Deer and other foraging animals do not prefer Beardtongue, although it is not entirely deer resistant. This plant can fall victim to hungry animals but is seldom a first choice. It is possible to grow Beardtongue without animals nibbling on the plant, but it is not guaranteed. Beardtongue is only a viable food source during the spring and summer. By fall, all of the growth dies back. Since animal damage can only happen in the spring and summer when abundant food sources are available, Beardtongue will likely be left alone.
According to Rutgers University this plant is Occasionally Severely Damaged on their rating scale from Rarely Damaged to Frequently Severely Damaged.
Keeping Deer Away From Beardtongue
Tall fences and barriers are the most effective at keeping deer away from landscape plants like Beardtongue. Scent-based repellents can also be an excellent method to protect plants from foraging animals. A good way to protect Beardtongue from animals is to feature these plants in heavily trafficked areas near walkways and patios. Animals are likely to avoid areas people and pets routinely visit, and that can sometimes be enough to ensure your landscape plants survive the growing season.
Will Beardtongue Come Back After Deer Eat Them?
Beardtongue can come back after deer eat them. However, recovery depends on the extent of the damage. A heavily damaged plant may not recover, while a mature plant should easily bounce back from a bit of nibbling. Trim damaged growth as necessary, but try to leave some foliage if your Beardtongue has been eaten. Lightly fertilize severely damaged plants to encourage new growth. You want to leave growth so this perennial can store energy for the next growing season.
Sources: Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station ‘Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance’ 2018
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