myself.

  • ego45
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Sorry, Chelone 'Black Ace' is C.glabra, not a C.obliqua.

  • covella
    15 years ago

    Hey all, post some pics of your heptacodium would you please? Mine is just about 3 ft tall and is 2 stems. It hasn't bloomed yet. I'm trying to decide if I should cut it back for a multi-stemmed shrub or leave it to be a 2 trunked small tree. What do you think looks better?

    A

  • giboosi_alttara
    15 years ago

    Posted one to gallery. I pruned mine to tree form.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    15 years ago

    Had woodchucks this year, they went after mostly the asters and echincea and the clover in the lawn. They didn't eat any perovskia that was right next to the echinacea. The Shastas were not blooming but they didn't eat the foliage. Walked right by them on their way to the echinacea. I also winter sowed three varieties of Shastas this year. The Alaska I sowed last year bloomed this year and it was horrible. Way too tall for where I planted it, flopped all over everything with the first rain and never came up again, buds opened all eaten by something. This year, I had Becky, Crazy Daisy and Snowcap seed and winter sowed those. They all germinated fine and the planted out seedlings look great. Some are short which is what I was looking for, and others a little taller. Some have buds on them and I am waiting to see what they look like. I also bought Shasta Wirral's Pride from Bluestone this year during their sale and it is blooming and has gorgeous crested blossoms that are long lasting and on thick stems. I am growing them in full sun.

  • Liz
    15 years ago

    We've done well with Helenium. Nearly 5' tall and just starting to bloom now. Likes sun, though.

  • entling
    15 years ago

    I also posted a photo to Gallery of Heptacodium.

  • david_5311
    15 years ago

    Though most campanulas are highly attractive to woodchucks, C. lactiflora is a lovely long-blooming garden plant that browsers almost always leave alone.

    Don't forget Persicaria polymorpha. Excellent tall shrubby perennial that was never bothered by deer in my old garden.

    Veronicastrums only ever got browsed once for me. Usually a good sign -- the animal did not return for seconds......Veronicastrums will stand up taller after a few years in the ground and maybe with less water.

    I love asters but unfortunately most are very browse prone for woodchucks (less so deer I think). However, A. oblonigfolius, with its aromatic foliage, I have never had browsed. Excellent shrubby aster with good form too.

    Taller rudbeckias for me (Herbstonne etc) are good tall browse resitant plants. Helianthus salicifolius never browsed either. Also Helianthus Lemon Queen. All are great plants.

  • ego45
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Alyrics, my pictures are in the Gallery, as well.

    David, thank you for chiming in.
    I'll check on Persicaria polymorfa. Could be a ticket.

    Re: taller rudbeckia. R. maxima =goner.
    Re: helianthus. H. Lemon Queen=gone.
    Re: helenium. H. autumnale = gone without traces.
    And I'm positive that in two first cases woodchuck was the cause, not the deers because the same happened with another plantings of the same plants in area where deers have no access.

    I like the Shastas idea. What about Montauk daisies?

  • Monique z6a CT
    15 years ago

    My Heptacodium are in the gallery thread also. I love this shrub/tree.

    Groundhogs ate my Phlox paniculata, but didn't touch the Stasta Daisies next to it. They also love my Echinacea and lilies.

    George, if you cannot find Persicaria polymorpha, I can give you some in the spring. It's easy to divide and grows tall very fast.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Heptacodium photo gallery thread

  • giboosi_alttara
    15 years ago

    The deer ate my Montauks.

    But, let's get real. Did I mention they ate the tops off of my Aconitum?!

    I've got to try Veronicastrum, though, it's gorgeous.

  • covella
    15 years ago

    Maybe you need a gallon of Deer-Ex ( pig blood, latex and egg solids - just mix with water to spray but don't let it drift on you ), and a Hav-a-Heart trap with some fly bait and a can of Coke. Well that's a long debate. I summoned the nerve to do in 1 raccoon when they were absolutely destroying my garden, and even came into my house during the daytime when the back door was open to raid the trash can, but then I couldn't set up the trap again. Just could not do it.

    Thanks for the heptacodium photos
    A