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My “Deer,” You Can’t Have That Plant

I’ve been on many landscape appointments where a customer has asked to have a certain species of plant that there neighbor has.  Many homeowners have mature plants such as Rhodedendron, Azaleas, Yews and other species that the deer do not bother to eat.  If you were to plant any of these species, with the exception of a few varieties, in a much younger form, you may find that the deer will eat it for dinner soon after it is planted.

Deer prefer newer, younger growth over more mature growth.  Additionally, you may have a friend or relative that lives in the same town as you, has deer on their property, and has a particular plant that you admire and wish to add to your gardens.  They do not have to use any product to deter the deer – the deer just leave this particular plant alone.  Does this mean that you are safe to add this plant to your gardens without safeguarding it?  The answer is maybe.  Within the same town, deer may have entirely different eating habits.  Deer that live in a more mountainous, uninhabited area of a particular town will have a harder time finding food, especially in the winter and may have a more diversified menu then deer that live in a more populated area where food is more plentiful.

Do not let the deer consider your house one of their favorite restaurants.  Consult a landscape professional to help you protect the single greatest boost to the resale value of your home- landscaping.

Scott Parker is the owner of Parker Homescape, a design/build landscape firm that has been recognized as one of the Top Landscape Design/Build Firms in the United States and has been recognized locally by Design NJ Magazine, New York Spaces Magazine, The Suburban News and many other prestigious publications.
For information on Parker Homescape, visit their design portfolio: or call 908-626-1100.

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