Deer-resistant, shade-loving plant suggestions

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Q: The deer have feasted on my Stargazer lilies in my front garden for the last time! I am moving them and want to replace them with a deer “resistant” plant. The garden receives semi-shade and is beneath large Douglas fir trees. Are day lilies a good bet? Would chrysanthemums be better? And is now a good time to dig up my Stargazers and replant in a safer location?

Lily bulbs do not like to dry out, so if you lift them during the summer, get them replanted and watered deeply right away.

GardenWise Editor Carol Pope gardens with deer and suggests these shade perennials:

  • Mint
  • Geranium macrorrhizum
  • Foxglove
  • Columbine.

(Mint doesn’t like to dry out, so make sure the soil is rich and wet for the mint.)

These shade- and drought-tolerant evergreen shrubs are also easy to grow:

  • Aucuba japonica cultivars (Japanese aucuba)
  • Buxus ‘Green Mountain’ (boxwood)
  • Cephalotaxus harringtonia (cowtail pine, plum yew)
  • Choisya ternata (Mexican mock orange),
  • Elaeagnus ebbingei ‘Gilt Edge’ (variegated hybrid elaeagnus)
  • Elaeagnus pungens ‘Maculata'(golden elaeagnus)
  • Mahonia nervosa (cascade Oregon grape)
  • Nandina domestica (heavenly bamboo)
  • Sarcococca (sweet box)

Let us know how these do in your garden!