Daffs and red hot pokers will make deer turn tail, urban gardeners are advised

Swapping your tulips for daffodils may help prevent damage to displays from hungry deer in the garden, horticultural experts have suggested.
Swapping your tulips for daffodils may help prevent damage to displays from hungry deer in the garden, horticultural experts have suggested.
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Red hot pokers – the horticultural variety – are among the best deterrents to the herds of urban deer that now blight some gardens, experts have said.

Giving up on roses and tulips and swapping them for daphne, daffodils and other plants they seem to dislike, may also help to prevent the animals from eating the flower beds.

With sightings of deer in urban areas on the increase, the Royal Horticultural Society surveyed members to attempt to spot trends. Nearly 800 gardeners responded, with 2,000 records of the effects of hungry deer on popular garden plants.

The survey found roe deer were the most commonly sighted, in two-thirds of gardens, followed by Reeves’ muntjac and, some way behind, fallow deer.

Jenny Bowden, at the RHS, said: “Our findings suggest that deer have a taste for certain plants. While a little bit of damage won’t mean you’ll want to give up, if damage is sustained and bothersome, switching to plants shown to be less appealing might do the trick.

“You never know, you might also be inspired to grow something new.”

Daffodils are known to be mildly toxic, which could account for the deers’ dislike of them..