Planting Deer Resistant Fall Bulbs

Tired of deer eating your plants? Deer love to eat tulips and lilies. It’s almost like there is a neon sign saying “Eat Here!” Consider planting these deer resistant bulbs this fall that will be very attractive and provide you with beautiful spring color.
Daffodils (Narcissus species) are great for sunny to part shade in the garden. These are low maintenance bulbs that prefer well drained soil and will multiply over the years. They are also poisonous and deer will not be tempted to eat them.

Alliums or ornamental onions (Allium giganteum) bulbs have a strong flavor and an oniony flower fragrance that acts as a deer repellent. Alliums grow best in dry to medium well drained soils in full to part shade and benefit from some light afternoon shade due to South Carolina’s hot climate. Pollinator insects love alliums.
Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis) has highly fragrant bell-shaped flowers. They prefer full shade. Deer do not like the fragrance, because it warns them that the flowers are poisonous. Lily-of-the-Valley will possibly need a year’s time to become well established.
Hyacinths (Hyacinthus species) grow in full sun to part shade. They do have a poison sap that deer avoid. When planting these bulbs, it is a good idea to wear gloves because the sap can irritate your skin.
Snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii) prefer a shady spot in the garden. Snowdrops have white blooms and are some of the first bulbs to bloom in the late winter to early spring. Deer go out of their way to void snowdrops because of their toxic nature.
Siberian Squills (Scilla siberica) grow well in dry conditions from full sun to full shade. The star-shaped flowers can be blue, white, or pink. The foliage is thick and fleshy, which the deer do not like and stay away from.
For more information on spring flowering bulbs, please visit the Home and Garden Information Center website at hgic.clemson.edu. Tune in on Tuesday nights to watch “Making it Grow” at 7pm on SCETV or mig.org. Email Outen at [email protected]
*
Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.