Growing Hydrangeas while abstaining deers from eating them is a big deal in states like Texas, as it is home to over 5.5 million deer alone.
Hydrangeas are mostly nonresistant to deer, so a proper deterrent must be incorporated to keep plants safe.
Thus, read till the end to learn which Hydrangeas are most or least preferred by deer with respective preventive measures.
Table of Contents Show
- Do Deer Eat Hydrangeas?
- Which Hydrangeas Are Deer Resistant?
- How To Keep Deer Away From Hydrangeas
- Editors Note
Do Deer Eat Hydrangeas?
How I wished to say No! But sadly, deer love to eat the sweet fresh, juvenile leaf tips of the Hydrangeas plant.
Hydrangea aka. Hortensia is an aesthetic deciduous plant that blooms from late spring to fall.
That said, the opportunist feeders can also eat older, mature Hydrangea leaves if they are hungry.
If a deer has eaten all Hydrangea flower buds from top to bottom, they may fail to bloom entirely.
But deers eat the plants’ upper part, leaving the lower part untouched. So, your Hydrangeas might bloom, albeit with very few.
Furthermore, Hydrangeas eaten by deer will not die but will grow back with little extra nourishment.
Regardless, deer invasion is much more costly and will wreak havoc on your garden. Thus, proper preventive measures are a must to keep deer at bay.
Which Hydrangeas Are Deer Resistant?
Let me be honest! There are five main types of Hydrangeas with various varieties, none of which are deer resistant.
In simpler terms, every Hydrangeas are, one way or another, loved and eaten by deers.
However, like humans, deers also have a preference and eat some Hydrangea species more than others.
Furthermore, Hydrangeas are most likely to stay untouched by deer if they flower when there is enough food.
Now, let us rate some of the popular Hydrangeas based on their deer-resistant nature, shall we?
Bracted or Rough-leaved Hydrangeas (Zone 7 to 10)
Thanks to plants’ coarse hairs on the foliage, rough-leaved Hydrangea is one of the least preferred by deers.
The soft, fuzzy hairs create a sandpaper-like texture, making the plant unpalatable to deer.
Some rough-leaved Hydrangeas that are supposedly deer resistant are aspera, villosa and Blue Bunny.
However, depending upon the deer population and food availability in the area, deer might still eat bracted Hydrangeas.
Climbing Hydrangeas (Zone 4 to 8)
As the name suggests, climbing Hydrangeas can grow 30 to 80 feet tall, far beyond what a fully grown 5 feet tall deer can reach.
So, the innocent yet pesky deer can not dare to eat such tall vines. However, deers still munch and feast upon small, young plants.
Thus, incorporate safety chicken wires into the juvenile plants until they become big enough to tolerate grazing.
Panicle Hydrangeas (Zone 3 to 9)
The late summer flowering period of the Panicle Hydrangeas keeps the plant somehow safe from deer, but not always.
With iconic cone-shaped flower heads, Panicle Hydrangeas bloom on new woods.
Moreover, their blooms are the main target of the deer as stems are very woody with rough texture.
Oakleaf Hydrangeas (Zone 5 to 9)
Despite having rough, woody stems with rigid bark, colorful blooms of Oakleaf Hydrangea are unguarded and make an excellent relish for deers.
Thus, deer might not munch the plant entirely but will eat away all aesthetic blooms.
Furthermore, Oakleaf begins flowering earlier than other varieties, making them more tempting to deer.
Remember, Oakleaf Hydrangeas produce flowers in old woods. So, once the deers eat the flower buds, the plant will not flower until next year.
Bigleaf Hydrangeas (Zone 6 to 9)
Instead of deer-proof, Bigleaf Hydrangea is a deer-favorite Hydrangea that remains flowerless the entire season after a deer invasion.
Thus, if you have Bigleaf ones in your garden and live in an area with a higher deer population, a deer-repellent strategy is a must.
Smooth Hydrangeas (Zones 3 to 8)
Smooth Hydrangea is another common deer meal that is more popular with the name Annabelle.
Nonetheless, the flowering from new woods leverages more compact growth from harmless grazing from deer.
How To Keep Deer Away From Hydrangeas
Depending upon the region’s deer population and food availability, gardeners have varying opinions regarding deer-resistant Hydrangeas.
But the bottom line is deer love to eat or munch candy-like bloom of Hydrangeas regardless of species.
Thus, here is a failsafe preventive strategy to keep your Hydrangeas, regardless of species, safe and sound from deer.
1. Crowding Hydrangeas with other plants
Deer detest those plants’ intense smell and prefer to avoid them.
|Polka Dot Plant||Sages|
|Wax Begonia||Bearded Irises|
|Sweet Alyssum||Bee Balm|
|Spider Flower||Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker)|
|Mexican Marigold||Aconitum (Monkshood)|
2. Using repellent sprays
You can deter deer by spraying natural homemade or commercial repellent sprays around the Hydrangeas.
Also, remember repellent sprays often come in intense odors that could be problematic for you and your pets.
So, be wise and check the product label before buying one.
3. Setting down chicken wire
Deer do not like to step on the cross chicken wire as it causes them discomfort.
Thus, carefully set the chicken wire flat on the ground around the Hydrangeas to shield them from deer invasion.
4. Use an electric fence around Hydrangeas
Although the electric fence is relatively expensive, it might be the ideal solution to end the deer problem.
However, stay alert and ensure to keep your pets and kids away and aware of such fences.
Hang Fragrant Soaps Around the Garden!
Although it sounds weird to hang scented soaps in the garden, it is one of the effective ways to repel deer away from Hydrangeas.
Otherwise, let your pet dogs guard your Hydrangeas and keep them safe from deers day and night.
All The Best!