Monday, January 9, 2012

Native Shrubs that Deer Aren't Very Attracted To

File:Starr 031108-0155 Morella cerifera.jpg

 (Image of Wax Myrtle, Kim and Forest Starr off Wikipedia)

Are you looking to add more native plants to your yard but are concerned about the deer getting a hold on them? There are many that deer especially love to eat off, but these native shrub favorites are some that they often avoid. According to the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences planting these shrubs give you the beauty without the chewed branches and flowers. Any of these selections should help your landscape look better if you have a yard where deer often roam.

Drooping Leucothoe (Leucothoe fontanesiana)
Also known as the highland doghobble, Leucothoe axillaris var. editorum, and Leucothoe editorum, this is a member of the heath family of plants. It grows 3 to 6 fee high in a fountain-like arch. There are white waxy flowers in drooping spikes and dark green foliage that is red-green and purple come wintertime. It should be planted in partial shade with a moist acidic soil. Propagate by seed, hardwood cuttings, and by semi-hardwood cuttings.

Wax Myrtle (Morella cerifera)
Also known as southern bayberry, candleberry, Myrica pusilla, and Myrica cerifera, this is a member of the bayberry family of plants. It grows 6 to 12 feet high typically, with a high of 20 feet. Olive-green leaves have a nice spicy scent and there are pale blue berries on the shrubs that are female. Plant in partial shade to full sun conditions with a moist or wet acidic to neutral soil. Propagate by softwood cuttings, seeds, or semi-hardwood cuttings.

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
This is a member of the witch-hazel family of plants, growing from 10 to 15 feet high typically, but on occasion can reach 35 feet high. There are lettuce green leaves that turn gold in the fall with yellow fragrant flowers. The leaves, bark and twigs have astringent properties. Plant a witch hazel in partial to full shade conditions with an acidic well-drained soil. Propagate by seed or by layering. Seed will need double stratification prior to sowing.

University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
NPIN: Drooping Leucothoe NPIN: Wax Myrtle
NPIN: Witch Hazel


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