Is Beardtongue Deer Resistant?

Beardtongue, also known as penstemon, is a popular ornamental flowering plant that is native to North America.

It is known for its attractive flowers, which come in a range of colors including purple, pink, red, and white. Beardtongue is a hardy plant that is easy to grow and care for, making it a popular choice for landscaping.

One important consideration when choosing plants for landscaping is deer resistance.

If you live in an area with a high deer population, you may have experienced the frustration of finding that your carefully tended plants have been eaten by deer. Choosing plants that are less attractive to deer can help to prevent this problem.

Beardtongue is not Deer Resistant

Is Beardtongue Deer Resistant?

There is some debate among horticulturalists and gardeners about the deer resistance of beardtongue. Some sources claim that beardtongue is generally resistant to deer browsing, while others report that it is prone to deer damage.

Physical Characteristics and Growth Habits

Beardtongue is a perennial plant that grows to a height of 1-3 feet, with a spread of 1-2 feet. It has narrow, pointed leaves and tall spikes of tubular flowers that bloom from late spring to early summer.

Beardtongue is generally drought tolerant and prefers well-draining soil.

Horticultural Studies and Anecdotal Reports

Several horticultural studies have been conducted to assess the deer resistance of various plants, including beardtongue.

These studies typically involve observing the extent of deer damage to plants in a controlled setting. The results of these studies can vary, with some studies finding beardtongue to be deer resistant and others finding it to be prone to deer damage.

In addition to horticultural studies, there are also many anecdotal reports from gardeners and landscapers about the deer resistance of beardtongue. Some gardeners report that their beardtongue plants have never been damaged by deer, while others report frequent deer damage.

Overall, it seems that the deer resistance of beardtongue may depend on a variety of factors, including the specific type of beardtongue, the local deer population, and the availability of alternative food sources.

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Beardtongue Deer Resistant

Factors That Affect Deer Resistance of Beardtongue

Climate and Geographical Location

The deer resistance of beardtongue may vary depending on the climate and geographical location in which it is grown. In some regions, deer may be more likely to browse on beardtongue due to a lack of other food sources.

In other regions, deer may have a greater abundance of alternative food sources, leading to less browsing on beardtongue.

Availability of Alternative Food Sources

The availability of alternative food sources for deer can also affect the deer resistance of beardtongue.

If deer have access to a variety of plants and shrubs to eat, they may be less likely to browse on beardtongue. However, if other food sources are scarce, deer may be more likely to turn to beardtongue as a food source.

Degree of Deer Browsing Pressure

The degree of deer browsing pressure in an area can also affect the deer resistance of beardtongue.

In areas with a high deer population and a history of deer browsing, beardtongue may be more prone to deer damage. In areas with a lower deer population and less browsing pressure, beardtongue may be more resistant to deer damage.

How to Deter Deer from Eating Beardtongue

If you are concerned about deer damaging your beardtongue plants, there are several measures you can take to deter them.

Physical Barriers

One option is to use physical barriers such as fencing to keep deer away from your plants. Fencing can be effective at deterring deer, but it can be expensive and may not be practical for large landscapes.

Chemical Repellents

Another option is to use chemical repellents to deter deer. There are many commercial deer repellents available that can be sprayed on plants to make them less appealing to deer.

You can also use natural repellents such as human hair or soap to deter deer. These methods can be effective, but they may need to be reapplied frequently to remain effective.

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Plant in Areas with Less Deer Traffic

Another strategy is to plant beardtongue in areas of your landscape where deer are less likely to travel. This may include areas near buildings or in the center of a garden rather than on the perimeter.

Planting beardtongue in combination with less attractive plants may also help to deter deer.

Is Beardtongue Deer Resistant

Conclusion

In conclusion, the deer resistance of beardtongue is somewhat uncertain, with some sources claiming it is resistant to deer browsing and others reporting frequent deer damage.

The deer resistance of beardtongue may be influenced by a variety of factors, including climate and geographical location, the availability of alternative food sources, and the degree of deer browsing pressure in an area.

If you are concerned about deer damaging your beardtongue plants, there are several measures you can take to deter them, such as using physical barriers, chemical repellents, and planting in areas with less deer traffic. For further reading on deer-resistant landscaping, there are many resources available, including books and online articles.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if my beardtongue plants are being damaged by deer?

If you suspect that your beardtongue plants are being damaged by deer, there are a few signs to look for. One common sign of deer damage is the presence of cleanly-nipped stems or flowers.

Deer tend to nibble plants at a 45-degree angle, so if you see stems or flowers that have been cut off at this angle, it is likely that deer are the culprit. Other signs of deer damage include missing or partially eaten leaves, and tracks or droppings near the plants.

Can I plant beardtongue in areas with a high deer population?

Although beardtongue is generally considered to be deer resistant, it is not completely immune to deer damage. If you live in an area with a high deer population and a history of deer browsing, it may be more challenging to grow beardtongue successfully.

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In these cases, it may be necessary to take additional measures to deter deer, such as using fencing or chemical repellents.

How often do I need to reapply chemical repellents to deter deer from eating beardtongue?

The frequency with which you need to reapply chemical repellents will depend on the specific product you are using and the local deer population. Some repellents may need to be reapplied every few days, while others may last for several weeks.

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for reapplication, and to be aware that repellents may need to be reapplied more frequently in areas with a high deer population.

Can I plant beardtongue with other deer-resistant plants to deter deer?

Planting beardtongue in combination with other deer-resistant plants can help to deter deer. Deer tend to be less attracted to plants that are not palatable or that have strong aromas, so pairing beardtongue with plants that have these characteristics may help to deter deer.

Some examples of deer-resistant plants that can be planted with beardtongue include lavender, rosemary, and yarrow.

What other measures can I take to deter deer from eating my beardtongue plants?

In addition to using physical barriers and chemical repellents, there are several other measures you can take to deter deer from eating your beardtongue plants.

One option is to use deer-resistant landscaping techniques, such as planting in areas with less deer traffic or in combination with less attractive plants. You can also try using scent-based deterrents, such as human hair or soaps, or planting a variety of plants to provide deer with a diverse food source.

Finally, it may be helpful to consult with a local horticulturalist or landscaper for additional advice on deer-resistant landscaping in your area.

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