Speedwell is one of the most hardy perennials that gardeners can add to their landscape. Luckily, it is also one of the more deer-proof plants to grow if you have an issue with browsing in your garden. Depending on the variety, Speedwell is in bloom for most of the summer and fills in large areas quickly. Although no plant is completely deer proof, Speedwell has a thicker leaf texture and spiky flower that deer do not prefer. Any damage that might be done by a desperate deer is easily hidden by the large amount of Speedwell’s top growth.
According to Rutgers University, this plant is Seldom Severely Damaged on their rating scale from Rarely Damaged to Frequently Severely Damaged. This means that Speedwell is a good choice for gardens that may have deer activity. If a deer were to browse Speedwell, the plant would quickly recover, especially a mature plant.
Keeping Deer Away From Speedwell
It can be very frustrating to find new ways of keeping deer from eating plants. Repellents and sprays will work for a while, but deer become accustomed to the smells, and an alternative needs to be identified. Speedwell has the combination of thickly textured leaves and spiky flowers that keeps deer from browsing them. If deer do become a problem, the best solution is to fence off the plant with small cages of hardware cloth or even bird netting and stakes. Use the physical barriers until plants are mature enough to recover easily from a small amount of browsing.
Will Speedwell Come Back After Deer Eat Them?
Yes, speedwell will regrow quite quickly if eaten by deer. Typically, deer will only eat a part of the plant or some of the flower buds. Speedwell may even benefit from a little ‘deer pruning’ and continue to flower all summer long. No extra care is needed to help Speedwell recover from deer browsing.
Sources: Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station ‘Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance’ 2018
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Author Robbin Small - Published 7-22-2022