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January 08, 2021 2 min read

The beauty of hollies makes them excellent choices for privacy plants. However, do deer eat holly? This question is vital because planting privacy plants that deer will devour is a heart-wrenching story in the making.

Finding your gardens and hedges mowed to the ground is a sorry sight. Therefore, growers are consistently looking for a perfect way to deal with the deer problem once and for all. If you search for the right privacy plants and live in areas with a high deer population, consider your choices carefully. Most people go for arborvitae as it is the most common evergreen for that purpose. However, with a lot of deer in your area, you might only be creating hedges of favorite deer food. Besides, arborvitaes don’t handle ice storms very well. So, what should you choose? Hollies? Then again – do deer eat holly?

Creating hedges of hollies

At first glance, hollies could be a great choice that will not become dinnertime specialties for deer. However, not all hollies are deer resistant. According to the Rutgers website, “Nellie Stevens” holly, a popular choice, is not very deer resistant. In its stead, you should consider hollies like

  • American Holly
  • John T. Morris
  • Lydia Morris

These holly plants are excellent choices because the berries of the holly plant are toxic. They can cause unpleasant reactions such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea for deer. The berries also occur in clusters enclosed by thick glossy evergreen blooms, with short spiky spines at the end.

All together, these features in these holly plants can keep deer away. You can also consider hollies like the prenyl holly, blue holly, and Japanese holly. However, these are not as deer resistant as the ones we listed above.

How to cultivate your privacy plants

Choosing your plants is one thing; making sure your approach is excellent is another. For instance, you should ensure that you won’t be digging around your electrical or water lines. To do this, consult the local authorities to be sure about the areas you can dig. Secondly, you should ensure enough space between plants to provide room for airflow and growth.

Finally, do not plant privacy plants in a straight line. According to the experts number five always dies, leaving a gaping hole that is never relatively straight.

Other Deer Resistant Plants

Besides hollies, you can also consider ornamental grasses such as Giant Miscanthus barberry, boxwood, and Switch grass. As a rule of thumb, deer generally dislike plants with pungent scents, milky sap, bitter taste, and rough textures. Do note that you cannot wholly eliminate deer from your gardens with deer-resistant plants alone. However, one great thing about choosing hollies over others is their ability to spring back even after massive deer damage. In truth, some hollies might even benefit from extensive pruning by deer as it helps eliminate dormancy and promotes growth.

Concluding Thoughts

Do deer eat holly? Not always. Some hollies are far more resistant to others. Therefore, you should make your choice of hollies carefully. Beyond that, look for other ways to protect your garden and property from deer damage.

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