Are Vinca Deer Resistant?

Vinca is a hardy flowering annual plant that is drought resistant. A popular choice for groundcover, this plant offers sweet smelling colorful flowers all summer long. Vinca is known to be deer and rabbit resistant. According to Rutgers University Vinca (Catharanthus roseus) is rated as Rarely Damaged on their rating scale.

Deer stay away from Vinca plants due to their sweet smell, as deer do not like fragrant plants. They prefer to munch on plants such as hostas, English Ivy, or daylilies. Vinca plants can be bothered by other pests such as aphids, slugs or snails. 

How To Keep Deer Away From Vinca?

If you live in an area that deer often visit, you will want to think about deer-proofing your garden area early on. Commercial deer deterrents sprayed on or around the garden area help. These sprays emit a foul taste and odor that deter deer. You will want to begin spraying in the spring and continue weekly through September.

Mechanical deer proof methods such as motion detection sprinklers or noise makers hanging in trees can help. An electric fence would be an effective option. DIY tricks such as using dog/human hair, dryer sheets, soap, or homemade sprays might work. Deer can easily get used to one method of deer proofing, so it is best to rotate tricks for ongoing protection. 

A more permanent form of deer proofing is planting deer resistant perennial plants or an herb garden as a border around rose shrubs. Deer are very sensitive to smell, taste and textures, and herbs have all of those. Some deer resistant herbs are Rosemary, Sage, Bee Balm, Lavender, Basil, Oregano, and Chives. Other deer proof plants are Bleeding Hearts, Astilbe, Marigolds, Butterfly Bush, or Coreopsis.



Will Vinca Come Back After Deer Eat Them?

Vinca is an easy to care for flowering plant. Deer will shy away from this plant due to it’s sweet scent and healthy growth. It is good to remember that deer will munch on almost anything if they are hungry enough. If for some reason your Vinca plant has been munched on, don’t worry, this natural form of pruning will not hurt the plant. Vinca is a vigorous growing plant and will continue to spread and flower all season long. 

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

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Author Chris Link - Published 10-11-2021

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