Deer might look cute. If you don’t live near a forest, the sight of these precious mammals can be exciting. However, if you are familiar with these animals, you probably know how destructive they can be. Yes, that doesn’t eliminate their cuteness, but it can create frustration only a gardener that puts all of his efforts into his garden can understand.
…while deer will feed on more than 700 species of plants, they don’t particularly like lilac bushes. Common lilacs fall under the “seldom severely damaged” category on the rating scale by Rutgers University.
While the plants you have in your yard are not the primary food for these animals, they will be during periods of scarcity. Indeed, if hungry, deer won’t think twice about getting what they can to eat. And usually, that means destroying the first types of plants they encounter in a garden on their way. But deer are not as stupid as you may think. These animals, like all others, have preferences even in terms of food.
While it is hard to define deer-resistant plants (because a starving animal will feed on anything that crosses its path), we can say what plants deer tend to like more. Plants whose leaves are bitter or flavorful might cause unpleasant reactions in deer’s digestion. So, that might cause them to avoid those plants.
But what about lilacs? Can you plant them as hedges or borders without fear of having them destroyed by hungry deer? In essence, are lilac bushes deer resistant? Keep reading to find out.
Do Deer Eat Lilacs?
If you like the stunning lilac bushes, you might be wondering if it’s a good idea to add them to your garden if you receive frequent visits from deer. And we have good news for you. You can plant lilacs and enjoy their pink, white, blue, purple, or magenta blooms with little to no problems.
Indeed, while deer will feed on more than 700 species of plants, they don’t particularly like lilac bushes. Common lilacs fall under the “seldom severely damaged” category on the rating scale by Rutgers University. Indeed, these animals prefer hostas, ivy, and daylilies over these lovely shrubs. For the plants they like the most, deer will have no issues hopping fences and ignore other repelling strategies you might try to apply. If you can, you must avoid these plants in your garden.
As we mentioned early, plants that release strong scents are not among deer’s favorite. And if you know something about lilacs, you are probably familiar with their pleasant smell. Maybe it is attractive for humans, but not so much for deer. And that’s good news if you are trying to prevent them from attacking your garden.
However, it is worth pointing out that even if lilacs tend to be “deer-resistant,” these animals will munch on them if no other food is available. And in those cases, you might benefit from using our repelling strategies. To find out about our recommendations to keep deer away from your lilacs, you are in the right place.
How to Avoid Deer Eating Your Lilacs
Yes, lilacs are not deer’s favorite food. Still, if you live near a forest and food is scarce, deer might decide it is better to eat something they don’t like that much than starve. And that makes sense. You would do it too!
But what can you do to stop them from doing that and add lilacs as deer-repellent plants around your garden’s borders?
For starters, you should consider spraying your lilacs with repellents. You can find them at your favorite gardening store. If you don’t like the idea of using chemicals on your plants, look for organic products.
Alternatively, you should get a repellent made of traditional deer predators: the smell will scare these animals away! If you have a dog, you can leave him in your garden. He will probably bark as soon as he sees these mammals approaching your yard, helping you take proper action.
If things don’t improve, you can try with devices that produce sounds that scare deer away without hurting them. Indeed, the idea is to have deer avoid your garden and remember that your yard is not an attractive place to search for food.
Are Lilac Bushes Deer Resistant?: The Bottom Line
Even if lilacs fall under the “deer-resistant” plant category, you might have to take some precautions to protect your garden anyways. Try applying our recommendations to prevent deer from considering your yard as their dinner.
Related Article: Do Lilacs Need Fertilizer?