Quiz Question

February 1, 2009
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Categories: Diseases and Pests, Snails, Deer and other Pests

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Each week the UK magazine Country Life includes a small general knowledge quiz.
This week’s article had the question “What do daffodils, bamboo, rhododendrons and thyme have in common”
The answer quoted later in the magazine was “They are all plants that Deer cannot eat”.
Though deer are becoming more prevalent over here, as yet, they do not cause major problems as far as most gardens are concerned.
In view of the many postings over the years by members resident in the US stating their love / hate relationship with deer, it crossed my mind that some of you might like to respond to this statement. It would be appreciated if you would comment in the next few days so that I can make a formal statement to Country Life. They regularly publish letters from readers on articles that have appeared in prior issues and the writer of the letter of the week wins a bottle of Champagne ( I can but live in hopes; no comment needed Becky or Donna).
Mike Brook

7 responses to “Quiz Question”

  1. J Drew Mc Farland says:


    Mike:
    They very much do eat rhododendron here.  I can’t say I’ve caught them in the act, but based on location and eating pattern, it would certainly appear so.  I started using a very good, albeit expensive repellant on the deer-preferred evergreens last year, including the
    rhododendrons.  It worked, and they are not longer stripped of leaves by Spring.
    It is interesting to see how deer tastes widen.  As populations have increased since I’ve lived here, the menu has too.  I do have one enigmatic benefit here at my farm though, they don’t eat my tulips.  The reason being, I have a total of about three.  I don’t think they know what they are or notice them.  Down in the Village they’d be eaten immediately.
    Regards,
    Drew Mc Farland
    Granville, Ohio
    In a message dated 2/1/2009 11:26:52 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  title= writes:

    Each week the UK magazine Country Life includes a small general knowledge quiz.
    This week’s article had the question “What do daffodils, bamboo, rhododendrons and thyme have in common”
    The answer quoted later in the magazine was “They are all plants that Deer cannot eat”.
    Though deer are becoming more prevalent over here, as yet, they do not cause major problems as far as most gardens are concerned.
    In view of the many postings over the years by members resident in the US stating their love / hate relationship with deer, it crossed my mind that some of you might like to respond to this statement. It would be appreciated if you would comment in the next few days so that I can make a formal statement to Country Life. They regularly publish letters from readers on articles that have appeared in prior issues and the writer of the letter of the week wins a bottle of Champagne ( I can but live in hopes; no comment needed Becky or Donna).
    Mike Brook



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  2. Bill Lee says:


    In a message dated 2/1/2009 11:26:52 AM Eastern Standard Time,  title= writes:

    This week’s article had the question “What do daffodils, bamboo, rhododendrons and thyme have in common”

    Mike, I can affirm that deer do not eat daffodils. I live in the middle of the woods surrounded by many deer. They graze our field often. They have never touched a daffodil, either foliage, bud, or flower. One day several years ago, I did find one daffodil stem on the ground beside the bed, with a tiny bite taken out of the bud. Some animal, probably a deer, tried it and didn’t like it. Probably told the rest of the herd to stay away from those  things!
    For many years they also never touched the daylilies, but that is no longer true.
    We don’t grow hostas because the deer find them very tasty. Rhododendrons do not grow well for me, so I can’t testify on those, and I grow my thyme in a fenced enclosure, so also cannot verify the claim on that.
    We have a number of different bamboos, including the giant bamboo, and I don’t think the deer have touched those either.
    Bill Lee



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  3. Nancy Wilson says:

    Mike,
    The deer here regularly eat daffodil flowers, they strip the bulbocodiums to the ground.  So much for being deer resistant.
    Nancy Wilson

  4. Kathy Welsh says:


    In a message dated 2/1/2009 5:04:42 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  title= writes:

    they strip the bulbocodiums to the ground

    I have also had the same problem with bulbocodium.  They seem to love Fyno.  I have had a standard bloom bitten off now and then, but never eaten.  Deer definitely eat Rhodos.  I have lots of Nandina which is in the bamboo family and they haven’t eaten it.  My thyme is fenced in so I can’t say.  In general, they don’t like herbs.  I have several sages and catmint they don’t eat.  I have found that deer won’t eat siberian Iris or shasta daisies.
    Kathy



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  5. Joanna Lloyd Tilghman says:
    If it is feasible, it is good to ring some of the daffodils or other plants you particularly like with herbs.  Lavender is another one they don’t like — the odor and the oil contained in the plant.  With the changes in habitat and landscape, they may change their eating habits again and like herbs.

    —-

  6. Clay Higgins says:

    Kathy,
    I was one of the group that always said that deer do not eat daffodils.  Then I went to judge at Shelter Island, NY.  My host pointed out a deer in her yard eating daffodils, standards that is, and said it was a common happening.  That’s when I begin to notice that my bulbocodiums and N. jonquilla (of various types) in my front yard were being cropped to the ground.  I wrote it off to insects.  However, I was watching a few days later when the guilty party returned and proceded to browse more of my N. jonquilla and bulbocodiums.  I’m lucky that the side and the back of my place are fensed in.  The herd of 13-17 deer o’ deer (depends on how many made the trip that day) I have in this place don’t let anything grown out front.  They eat the cone flowers, the burning bush, the japanese yew, the day lillies, the ezalias, and even the decorative bushs here.  Japanese or Oriental lillies or hosta is just dear candy in my front yard and all the deer love candy.

    I encourage all my hunter friends to visit in the fall.

    Clay

    Clay Higgins

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  7. J Drew Mc Farland says:


    This is getting interesting…that is the regional tastes of these animals.  They won’t eat hostas or day lillies here, but assume that is because there are so much other foliage out by the time they bloom.
    The Austrian pines I got when I first moved to my farm made it to maturity, but are all now neatly trimmed off to deer level.  Spruce, red pine and metasequoia are of no interest, but giant arborvitae (Eastern White Cedar) would be eaten were they not treated.  Our native white pines are inviting to them in Winter…so when planting in the wilds I have learned to place them in the middle of patches of raspberry and blackberries which commonly grow here.  That works…but makes the planting not so fun.
    In a message dated 02-Feb-09 12:02:01 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  title= writes:

    Kathy,
    I was one of the group that always said that deer do not eat daffodils.  Then I went to judge at Shelter Island, NY.  My host pointed out a deer in her yard eating daffodils, standards that is, and said it was a common happening.  That’s when I begin to notice that my bulbocodiums and N. jonquilla (of various types) in my front yard were being cropped to the ground.  I wrote it off to insects.  However, I was watching a few days later when the guilty party returned and proceded to browse more of my N. jonquilla and bulbocodiums.  I’m lucky that the side and the back of my place are fensed in.  The herd of 13-17 deer o’ deer (depends on how many made the trip that day) I have in this place don’t let anything grown out front.  They eat the cone flowers, the burning bush, the japanese yew, the day lillies, the ezalias, and even the decorative bushs here.  Japanese or Oriental lillies or hosta is just dear candy in my front yard and all the deer love candy.

    I encourage all my hunter friends to visit in the fall.

    Clay

    Clay Higgins

     title=