Catmint is rarely bothered by any pest or animal. The best news is that deer generally stay away from the scented and textured foliage. Of course in reality, deer will browse on just about any plant if it is desperate and starving. The most likely time for Catmint to be browsed by deer is very early in the spring, when the most tender shoots emerge. Springtime is typically a period of abundance for deer, and plenty of their favorite plants are available. The delicate flowers of blooming shrubs and shoots of hosta are much more appealing to deer.
According to Rutgers University this plant is Rarely Damaged on their rating scale from Rarely Damaged to Frequently Severely Damaged.
Keeping Deer Away From Catmint
Little needs to be done to protect Catmint. If a few bites are taken here and there, the plant will grow back quickly. Typically Catmint is so bushy and full that deer browsing will not be noticable. Repellents can be used, although they need to be resprayed after heavy rains or lots of overhead watering. Over time, deer can become used to the smell of repellents; consider rotating brands and types to maintain effectiveness. The only permanent deterrent for deer is fencing that is at least 8 feet tall. However, fencing is not always practical or affordable. Choosing plants such as Catmint that rarely get attention from deer may be the best option for keeping a landscape deer resistant.
Will Catmint Come Back After Deer Eat Them?
Catmint regrows very easily if it is browsed by deer. The damaged branches can be fully cut back to reshape the plant. Perennials completely regrow in the spring and will not be disfigured if part of the plant is eaten. Deer browsing on shrubs is a much larger problem that could cause noticeable damage that is harder to conceal.
Sources: Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station ‘Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance’ 2018
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