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Heucheras and Friends: Any Heuchera Experts Out There, specifically deer-resistant

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Forum: Heucheras and FriendsReplies: 19, Views: 349
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Tallahassee, FL
(Zone 8b)

March 28, 2005
8:10 PM

Post #1368946

I am just beginning to research Heucheras for a flowerbed. BUT, they must be deer-resistant! We have a hearty population of deer in our area, who view many plants as "Thanks, Mom, for the salad bar, chomp, chomp!"

I want to use contrasting colors for interest in this bed, and especially love "Lime Rickey." It is not listed in the DG plant list as "deer resistant." This may be lack of information at this time, or is there some feature in Heucheras that makes some of them "deer resistant???" Perhaps the darker colors are, but not the lighter ones? Does anyone know? I REALLY LOVE "Lime Rickey" to contrast with the purples, silvers, reds, autumn colors. And what about "Marmalade?" Offspring to "Amber Waves."

Any experience/info out there would be appreciated!!!!!!

Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 28, 2005
9:32 PM

Post #1369142

I've never had a problem with deer munching on any of my heucheras, but then my dog deters them. But the catalogs I just thumbed through refer to any heucheras as deer resistant. I've found that urine of any animal that eats meat (including human)keeps them away. Before I had a dog that's how I kept them at bay and had no problems at all, and I live pretty deep in the woods. Of course living deep in the woods with total privacy and being male perhaps makes that method especially easy for me. But you may want to send any boys in the family out at night to see if it works! Good Luck.
Monroe, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 29, 2005
4:19 PM

Post #1370797

Carefully dispensed, it's a great fertilization method, as well. I have high hopes for a newly planted camellia . . .

This message was edited Mar 29, 2005 12:19 PM
Tallahassee, FL
(Zone 8b)

March 29, 2005
4:20 PM

Post #1370808

Thanks for your reply! I'm trying to talk my DH into taking on this responsibility. However, there is one slight problem. This flower bed runs along the front entry walk to my house. Do you suppose the urine smell might deter others besides the deer?!?!?!?!? LOL

I do use Liquid Fence, which works well for about 2-3 weeks, but is rather expensive in the long run. Plus, it smells of rotten eggs and heavy garlic, not much, if any better than urine!!!

I do imagine that, unless there is some chemical in, for instance, darker colors than in greener colors, if a plant is deer-resistant, it would pertain to all plants in that category. It's probably just a lack of full information on some of the newer cultivars.

I do very much appreciate your methods, and will definitely keep them in mind. Dogs are not allowed to roam free in our wooded area, or we would have a really big one or two to deter the armadillos that root up the yard!

We do have 2 cats. Perhaps incorporating their litter box results would work??? LOL

Ithaca, NY
(Zone 5b)

March 31, 2005
3:35 AM

Post #1374026

We have a very healthy deer herd (about 10) that stay very close around our property. I have 6 or 7 heucheras in both the front of our house and in our gardens in back.

I've had one in the front next to the sidewalk browsed once in the late fall or early spring, however, it doesn't appear they are a chosen favorite - they've never bothered it since and it's quite large. Deer will browse ANYTHING once...even spiny juniper!!! If heuchera do get browsed, they generally spring back real well in short order.
Albrightsville, PA
(Zone 4a)

April 27, 2005
12:38 AM

Post #1429432

I lay the bird netting over my heuchera. If the deer jump the fence, they do eat the flowers and smallest leaves from the centers of my plants.
Oklahoma City, OK
(Zone 7a)

April 27, 2005
12:48 AM

Post #1429454

The deer eat all the hostas they can get to at my parent's house in IL, but they haven't munched on a heuchera yet. (Perhaps because they're full of hostas) :~)
Tallahassee, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 28, 2005
4:18 PM

Post #1433742

Thanks to all for your responses!

Woodthrush, the bird netting, do you know where is the best website to buy this? Probably a dumb question, but I I'm disabled (mobility) and don't get out to shop, so the net is my only answer, unless I can bribe my DH into shopping locally (he hates it when I do!).
Albrightsville, PA
(Zone 4a)

May 1, 2005
2:15 AM

Post #1439199

I bought the bird netting at walmart. Sorry, I don't know of an online site for it.
Gravois Mills, MO
(Zone 6a)

February 10, 2006
11:03 PM

Post #2036061

I have never known a deer to touch a Heuchera. But i do not bet on it they are wild opertunist creatures and very very adaptable. There is very little they will not eat if it presents itself.

