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deer damaged Hydrangea

2 years ago

Deer nibbled like half of the Hydrangea leaves from my plants... one is 8ft tall, and the rest are small, 3 ft. Can I expect these guys survive, and prosper next year? What can I do to rehab them?

Comments (9)

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Yes, they typically recover. Someone once posted of once losing all except a few inches. They just need time. Foliage takes 2-4 weeks to leaf out in early Spring when you have late frosts but, weather can also affect the speed of recovery. When temps get too hot (note we are close to starting summer), the plants may decide to wait until temperatures recede in the Fall of wait until next Spring 2022. And one plant may recover more vigorously than others. Just try to keep them well mulched (2-4" of organic mulch; no rocks), keep the soil as evenly moist as you can and fertilize as you normally do. You can try using Plantskydd Spray (no reapplies needed after rain). Feel free to prune a little if you need to but paniculatas and Annabelle-like hydrangeas are now developing or planning to develop flower buds so only do what is really needed pruning wise.

  • 2 years ago

    Deer often graze mine.....despite my best efforts to keep them away. And it is almost always just when they are about to come into bloom. They nip off the flower buds and couple of inches of green and leafy stem but that's it. It doesn't bother the plants at all, except losing a few flowerheads.

    The exception is my oakleaf, which the deer munched on in midwinter. Again, they just took off some of the top most growth including leaves which had not yet fallen off (mine holds its foliage all winter) so no significant harm done to the plant.

  • 2 years ago

    as to survival ... i cant think of much of anything.. otherwise healthy .. that would die from pruning ... whether by you or a deer ...

    in the future.. in a few years.. you might need to do some additional pruning.. to reshape it ... if it regrows weirdly ...


  • 2 years ago

    I recommend milorganite. Any year I forget to use it, deer have Bambi fest in my yard. You don't need a lot and wont need to reapply after rain. I usually freshen up, and I use the term lightly, a few times during the growing season.

  • 2 years ago

    Oakleafs are particularly susceptible.

    I swear by plantskydd. Don't get the "mix your own" unless you're a die-hard do it yourselfer. Deer only graze mine winter. Read the label or call them (nice people)

    about whether to use spray or granules in growing season)

  • 2 years ago

    I use Plantskydd as well, spray version. I find it is very effective in discouraging flower or bud browsing, which seems to be the preferred feeding method of deer in my neighborhood. They rarely bother much of the leafy green parts of anything in my garden, preferring only to remove any flowers they can get close to (exception is hostas but the slugs and snails usually decimate mine before any deer come close!).

    I like Plantskydd because it has an oil base so does not wash off readily with rain or irrigation. Supposedly lasts for 6 weeks although I am reluctant to test that theory and respray every week or two.

  • 2 years ago

    Thin bird netting from big box store or local store will do the trick. The idea is to discourage their eating pattern/routine so your neighbors can host. Watch it so the wind doesn’t blow it off at times. Keep the netting on until it flowers, although I sometimes keep it on with flowers since removing at that point might yank the flowers off. I can hardly notice it’s on.

  • 2 years ago

    For two and a half decades it was only the rabbits that ate the oakleaf hydrangeas and the single viburnum carlesii in the rather distant veggie garden. They'd strip the bark when snow came. They ate Ruby Slippers down to a nub several years in a row and I didn't have the patience to watch the stub leaf out another year so I pulled it. Oakleaf "Peewee" sends out a tremendous flush of new leaves but only has flowers on the topmost part the rabbits couldn't reach.

    This year the deer found my yews and pruned and stripped them back 2 feet.

    This winter I'm spraying plantskdd on the hydrangeas and yews.

    During spring and summer I use the granuales to deter those *****rwabbits from the baby hostas, tender new grasses and that tough old polygonum whose name eludes me....

    who can explain rabbit taste in food?

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