Deer and Rodent Resistant flower bulbs
It is a lovely sight to see bees, butterflies and hummingbirds in your garden. However larger animals like deer and squirrels you don’t want to see near your fresh-planted bulbs. Imagine the deer grazing around your tulips or the squirrels running around with your crocus bulbs.
Deer love tulips and lilies as much as we do. They graze around as soon as the spring buds grow above the ground. They even eat the flowers later in spring. Rabbits will eat these flowers too on a smaller scale. Chipmunks, gophers and prairie dogs use underground tunnels to grab a bite of the tasty bulbs. Squirrels love to dig up freshly planted bulbs like crocus and even replant them on other places.
Luckily there are a lot of bulbs that deer and rodents don’t prefer to eat. All members of the Amaryllis family (incl. daffodils, snowflakes and snowdrops) are deer and rodent proof. These bulbs and flowers contain the bitter and poisonous substance Lycorine and they won’t eat that. The other bulbs in the list below are unpleasant to deer or rodents and they are likely to avoid them unless the plants are directly in their path and starvation leave them no alternative.
So what should you plant?
Alliums are a great choice. Deer generally leave them alone and the stunning heads of blooms are a sight to behold in season. There are also plenty of varieties to choose from and DutchGrown has a lovely selection of all the best ones on offer.
You’re going to love your display of Daffodils and Narcissus and luckily for you, the deer would rather eat grass, so your spring flowers are perfectly safe. Living in the country doesn’t mean you have to go without all your favourite spring flowers.
Crocuses are another safe bet when it comes to deer cuisine. They really don’t like them so you’re not setting up a snack-bar for wildlife when you plan your spring floral display. But if you have rodents in your garden, do not choose this one. Are you fond of Irises? Deer aren’t, so here’s another option that adds to your palette of colour.
Get early spring blooms with gorgeous Fritillarias. Also, Grape Hyacinth (Muscari varieties) offer a great selection for edging and low-growing mass plantings and once again, the deer just aren’t interested. Have you ever wondered why Bluebells bloom in such profusion in the woods? They’re deer resistant, of course! Chiondoxa is another enchanting, dwarf bulb for the deer resistant garden.
Snowdrops always make us realise that spring has come and both the genera commonly known as Snowdrops: Eranthis and Galanthus will not be favourites that make up part of the deer’s dinner. Hyacinths and Scilla are also not among their tastiest treats.