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Are Crape Myrtle Deer Resistant?

Do deer like Crape Myrtle? Not particularly. Deer do not typically eat this flowering plant, so it is an excellent option to include in your yard if you have a large deer population. Crape Myrtle is deciduous, so when this plant drops its foliage and flowers it is about the same time food becomes more scarce. Crape Myrtle’s natural cycle of shedding its foliage is likely a big part of protecting it from deer.

Including Crape Myrtle in your landscape means you will be very likely to enjoy its beautiful flowers throughout the growing season since deer and other foraging animals are not likely to eat it. According to Rutgers University, this plant is Seldom Severely Damaged on their rating scale from Rarely Damaged to Frequently Severely Damaged.

Keeping Deer Away From Crape Myrtle

Crape Myrtle is not a favorite with deer, and it is not likely to be eaten; however, any plant will be eaten if animals are hungry. Fences to keep deer away or scent-based deterrents can be used to protect landscape plants from hungry deer. Placing plants close to your home or areas pets have access to may deter deer and other animals from entering the space and eating Crape Myrtle and other plants. 

Will Crape Myrtle Come Back After Deer Eat Them?

The amount of damage sustained usually determines whether a plant can recover after being eaten by deer or other animals. Extensive damage may prove too much, and the plant may not come back. Crape Myrtle has woody stems that are likely to withstand being munched on, so a severe snack session may stunt growth, but it is not likely to kill off the plant.

Sources: Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station ‘Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance’ 2018

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