If you live somewhere near the woods, attacks from mammals might be the norm and not the exception. In that case, you probably know how destructive deer can be for your garden. And seeing all of the effort and time you spent building an attractive garden vanish because some animals didn’t encounter anything better to eat can give you headaches.
While deer don’t necessarily prey on garden plants, they will do if that’s the only alternative. Indeed, deer prefer feeding in the woods. However, when the food is scarce there, they have to search for other forms of nourishments. And gardens can be attractive when nothing else is available.
Some people swear on “deer-deterring” plants, but the reality is that a hungry deer will feed on anything that crosses its path. Of course, even deer have some preferences. They will feast on some plants more voraciously than on others. But do deer eat tiger lilies? And if yes, can you do something to stop them? Keep reading our essential guide to finding out the answers to these questions (and more).
Do Deer Eat Tiger Lilies?
To give you a brief answer, yes: deer like to consume lilies. We could say that deer prefer lilies over most other plants. If you have a garden where tiger lilies thrive, you might have to deal with frequent attacks from hungry deer when natural food sources are scarce. These animals enjoy tiger lilies’ foliage and blooms and might learn to visit your garden frequently if you don’t find a way to deter them from feasting on your plants.
Plus, if you planted lilies and hostas as companion plants, you might have made a mistake. Deer love both plants because they taste similar and have the same texture. Adding lilies and hostas to your garden as border plants might be just another way to tell deer: “come in, we have free food!”.
The good news is that among all of the lilies species, tiger lilies are not on deer’s top 5. But that doesn’t mean your plants are safe when deer are around.
While lilies make wonderful border plants (and even hedges, as they can grow up to 8 feet tall), you will need protection from deer if you live near the woods. To keep enjoying tiger lilies’ stunning blooms without having to worry about deer destroying these adorable plants, consider adding a fence to your border. Don’t forget that the protection must be tall: deer can jump high if necessary.
How Can You Prevent Attacks From Deer On Tiger Lilies?
Luckily, despite adding a fence, you can try other methods to prevent these mammals from attacking your precious tiger lilies. While we talked about how ineffective deer-resistant plants can be under extreme conditions, they can still help deter deer from choosing your garden for their dinner. Consider adding perennials with fragrances or herbs like salvia, basil, sage, rosemary, or lavender: their smell and taste will scare most deer away (if not hungry enough). Under such circumstances, ditch the idea of having tiger lilies as borders. Add your herbs instead and place tiger lilies around your garden or in flower beds.
Science seems to show that deer tend to prefer fertilized plants over unfertilized ones. While we all like to have our gardens lush and thriving when dealing with frequent attacks from deer, you might want to suspend its use for a while.
To increase your chances of successfully repelling deer, consider buying some repellents at your favorite gardening store. You will find brands re-creating predators’ urine, which seems effective at keeping deer at bay. Alternatively, you can get a guard dog. Dogs are a human’s best friends for reasons. When it comes to stopping deer, a dog can make the difference in protecting your garden or leaving it to deer. A dog will probably bark when noticing deer approaching your property, which can help you take appropriate actions to scare them away. Plus, their urine will keep them at bay anyways.
Finally, don’t forget to set proper boundaries to prevent deer from entering your property. If you have to deal with frequent attacks, consider getting some electric wire to pass around your fence. Be aware: the current should only “scare” deer and not harm them!
Related article: Do Deer Eat Ferns?