Do deer eat liriope?

Do deer eat Liriope? Liriope might be hardy and easy to grow, but you need to know if deer might become a concern. In this article, we will talk about deer and their strange connection with the Liriope plant.

Liriope is an excellent evergreen groundcover, especially for areas where plants don’t usually thrive. They are tough, drought-resistant perennials that flourish in the full blast of the sun but can also work with deep shade. Compared to lawn grass, Liriope requires less water.

We love cultivating them for their vibrant multiple colors, making them great decorative additions to your garden. In spring, they develop strap-like green (variegated leaves), and then later in the summer, spikes of white or blue flowers.

By fall, the faded flowers become gorgeous blue-black berries. Besides their lovely color, they also have a sweet, pungent fragrance that fills the air.

Although Liriope is very hardy, you need to learn more about pests and diseases to look out for. When you live in a high deer population area, a good question to ask is – do deer eat Liriope?

Liriope as a deer-resistant plant

Typically, deer do not eat Liriope plants, especially the Aztec Glass (Liriope muscari ‘Aztec’) and Variegated Liriope (Liriope spicata Variegata) varieties. According to Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Liriope falls under the seldom severely damaged classification.

But many natives disagree. In truth, deer eat almost everything, even during the summer when there are no other lush vegetation to snack on. This also happens when you have young liriope shoots. It can also be the case in events of a high deer population.

You may quickly identify deer activity in your garden by checking for thorn twigs and branches alongside deer footprints. Their droppings can also help you determine if you have a deer problem, but it is easy to mistake them for rabbit droppings.

However, the most popular time deer can eat your liriope plants is in winter. At such times, other palatable choices become scarce.

Nevertheless, you can add other perennial ground cover plants to make it more challenging for deer to use your landscape as a buffet spot. They include geranium, blue fescue, lilyturf, bugleweed, creeping myrtle, allegheny spurge, northern sea oats, deadnettle, lamb’s ears, emerald gaiety, and yellow loosestrife

If not deer, what may be eating your Liriope?

Just as deer sometimes eat liriope plants, rabbits can also nibble on them, especially when they are young.

But once your liriope plants exceed their first year and begin to thicken, they will leave it alone. Therefore, you need to protect your young liriope plants from deer and rabbits, especially in the first year.

A short fence may work for rabbits, but a higher one of about 10 feet is vital to keep deer out. Again, you can consider spraying deer and rabbit repellents. Off-course, you can prepare some at home but opt for commercial repellents for a more effective result.

We also recommend that you rotate repellents to prevent deer from becoming familiar with them.

Concluding thoughts

Do deer eat Liriope? No, they don’t eat liriope plants under normal circumstances. But no plant is entirely deer-proof. Deer can eat the liriope plants when they cannot find anything else or areas with high deer pressure. Therefore, you need to combine deer strategies such as fencing and repellents to keep them out.

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  1. michaelmross on September 24, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    The deer have been munching on and pulling up my fall-planted “Silvery Sunproof Liriope” muscari variegated variety in Eastern NC.
    (And they are not short for alternatives where I live.)

    • Sarah Rinaldi on September 26, 2022 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Michael,
      While deer are typically not known to go for Liriope there is always the chance they may which is why we advise they typically don’t! Wishing the best for your Silvery Sunproof Liriope!

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