Populations in all 46 counties in South Carolina are not strangers to deer. Whitetail deer in South Carolina are plentiful, and both home and business owners are well aware of the havoc these deer populations can wreak on your landscaping. For businesses, spending time and money to rebuild and avoid deer can be a real expense of energy and budget that can be inconvenient to undertake, but we at Carolina Services Landscaping have some pretty simple solutions for you. What many don’t know is that there are quite a few southern hardiness zone friendly and beautiful plants that deer naturally dislike, and these can provide a touch of beauty to your landscape the local whitetail aren’t like to ravage.
In highly populated and metropolitan areas, these deer may not be as plentiful as they are in the rural regions, but in truth, Carolina whitetail can find their way to your landscaping no matter where your business is located.
Butterfly weed has it all – it’s colorful, fragrant, drought resistant, low-maintenance, and a deer detractor. When planted in sunny areas around a business, butterfly weed requires little to no maintenance, and comes back year after year while left on its own. The butterfly weed also naturally attracts birds and butterflies, so it brings a lot of beauty to business common areas and walkways.
With plenty of built in heat resistance, Butterfly Weed also holds up well in Carolina summers. While other plants may wither and suffer during courses of hot weeks during the dog days of summer, the Butterfly Weed will stay happy, healthy, and colorful all throughout the season. In fact, the orange cluster flowers tend to burst forth and flourish all across the 3 foot tall and 2 foot wide plants during the hot summer months.
Mating season for deer is in the fall, and this means that whitetail populations in Carolina are commonly up and moving around as autumn sets in. For fall landscapes, this can be pretty tricky in keeping areas deer-safe, but chrysanthemums provide a really beautiful and easy solution. Chrysanthemums are one of the most common fall blooms, and in their wide range of colors, provide great pops of vivid beauty in red, pink, purple, yellow, orange, or maroon all over your sunny areas.
The scent of chrysanthemum is what attracts many humans to the flower, but this is coincidentally what drives deer away from it. While deer forage during the fall, they’ll skip over your chrysanthemum blooms and opt for something else instead. Depending on the variety of chrysanthemum chosen, these plants can grow to be up to 4 feet high and equally wide.
If the area around your business is shadier than what a chrysanthemum or butterfly weed will allow, Epimedium may be just the attractive deer-detractor you’re looking for. Perfect for ground cover, these plants grow to be about 2 feet tall and equally wide, and grow deer-detracting flowers in a variety of vivid color. The blooms have a unique spiky shape and can be found in shades of white, red, orange, yellow, and pink, providing a really interesting look to your landscape that doesn’t require much sun and thrives in South Carolina hardiness zones 7 and 8.
Hens and Chicks
Another great pick for ground cover are hens and chicks, and while requiring full sun, these require very little else. In open ground areas that just need a little something extra, hens and chicks are aesthetically pleasing all throughout the year, and droughts have no effect on the short succulents. Whether it’s cool, hot, wet, or dry, the hens and chicks grow to 3 inches tall and 12 inches wide and beautifully cover all of the sunny ground throughout your business building area.
While fragrance-free, no one really knows exactly why deer tend to skip over hens and chicks, and many theorize it may have to do with a taste the hens and chicks have that the deer don’t particularly like.
New Zealand Flax
New Zealand Flax is a ground-cover plant that has just the size and drama to frame doorways and walkways. The plant can grow to up to 6 feet tall and equally wide, showing long dark leaves with an interesting color profile. When mixed with deer resistant flowers like butterfly weed, it brings an interesting visual to flowerbeds and common area plant displays.
Like hens and chicks, no definitive answer has been given as to why New Zealand flax seems to be a strong deer detractor, but this is a little more of a higher maintenance deer-resistant plant that requires regular moist soil unlike some of the other drought-friendly but not deer-friendly perennials.
We know how frustrating it can be to lose your landscaping to deer season after season, which is why we’re a landscaping contractor that keeps this frustration in mind. While these deer-detractors may not be completely deer-proof, they are proven to be not a favorite to the Carolina whitetail, which means that your landscaping will stand a chance even during the highly active autumn season.