I only have one Endless Summer Hydrangea & that is my first & only so far. I absolutely love the hydrangeas and would have oodles of them if it wasn't for all the deer that roam in my area. My property is 4.5 acres of fairly open woods on a hillside. Lots of poison ivy & wild grape vine. (I wish I could afford a "Rent a Goat" :) ) I would love to plant various cultivars of hydrangeas all around my yard at the edge of the woods. The one bush I have is right up against the front corner of the garage. It has grown to be about 4.5ft. high & 6 ft. wide and is usually loaded with blooms. I haven't fertilized or chemically treated it in the 5 years I have had it. The color remains a beautiful blue except closest to the garage wall where it is more pink (I suppose from the leaching of the foundation). The deer have never bothered it until this year when they nipped off the ends of some of the branches. Other bushes in my yard, such as my burning bushes, have been chewed almost to the ground each year to the point that I am having the burning bushes torn out this year. I even had them covered in bird netting. Are all hydrangeas deer candy or are there varieties that are less appetizing to them?
We have a lot of hydrangeas, more than 100 but many are doubles, and it seems the deer leave most of them alone. From the areas where I could see deer ate leaves last year, I'd guess it was the young deer since the area was less than a foot from the earth.
Hydrangeas are not a favorite food of the deer----------but, they WILL eat them, and it only takes a few bites to destroy this year's crop. To protect my 100 hydrangeas I have invested in an electric fence. But, before that, I had success using the deer netting from Lowe's-----------100 foot by 8 foot roll for about $15. It is very light weight and almost invisible. You can drape it on the bush-----------or put some small sticks in the ground and stretch it in front of the bushes. The only bad thing is that during the year the bush will grow through the netting if it is placed on it.
As I said they don't appear to be the deer's favorite------------but, if humans are starving they will eat rats and roaches, and deer might eat do the same with hydrangeas.
The deer have really enjoyed the hydrangea salad bar at our place. I moved several plants to the front of the house last fall, hoping the deer will not venture there. The deer population in the city has become a real problem with some of us. Others (non-gardening neighbors) enjoy the wildlife, including the woodchucks.
Due to a very bad situation in the past I strongly recommend that you do something to protect your hydrangeas before the deer decide to begin eating on them (and someday they will). The deer netting from Lowe's draped in front of, or on top of, will protect them! And, it is practically invisible to the human eye.
You're right, Shirley. That deer netting is almost invisible. My former home had the house and gardens laid out so protecting them would be very easy but this corner lot has too much exposure for the deer to enter and exit, therefore more of a major problem.
We do have the entire vegetable garden protected with the black "invisible" netting but just after we finished it was outlawed here. The approved type is what they use out here for all the many vineyards to protect them from the onslaught of the deer, more like cattle fencing on huge posts. Farmers are at the mercy of the deer.
In case I haven't mentioned it here, the netting (if placed in a rolled, twisted manner on the ground) is a wonderful way to keep snakes out of an area. I keep it at the base of the pole where I have a bluebird box. Once a snake ventures into the netting it can not get out. Of course, you will need to dispose of that section along with the snake. I know of many who place this around small out buildings to keep them free of the snake problem. And, only once in using this for 20 years have I seen a bird caught in it-------and then, I was able to release it.
Maybe try to plant a hedge around your garden area. I have laurel and cedar. With a fence inside of them. It works a treat and keeps out more weeds too. But I do get a little eating of th new Laurel leaves, but it can take it.