Are Potentilla Deer Resistant?

Potentilla is a woody-stemmed shrub that features lovely, delicate-looking semi-double flowers and green foliage during the spring and summer growing season. The flowers fade by fall, and the plant goes dormant throughout winter. Potentilla is a reliable landscape plant not commonly favored by deer and other foraging animals. There are more abundant and preferred food sources during the spring and summer when Potentilla plants are actively growing and blooming. When winter rolls around and deer and other animals may be more inclined to eat Potentilla, the plant has barren branches.


Gardeners in areas with large animal populations or where animal damage is common may want to consider planting Potentilla. This perennial will provide consistent color and greenery during the growing season while requiring minimal care. According to Rutgers University, this plant is Rarely Damaged on their rating scale from Rarely Damaged to Frequently Severely Damaged.

Keeping Deer Away From Potentilla

Protecting Potentilla from deer is not generally necessary. Animals do not prefer to eat this perennial and tend to leave the plant alone. However, if more dependable and preferred food sources are unavailable, deer and other animals may turn to plants like Potentilla. Fences and scent-based repellents can be effective at protecting plants from animal damage. Apply the deer repellent regularly and after rainfall to train the deer to stay away.


Will Potentilla Come Back After Deer Eat Them?

Potentilla can bounce back after sustaining animal damage. Help damaged plants recover by pruning away damaged sections and giving the plant time. Adding fertilizer to a damaged Potentilla can help jump-start new growth and get the plant on the road to recovery. In extreme instances, plants that sustained extensive damage may not return after deer damage.

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

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 Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 07-12-2022