Have you ever wandered out to your garden to find deer snacking on your plants? Professional flower farmer Jen (@sunnyspotflowers) took to Instagram to share a clever tip for deterring deer from her favorite blooms.
After struggling with deer in her unfenced front yard garden, Jen nearly gave up until she decided to make it “a priority to try and find plants that were truly deer resistant but also looked good.”
She discovered salvia, foxglove, and the stunning eryngium, also known as sea holly. The striking blue color — which Jen explains “you don’t normally find in many plants” — and unique appearance of eryngium bring an eye-catching contrast of colors and textures to garden beds and flower bouquets. Pollinators also love the spiky flowers, but the “deer don’t touch it,” Jen says.
How it’s helping
Eryngium is an attractive, multipurpose plant that is perennial, meaning it returns each year without having to replant it and is tolerant of poor, dry soil. Sea holly is one of several deer-resistant plants and flowers recommended by the Farmer’s Almanac.
Take care when selecting plant varieties for your home or garden, carefully choosing species that are native to your area and not invasive. While sea holly originated in Europe, there are similar species native to much of North America, such as rattlesnake master. The National Wildlife Federation and your local extension office are excellent resources for learning about native plants in your region.
What everyone’s saying
“I absolutely love it, I have entire beds of flowering perennials and this periwinkle color is a favorite,” one commenter said of the unusual blue-purple blooms.
“Right before sunset they look like they are glowing,” said another.
With its tendency to spread and a somewhat pungent smell, this plant might not be everyone’s favorite, but many commenters love the plant. Growing sea holly also requires patience as it may not flower the first year, but should bloom the next. “While it may not be for everyone,” Jen says, “it certainly has earned a home in my front gardens.”
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