Judith your thec second person i have seen today on this forum from Fla. growing heuchera down there might be a tough go. would like to know how you come out.


mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 14, 2006
12:24 PM

Post #2044077

be careful with that bird netting folks. all kinds of little creatures get stuck in it and die.
Alpena, MI
(Zone 4b)

February 15, 2006
12:20 AM

Post #2045361

I've had heucheras for a couple years. The deer didn't touch them before. This winter has been unusually warm though and therefore there hasn't been much snowcover during parts of the winter. A few weeks ago when we didn't have much snow, I was wandering around the yard looking at my dormant gardens dreaming of spring. I noticed that several heucheras were eaten to the ground, but that doesn't bother me. What bothered me was the two that I found that were pulled right out of the ground. I stuck them back in the best I could, but the ground was partially frozen so it didn't do much good. Heucheras are one of the few plants that don't lose their leaves for the winter, so I suppose the deer at them for lack of anything better. I've never had the deer eat any at any other time.
Lincoln City, OR
(Zone 9a)

February 16, 2006
4:34 AM

Post #2048033

I have bought bird netting at Home Depot and also Lowes. Love the stuff and have never had any critter get stuck in it for the fifteen or so years I have been using it. I use it over my gardens and koi ponds and to keep rabbits out of my gardens when we had a rabbit problem.

I will have to call Judith and tell her what was said on this thread since she no longer can sit long enough to surf on her computer due to too much spinal pain.

I live in the country and have for over 20 years and have never had a deer and/or racoon problem I find it strange that people who live in town have deer, rabbit and racoon problems.
Gravois Mills, MO
(Zone 6a)

February 16, 2006
11:39 AM

Post #2048278

PONDITIS Deer problems are not stange really. It is a simple thing called developement. they force the deer into the subdivisions.
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

February 27, 2006
12:27 PM

Post #2074717

After 3 years of gardening here in the woods, the deer have found me this year. They munched down on Silver Shadows, Stormy Seas, Silver Scrolls, and Kimono(Heucherella), but have left Green Spice and Amber Waves alone. I moved all the tasty ones close to the house a couple of days ago. My Penstemon smallii had beautiful rosettes of foliage most of the winter, but was also munched down a couple of weeks ago. Of course I decided last fall I was safe to plant tulips since I had been unbothered by deer, and planted tons of them! Now I'm walking on pins and needles!
Gravois Mills, MO
(Zone 6a)

February 27, 2006
12:45 PM

Post #2074739

They are tired of eating bark in the woods. Most of the oak mast crop is gone by now also. You need to use deer replelants in your yard. among other things is your dog are your neighbors dog. go to a grommer and get some hair clippings if you do not have a dog. Urine is a big thing also both dog and human. The U.S. forest service uses eggs mixed in water saprayed all over and around the plants. Put 2-3 eggs in a galon of water mix it up real real good and put it on the plants. They do not like the smell of ivory soap either. Trouble with Ivory soap is the squirrels will chew on it. I personally have a on going war with squirrels. Hope it gets 2 birds with one stone.


Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

February 27, 2006
7:40 PM

Post #2075562

Only 2 things have really (as in no damage) worked for me over the long hall: deer screen/netting and the scarecrow device that blasts them with water.
Cement City, MI
(Zone 5b)

March 17, 2006
2:40 PM

Post #2118605

3 winters in a row the deer have eaten all of the leaves off our heuchera. I don't mind since its winter, but I do mind when they get down into the crowns! We use several repellants throughout the winter and it just seems to reduce the damage. Snow cover hasn't mattered. Last winter they dug down into a foot of snow to eat them. There is enough food in the summer that they don't touch them, which is the important part I guess. In the winter of 2004/5 they also ate the hellebores down, but haven't touched them this year. Go figure!
Toledo, IA
(Zone 4a)

May 13, 2007
9:28 PM

Post #3493803

HI here is one i heard--take a bar of fragrant soap like irish spring --ivory and put it in a womens hose- one leg of a panty hose or something and hang in invisible spot i guess if it rains enough it will have a little white spot under it so it shouldnt be over a plant--i guess you can cover a large area with three bars--good luck
Georgetown, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 14, 2009
5:00 PM

Post #6137864

I've heard of that soap in panty hose thing, but what I heard was that it doesn't work. I've never tried it though. Didn't want panty hose hanging around my yard any more than I wanted the plants munched, lol!

The deer at my house didn't get the memo about Heuchera being deer resistant. They eat it year round, although they did seem to leave the Caramel alone for the most part. It's really frustrating because I've got an area where I really want to have it covered in different colored Heuch's but the deer just won't let most of them get going. They killed several plants just because they ate them every time they tried to put up any leaves.

I've tried using Liquid Fence and yes I did put it out regularly, after rains, etc. and they didn't care. It almost seemed like they thought if I cared enough about a plant to Liquid Fence it, it must be FANTASTIC. I also tried another product that the garden center said worked better than LF called SCRAM! They didn't.

gemini_sage, I'm glad to hear your dog helps. Our dog stays in the fenced back yard and the deer don't ever seem to enter her domain, but the front is where I want the Heuch's. We just got a new puppy, and the plan is to put in an invisible fence in the front and let her patrol out there.

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