Gardeners living in areas with large populations of deer know what a challenge it can be to keep plants safe from daily browsing. Popular and easy-to-grow perennials like Hostas, Daylilies, and hardy Geraniums are almost like candy to deer. Young plants can be wiped out with just one evening's browsing. Fortunately, Foxgloves of all types are practically immune to deer browsing. All parts of a Foxglove, even in small amounts, are poisonous, and innately deer know this and avoid the plant.
According to Rutgers University, this plant is Rarely Damaged on their rating scale from Rarely Damaged to Frequently Severely Damaged. While deer are known to eat almost any plant when food is scarce, Foxgloves are definitely the exception.
Keeping Deer Away From Foxglove
Keeping Foxglove safe from the browsing of deer is not necessary. Feel free to plant Foxglove in open gardens, as part of a planter display of mixed perennials, or in protected locations near the house. Dotting Foxglove around a garden border is not only a great way to add height and interest but may result in temporarily protecting other more palatable plants.
Will Foxglove Come Back After Deer Eat Them?
The worst damage that deer could do to Foxglove would be to inadvertently walk on young plants. Foxgloves are biennial bloomers that grow foliage in the first year and set flowers and seeds the following year. The first-year plants stay short at less than 6-8 inches and are easily damaged when walked on or accidentally pulled up out of the ground. If any uprooted seedlings are replanted quickly and early enough in the summer, they should have no problem flowering the following spring.
Sources: Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station ‘Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance’ 2018
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Author Robbin Small - Published 6-28-2023