Yes, Beadmom, they truly are deer-resistant! We live near a park so we have lots of deer. They assume that my garden is their own private salad bar. They eat just about everything but the rhodies and dahlias. So plant away! You won't be sorry.
Interesting, Must be New York deer have different taste buds. Had a set of triples in my yard and they were pulling the dahlia's out faster than you could shake a stick. We have a veggie garden also about 20 ft from the dahlia's and them ate the dahlia's before they went to the garden. Happened several times, the dahlia's first then wandered over to the garden. Good to know someone is safe.
Our west coast deer are very well-mannered when it comes to leaving the dahlias alone. I've had them nibble raspberry bushes and fruits right next to my dahlias- inches away, along with mowing down perennials about 30 ft away and never lost a leaf of a dahlia. There must be enough else to eat here, that they prefer over dahlias? Different tastes? Whatever it is, we're clearly lucky. Fighting off slugs and earwigs is battle enough out here.
Willow, what a riot! Although I'm sure you don't think it's too funny... I'm certainly not laughing when I go out in my garden and find that the deer have decimated yet more plants. Yes, Poochella, slugs we have aplenty. Have you done anything about them yet this year? I've thought about using copper borders for a more permanent solution. Oops, sorry, wrong topic!
I've only hand-picked a few. Didn't see very many this winter at all. Since it's cold and trying to snow yet again, I think the slugs are still huddling under cover to stay warm.
I'll start putting out the Sluggo when things warm up a tiny bit. Never had much luck with the copper tape-type stuff. It always migrated, or the slugs found a way around it into the garden beds. Might work better on pots.
I've been keeping an eye on this thread, curious what others experiences have been with deer damage on Dahlias. Checked out some deer resistant plant lists, and here's one compiled by a fellow DGr, that gives links to others:
While her study doesn't include Dahlia, I did see them listed on one the the links to other plant lists. They rated plants from rarely, occasionally, frequently, or often severely damaged, and Dahlias rated as occasionally severely damaged.
I think if they're hungry enough, they'll eat anything.
Oh my gosh...do I ever have problems with them. The most effective thing I have used to deter them has been a product called Plantskydd. It lasts through rains and seems to help a lot. You spray it once every 2-3 months, and it stinks pretty bad for a day or so. Without it though, those deer would eat every lily bud, every dahlia, every coneflower and every delphinium. One thing they have never eaten is a peony. My peonies have been spared. As for everything else, yearly, it is up for grabs.
Don't get me wrong, I love wildlife, but I just can't give up all of my gardens for them ;) Putting up an 8 foot fence would not only be very expensive, but might make me feel like I am in a cage. Lol.