Deer are always on the hunt for tasty plants to try out. However, they can also be choosy about their menu. Generally, deer prefer narrow-leaf evergreens when they’re hungry. Tickseed plants do not fit this profile and are typically ignored by deer. The benefit of this is that you can use tickseed plants to hide smaller plants that are vulnerable to deer. Doing this will help keep them safe.
According to Rutgers University, the threadleaf tickseed is Rarely Damaged on their rating scale from Rarely Damaged to Frequently Severely Damaged.
On the other hand, the lance tickseed is Seldom Severely Damaged.
What this means is deer are not likely to be a problem for tickseed. If you live in an area with a high deer population, tickseed may be a good choice to include in your garden.
Keeping Deer Away From Tickseed
As mentioned above, tickseeds are not typically a good snack for deer. However, a starving deer will eat just about any plant if food is scarce. If you would like to protect your tickseed, consider installing plastic netting around your tickseeds. It’s important to note that deer can jump very high, about 8 feet above the ground. If you opt for fencing, make sure to find options that are high enough to keep deer from hopping over.
You can also use deer repellents. These can be found in many big box stores and will do wonders for keeping deer away. You can spray the repellent directly onto your plant as it won’t harm your plant.
Will Tickseed Come Back After Deer Eat Them?
Your tickseed will most likely never be damaged by deer, but if deer do happen to graze your plant, you’re probably wondering if your plant will survive. The answer is yes. Tickseeds are tough and a few nibbles won’t kill the plant. Your plant will grow back normally.
To help it recover, you can just focus on ensuring the soil around the plant is moist and use a 10-10-10 granular fertilizer. This type of fertilizer will give your plant all of the nutrients it needs to regrow the foliage it lost. Lastly, remove any damaged stems on your tickseed.
Sources: Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station ‘Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance’ 2018
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Author Chris Link - Published 07-26-2022