Do Deer Eat Mums That Are Resistant?

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Deer can be a nuisance for gardeners, causing damage to plants and flowers. Many gardeners love to have mums (chrysanthemums) in their garden due to their vibrant colors and beautiful blooms. However, these garden favorites are often targeted by deer, as they are a tasty treat. In recent years, the development of deer-resistant mums has gained attention, offering a potential solution for those looking to protect their garden from deer. In this article, we will explore the concept of deer-resistant mums, their effectiveness, and some tips on how to keep your mums safe from these hungry creatures.

Detailed Discussion:

1. What are deer-resistant mums?
Deer-resistant mums are varieties of chrysanthemums that have been bred specifically to deter deer from feeding on them. These varieties often have strong scents or flavors that are unappealing to deer, causing them to seek alternative food sources. While no plant is completely deer-proof, deer-resistant mums have a higher chance of surviving and thriving in areas with heavy deer populations.

2. Factors that make mums deer-resistant:
– Scent: Some chrysanthemum varieties have a strong scent that deer find unpleasant, making them less likely to approach and eat the plant.
– Taste: Certain types of mums have a bitter or unpalatable taste to deer, discouraging them from consuming the foliage or flowers.
– Texture: Mums with furry or fuzzy leaves can be less appealing to deer, as the texture may be off-putting to them.

3. Popular deer-resistant mum varieties:
– ‘Sheffield Pink’: This variety has bright pink blooms and is known for its resistance to deer. It is a hardy plant that can withstand various weather conditions and has a pleasant fragrance.
– ‘Mary Stoker’: This mum has beautiful yellow flowers with a bronze center and is highly resistant to deer and other garden pests. It is a low-growing variety that adds color to borders and containers.
– ‘Clara Curtis’: With its delicate pink flowers, this mum is not only resistant to deer but also attracts butterflies. It blooms late in the season, extending the beauty of your garden.

4. Tips for protecting your mums from deer:
– Use fencing: Installing a deer fence around your garden is one of the most effective ways to keep deer at bay. Make sure the fence is at least 8 feet tall, as deer can jump over lower fences.
– Repellents: There are various deer repellents available on the market that can be applied to your mums. These repellents often contain natural ingredients that give off odors that deer find unappealing.
– Companion planting: Surround your mums with plants that deer dislike, such as lavender, rosemary, or marigolds. The strong smells emitted by these plants can help deter deer from venturing into your garden.
– Scare tactics: Install motion-activated sprinklers or wind chimes that make noise to startle deer when they approach your mums. This can help deter them from coming back.

Concluding Thoughts:

While deer-resistant mums offer a promising way to protect your garden from deer damage, it’s important to remember that no plant is completely immune to deer. Factors such as hunger, deer population density, and food availability can influence their feeding behavior. By planting deer-resistant mum varieties, using deterrents, and implementing protective measures, you can significantly reduce the chances of deer feasting on your beloved mums.

FAQs about Deer-Resistant Mums:

Q: Can I make my existing mums deer-resistant?
A: Unfortunately, you cannot alter the genetics of an existing mum plant. However, you can try using repellents and other protective measures to minimize deer damage.

Q: Are deer-resistant mums completely safe from deer?
A: Deer-resistant mums have a higher chance of survival, but hungry deer may still nibble on them during food scarcity periods. It’s always best to use additional protective measures to ensure the safety of your plants.

Q: Can I plant deer-resistant mums in any region?
A: Different mum varieties have different hardiness zones. Make sure to choose deer-resistant mums that are suitable for your region’s climate.

Q: Are there any other plants that are deer-resistant?
A: Yes, there are several other plants that deer find less appealing, such as daffodils, lavender, marigolds, and yarrow. Consider incorporating these plants into your garden as well.

In conclusion, deer-resistant mums can be a valuable addition to your garden if you are looking to protect your plants from deer damage. By selecting the right varieties, deploying protective measures, and implementing deterrents, you can enjoy the beauty of blooming mums without worrying about them becoming a deer’s next meal.


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